There are women who are not aware of a prenatal or pregnancy massage. Many women go through massage therapies post their pregnancy in order to bring their body back in shape and their size however there are benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy too. A massage that helps in reducing the discomforts related to pregnancy and proves a stress reducing technique for moms to be is called prenatal or pregnancy massage. A good pregnancy massage can be most beneficial for a mom’s health. Pregnancy massage is a term related to both during and post pregnancy massage therapies. Duration of these therapies is usually one hour or more. However before opting for a massage therapy, it is best to consult your doctor in order to make sure that it is safe for your body as well as for your child.
Benefits of a Pregnancy Massage:
Each individual has a different body and thus positive impacts of massage therapy for women may differ. However here is a list of some possible benefits of a regular routine of pregnancy massage.
- It reduces level of stress and anxiety that is common in pregnant women.
- It increases the level of good hormones that make you feel good.
- It would boost your mood.
- Massage therapy gives you improved sleep routine.
- Massage would help in relieving pains (especially commonly found back and leg pains in pregnant women).
- It reduces swelling by improving circulation.
- It relaxes your mind and body.
- It improves immune system and your ability to fight various infections and viruses.
How a Pregnancy Massage is performed?
1. Comfortable Position:
First step in performing a relaxing pregnancy massage is to make sure that women is comfortably positioned. A pregnancy massage is performed usually on a massage table and these tables are designed to comfortably accommodate pregnant women. Often massage tables have pillows that are designed for comfort of pregnant women and they can lay on their side to ensure the position is comfortable for both mother and her child in the womb. Being comfortable is most important and if you are not, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist for more pillows or for changing your position until you are absolutely comfortable.
2. Personal Preferences:
For a whole body completely relaxing pregnancy massage, it would be better to take off everything you are wearing however if you are not comfortable you can talk to your therapist and do whatever makes you comfortable.
3. Communicate with Therapist:
In order to make the massage therapy most beneficial and soothing for you, it is important that you communicate your preferences and your health condition with your therapist. The more therapist knows about your condition, better he will be cater to your needs. Lack of communication about medical issues can cause harm to your body or to your baby inside. It is extremely important to share everything related to your pregnancy and body with the therapist.
4. Use of Massage Oils and Lotions:
During pregnancy, usually women become more sensitive to smells and fragrances. So if you are doubtful about any massage oil or lotion that your therapist may use for additional glide and smooth massage, you can also bring your own oil for massage. Just remember that any ordinary lotion would not give similar effect so better bring oil for massage.
5. Common Pregnancy Massage Techniques:
There exists a number of massage techniques that are performed for a pregnant woman and here we have summarized some of the common safe techniques that therapists usually use:
- Swedish Massage – Long straight strokes on muscles that focuses on flexibility and movements of joints.
- Shiatsu Massage – It includes tapping and pressure releasing techniques that improves the circulation of energy within body.
- Deep Tissue Massage – It is focused on strokes over muscles.
A combination of different techniques are used by massage therapists according to your needs. These techniques are focused on changes that occur in body of a woman during pregnancy. Therapists must not exert pressure over legs and should avoid any strong massage therapy including those mentioned above over legs as it may dislodge any blood clotting that usually happens during pregnancy because or large volume of blood and poor circulation. Apart from legs, no strong pressure should be applied on belly. If massage is applied on belly it should be really gentle or massage of abdomen can be avoided too in order to keep massage safe.
- Women who have high risk pregnancies should strictly avoid getting massage.
- Before opting for a massage with any therapist, do your own research to find out if he/she is qualified and certified to give a massage and is a professional therapist.
- Comfort and safety should always be considered first while getting a massage.
- When you are done with the massage and are trying to get off the massage table, be very careful. Don’t be afraid of asking for help in getting off the table.
Consider Safety First:
It is not imperative to get a pregnancy massage and nothing worse can happen if you don’t take massage throughout pregnancy. Consider safety first. Best thing is to consult your gynecologist before attempting for any such therapy. Some doctors may not recommend any therapies because of a lack of training specific to pregnancy massage in many states however some may recommend and even give you references of a perfect massage therapist for you.
Avoid Massage when:
There are some cases, where you are suggested not to opt for a pregnancy massage. But in order to be sure, you should consult your doctor only. Certain conditions include:
- When you have a risk of miscarriage.
- Pregnancies that are termed high risk such as placental abruption, preterm labor etc.
- When you are having morning sickness, nausea or other similar health issues.
Pregnant women do need prenatal care and the benefits that a massage therapy offers for health and wellbeing of a woman makes it worth trying. Not only pregnancy massage gives you physical health benefits but it also supplements your emotional health. Women who have experienced massage therapies at various intervals during their pregnancy have shown improved results with their health. But before opting for any kind of massage therapy in this condition, it is compulsory to consult your obstetrician.