What It Does: Anyone who's ever had a professional massage (whether pregnant or not) knows that both body and mind feel better after a rubdown. Studies show that massage can reduce stress hormones in your body and relax and loosen your muscles. It can also increase blood flow, which is so important when you're pregnant, and keep your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency, flushing out toxins from your body. And it reconnects your mind with your body, a connection that's comforting during the constant changes to your body during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, regular prenatal massages may not only help you relax, but may also relieve insomnia, joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica. Additionally, it can reduce swelling in your hands and feet (as long as that swelling isn't a result of pre eclampsia), relieve carpal tunnel pain, and alleviate headaches and sinus congestion — all common pregnancy problems.