As a pregnant woman you might be aware, therapists may offer various massage services, including pregnancy massage. I think that now would be a good time to tell you what it’s all about and if there are any real benefits to it.
What is Pregnancy Massage?
Pregnancy Massage is a lot like a Swedish massage, also known as Relaxation Massage.
It’s about the same massage on the front of your body, so the variation comes when it’s time to turn.
Instead of the woman turning onto her stomach, she turns to her left and lies on her side.
Pillows cushion her head, arms, and knees for a cozy, comfortable experience. Often extra towels and blankets are used for her comfort.
How do I know if it’s okay for me to get a massage?
It’s essential that you go to Licensed Massage Therapists (we are) who knows all these pregnancy massage exceptions for your safety as well as your baby’s.
And please, don’t get massaged if you have any of these conditions:
- Pitting edema
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal abdominal pain or bleeding
- Decreased fetal movement
- Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia or toxemia of pregnancy
…unless your doctor says it’s okay. And if you are thinking of using a massage chair during pregnancy at home find more information here.
Pregnancy Massage is relaxing and very comforting in times of pain and stress. Mothers enjoy this type of massage and often say that it helps make their lives easier regarding dealing with the various difficulties of pregnancy.
The massage depends on what trimester she’s in.
In the First Trimester:
It is wise not to do any deep low back work, abdominal work, deep sacral work, or use any reflexology on the hands or feet. Otherwise, the massage is similar to a Swedish Massage. Women usually find it okay to lie on their stomachs in this trimester.
In the Second Trimester:
Light massage on the feet is okay, but again, no reflexology. Working on the low back with light, soothing strokes helps decrease low back pain while using those same types of strokes on the legs helps reduce any swelling.
In the Third Trimester:
Work is mainly done on the back, legs, and arms because by now, the expectant mother is experiencing a lot of stress on her body, especially her low-back. Lying on her side will be the most comfortable. Reflexology and deep work on the lower back are avoided to keep the baby and mother safe.
How will Pregnancy Massage benefit me?
As we’re learning more about all the advantages of massages, doctors and health experts now believe that pregnant women can benefit from them the most.
If you’re a mother who’s experienced the gift of pregnancy before, you’re probably aware of how much pain and discomfort arises during those Nine months.
At first, you may only experience slight swelling or discomfort in your feet, but it can quickly lead to debilitating back pain and muscle tension. Thankfully, however, massages are an all-natural way to reduce many of the problems and discomfort that occur during pregnancy.
One of the most problematic symptoms that come along with pregnancy is back pain. The extra weight of a growing baby inside your womb places an additional burden on your back, causing it to pull and stretch throughout a nine-month pregnancy.
If the problem is severe enough, it can be quite painful, feeling like hundreds of needles stinging into your back.
Deep tissue Swedish massages can often be done to alleviate back pain during pregnancy.
Of course, the client receiving the massage will have to lay on her side instead of her stomach, but the masseuse should still be able to perform a deep tissue massage using the fingers and palms.
The trick is to exert as much force possible into the areas where the pain is coming from, trying to work out the tension.
Stress and Anxiety
Let’s face it, stress and anxiety are two conditions that go hand-in-hand with pregnancy.
From the moment you hear your doctor say “You’re pregnant,” you’re going to worry until the baby is born constantly. Even after giving birth, you’ll still be stressed and anxious about their health and well-being, as this is just a natural part of motherhood.
Massages are the perfect remedy for stress and anxiety relief for pregnant women.
Being able to lay down and have someone pamper you with a professional massage is enough to forget about your stresses at least for a short period.
So, how do you give a massage to relieve stress and anxiety on a pregnant client?
There’s no one specific way, as everyone reacts differently to certain types of massages. Typically, though, a deep tissue massage focusing on the neck, back and shoulders will directly reduce the client’s stress and anxiety.
Just be sure to closely watch the client to see how he or she reacts and make the adjustments as necessary.
- Massage helps relax you by soothing tension
- It brings oxygen and nutrition to the baby by increasing circulation to all the tissues
- Pregnancy Massage assists with the venous and lymphatic flow which helps decrease fatigue and stimulate your immune system and drains limbs of excess fluid
- Pregnancy Massage helps reduce neck and low back pain
- It alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints
- Massage improves muscle tone and releases muscle spasms and knots
If you’re still not sure if massage is right for you, it might be helpful to search online for what doctors and specialists recommend for expectant mothers.