Pregnancy is one of the most important yet stressful times of a woman’s life. No matter if it is your first experience or not, the stress levels an expectant mother endures is beyond comparison. It is important that you take good care during this period and along with regular medication, massages can come to great help. A good, long massage works as a perfect stress-relief aid for a would-be mother.
So, if you are pregnant and want to have a less stressful experience while taking care of your baby’s health, try getting pregnancy massage from a certified massage therapist. Read on to know more about pregnancy massages.
Pregnancy massage or prenatal massage is a massage given to a would-be mother for relaxation and release muscle tension, improve blood flow and reduce soreness. The body parts involved in this massage is from your head to foot. However, there are some precautions to take, which we will discuss later.
Pregnancy massages are specifically catered to relax your main areas of soreness and you can also have a customized plan based on your needs and pregnancy conditions. Make sure you get the massage from a certified trainer who is a professional of pregnancy massages. It is because there are certain differences in the technique of prenatal massage and regular massage. There are specific areas of the body to focus. You can’t put excess pressure on the weaken ligaments that may get unstable. Receiving the prenatal massage from a trainer ensures that it targets the right spots of the boy and avoid specific areas.
Right time to get prenatal massage
Prenatal massage is a harmless process until done by a professional but there are some misconceptions about it doing the rounds. Some people believe that prenatal massage at the initial stage of pregnancy can be harmful. You will find some massage centers who do not provide pregnancy message for the first 3 months of the gestation period. However, research says other wise. You can have prenatal massage right from the start of your pregnancy till the last month. The regular schedule is one massage in every two weeks for first two trimester and one day a week for the rest of the period.
Pregnancy massage benefits
Prenatal massage has numerous benefits for an expectant mother, some of them being:
- Stress alleviation from the joints, which carries the extra weight.
- Stress reduction of the body muscles and associated ligaments and tendons.
- Reduction of usual discomfort during pregnancy such as foot pain, joint stiffness, back pain, leg cramps and headaches
- Alleviation of the risk of fatigue, heartburn, nasal congestion, hip joint pain and acid reflux in pregnant mothers
- Improved blood flow/circulation which boosts the immunity strength and removes toxins from the body
- Reduction of the chances of stress, anxiety and depression, restoring the proper hormonal balance
- Facilitation of release of endorphins in body, helping the mother to sleep well and feel relaxed
- Increased flexibility and muscle tone, which helps the mother manage the extra weight
- Balance of blood pressure to a normal range and reduction of the heart pressure.
- Improved skin health and its underlying tissues
- Increased blood flow to the placenta and uterus, helping the baby grow well
- Providing a sedating effect on your nervous system, facilitating easier delivery
Things to take care of before receiving prenatal massage
As prenatal massage shows direct effect on you and your baby’s health, it is important to carry out the process carefully. There are several things to keep in mind, based on the place you receive the massage.
Massaging at the clinic: If you are receiving prenatal massage from a certified massage therapist at his clinic, you need to relax and get comfortable in the surroundings. Have a chat with your practitioner about the techniques they will use for the massage and tell them about your pregnancy needs and conditions. They might ask you to remove all your clothes for a smooth massage.
Massaging at home: When getting a prenatal massage in your comfort zone at home, you also need to stay relaxed. Have a chat with your masseuse and tell about your sore areas and also the areas which you do not require much attention.
Right position to lie on the massage table for a pregnancy massage
It is very important to understand about the right position to be in while getting a prenatal massage. Even though your massage therapist will guide you in the process, you should also remember a few things. You should never lie straight (on your back) to receive the massage. It tends to compress your blood vessels on the back and eventually lowers the blood pressure. The most suitable position during a prenatal massage is to lie on your sides, even for an oil massage. Your massage center might have tables with holes to fir your growing breasts and belly, which allows you lie face down in comfort.
Areas to avoid during pregnancy massage
There are not any particular areas to avoid during a pregnancy massage, except the few spots on your palm and ankles. The reason is their causing contractions in your uterus. So, you should better seek the service from a certified prenatal massage expert.
Pregnancy massage precautions
Talk to your doctor about all the possibilities of your massage. Discuss if you have any medical conditions and ask if you can receive prenatal massage.
If your partner or a non-professional is about to give you the massage, ensure they know the right ways of giving a pregnancy massage, at least the basic steps. They should understand the difference between a regular massage and pregnancy massage. We have mentioned a few tips later in the blog to help you get a proper pregnancy massage at home. However, we would always recommend you to seek an expert for the job.
Do not use or let use the expert any allergic substances on your body during the massage.
