What to Know About Pregnancy Massage
For women who are pregnant and who are seeking relief from the common discomforts of pregnancy, a prenatal massage can be a great benefit to both the body and the spirit!
Studies have shown that regular massages during pregnancy can promote relaxation, relieve insomnia, soothe the joints, and relieve leg pain. Sciatica, a painful condition of the long nerve passing down the back of the thigh, is also very common during the last months of pregnancy. Registered massage therapists are trained to work in this area to relieve these pain symptoms. You may also enjoy relief from headaches and other issues which can sometimes accompany pregnancy by scheduling regular massage appointments.
You may wonder if massage is safe throughout the months of pregnancy. During the first trimester, you may find some massage therapists question the appropriateness of massage. Why? If a client has any complications associated with their pregnancy, such as diabetes or all day ‘morning sickness’, therapists will generally shy away from treatment. Of course, if high blood pressure, preeclampsia or any pain or bleeding exists, a massage should not be given. It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor for their advice prior to getting a massage.
Most women agree the second trimester can be a wonderful stage in a pregnancy. The baby’s movements are felt and morning sickness usually subsides. During this time, a prenatal massage feels extremely soothing. The power of soothing gentle strokes makes the massage a pleasant and healing experience. During the second trimester, your therapist may suggest that you lie on your side to ensure that the weight of the baby does not reduce circulation to the placenta. It is safer, and certainly more comfortable, to lie on your side surrounded with pillows to make this a far more enjoyable session.
In the final trimester, you may begin to experience swelling, and perhaps Braxton-Hicks contractions. Sleepless nights are common, as stress, anticipation and physical and mental fatigue may interfere with a restful night. It is imperative that you discuss any medical conditions at this time with your massage therapist, particularly if you have experienced any severe swelling, high blood pressure, sudden headaches, or if the pregnancy is considered high risk. Trained, certified prenatal massage therapists avoid any intentional pressure on specific pressure points. Of course, if there are any sensitive areas that should be avoided, that should always be mentioned as well.
Incorporating prenatal massage into a pregnancy offers overall emotional and physical health benefits that can allow a woman an overwhelming connection with her body and baby, while providing an amazing sense of well-being and an overall positive experience.