Pregnancy massage at home
Getting a massage in the comfort of your home, makes the process more relaxing. There are few things you should take care of while receiving a pregnancy massage at home:
Buttocks: The person doing the job of giving you the massage should apply light pressure on the bone at the base of your spine using knuckles and fist. Avoid the tailbone area.
Back: Begin the back massage from the neck (nape area) and move down to the hips firmly. Do not put much pressure on the spine.
Neck: The stress in the neck area or neck muscles is relaxed with a shoulder massage using the thumbs. .
Legs: The strain in your legs can be reduced by stroking the legs in sideways or circular motion. Start from the foot and move upwards to the buttocks.
Neck: The neck muscles get stiff and sore, which can be eased with a gentle and relaxing shoulder massage using the thumbs.
Feet and hands: The problem with feet is fluid retention that results in swelling, ultimately leading to discomfort. A hands and feet massage will boost blood circulation, when done using the thumbs moving towards the center of your body.
Tips for your partner to give you a pregnancy massage
- It is very essential to set a relaxing atmosphere for your wide. So, dim the lights and put the scented candles on!
- Ask your wife to lie down in a comfortable position. Help her comfort with pillows supporting the back and sides.
If you are planning an aromatherapy oil massage, make sure it is safe to use during pregnancy and is well-diluted.
- Use gentle strokes on the would-be mother’s body, as hard stroking movements can lead to pressure In the abdomen area.
- Do ask your wife for a feedback to know the significant aspects. You should what made her comfortable and what are the areas you should next time.
Prenatal massage alternatives
You will not find many alternatives to a perfect pregnancy massage as it is the only process the carries out the process of relaxation in the best way for a pregnant woman. But, there are some regular massage-like practices that can help as alternatives, such as acupuncture and shiatsu technique. Foot reflexology and acupressure are also good alternatives that can have equivalent effects on a pregnant woman.
FAQs on pregnancy massage
Can I have pregnancy massages throughout the nine months of my pregnancy?
According to a few reports, there are some massage centers that do not perform pregnancy massages during the first trimester due to the fear of miscarriage. However, there is no scientific evidence to back the fact. You can get prenatal massages throughout your pregnancy, following a proper schedule. Make sure you hire a professional massage expert who is certified in giving pregnancy massage. Ideally, you should receive one massage session every two weeks for the first three semesters and one day each week after the third trimester.
Can you give yourself a massage during pregnancy?
An expectant mother might not have someone around them always and in times of distress and discomfort. In such cases, you can give yourself a massage to relax and release tension from your muscles. But, you need to remember some points related to self-massaging, like there are some areas of your body which is hard to reach during a self-massage. You can easily reach your hands and feet, but it becomes difficult to massage the neck and upper back area.
To have a satisfying belly massage, sit comfortably using a pillows supporting your back, keeping your body at an angle of 45-degree. Apply gentle upward strokes on the belly with oil or lotion. You can also give yourself a relaxing head massage with an essential oil. Rub some oil on your forehead and temple in circular motion, while tracing your fingers along the eyebrows and get back to the temple area. You can try this head massage before going to bed for a better sleep.
When should you avoid pregnancy massage?
- You should avoid getting a prenatal massage when you face problems of nausea, vomiting and morning sickness.
- If you are at a high risk of miscarriage, avoid receiving prenatal massages.
- Woman with high-risk pregnancy, like preterm labor or placental abruption should avoid massages.
- You can talk to your gynecologist for an alternate solution for the conditions of discomfort. They might prescribe you some medication to resolve the pregnancy issues.
What can I expect after a pregnancy massage?
After the massage, women have better sleep and a relaxed feeling. The reduction of muscle tension and soreness, improved blood flow through your body and reduced body ache enables you to have a good sleep and mood.
The pregnancy massage can do wonders for your stressed body and mind, making you feel comfortable with the physical changes throughout the pregnancy. However, like with every other thing, pregnancy massages also need the right technique. So, find a good, experienced and certified pregnancy massage therapist to ensure you get all type positive benefits of the process.
The Bottom Line
Pregnancy massages help expectant mother cope well with their changing body shape, irritable mind and fluctuating mood. It also helps in the growth of your unborn child. The baby growing inside you needs to be in good health and it all starts from your health. If the mother is happy and stress-free, it accelerates the growth of the child.
There are few things to keep in mind while looking for a pregnancy massage. Seek professional help from a certified and skilled massage therapist. If you are planning have an at-home massage session, make sure the masseuse is well aware about the right techniques of pregnancy massage. If you partner wants to give you a pregnancy massage, he must know the dos and don’ts of pregnancy massage. Creating a comfortable and soothing ambiance, avoiding pressure while stroking some particular body parts like back and belly.
We hope our brief guide to Pregnancy massage helps you choose the right massage therapist and have a comfortable pregnancy.