Your back hurts, your feet hurt, your everything hurts when you’re pregnant. It can be tiring to stand up, to sit down, and even to lie down. Most pregnant women are willing to try just about anything to get some relief. One option to help with the aches and pains of pregnancy is a prenatal massage.
The goal of pregnancy massage is to promote relaxation and bring relief to sore areas. However, it’s a unique kind of massage, and our therapists are trained to use special techniques. They also learn what areas to avoid.
The Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
Going through the various stages of pregnancy can be stressful on your body. Add the stresses of everyday life, and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed from time to time. Visiting us for a great massage can help release this stress and get you feeling in optimal health again. This can also help improve the quality of your sleep.
Less Lower Back Pain
The increased weight in your abdominal region as your pregnancy progresses can lead to lower back pain for some women. Massage therapy can help relieve current discomfort, as well as help you to avoid long term difficulties which could result in muscles being stressed over time.
Massage therapy can help to relax the muscles supporting the lower back region, making sure these muscles stay loose and ready to support the added weight.
Improved Sense of Wellbeing
Taking time out for a relaxing therapeutic massage gives you a chance to take stock of yourself and notice any parts of your body that feel unduly stressed or uncomfortable. Focusing just on yourself allows you to relax your mind and body and focus on what you need to have the healthiest possible pregnancy.
Getting a Prenatal Massage
During the treatment, you may be asked to lie on your side since lying facedown in the traditional position may be extremely uncomfortable. In some cases, you may lie on your back at a slight elevation with a cushion under your hips. This position is acceptable in the early months, but it’s not ideal once you’re in your third trimester.
Massage techniques used for prenatal massage include Swedish massage or reflexology along with other types that address particular issues, such as a foot massage. Please tell your therapist about any pain or concerns you would like addressed during your session. They can focus on those areas to provide temporary relief.
Regular massage can help you have a more comfortable pregnancy, both physically and emotionally. Schedule one and see how much better you feel.
The Safety of Prenatal Massage
Many pregnant women would love to have a relaxing massage but may question if massage therapy is safe during pregnancy. The good news is that research has shown that prenatal massage is indeed safe in most situations. Even better, it can actually be a helpful part of a woman’s prenatal care. Of course, it is always important to inform your primary health provider of any supplemental treatment you are considering during pregnancy. Our registered massage therapists that specialize in pregnancy will also need to know your medical updates as the pregnancy progresses.
Precautions for each trimester of the pregnancy
The First Trimester
During the first trimester, you may find some massage therapists question the appropriateness of massage. Why? If you have 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 before getting a massage.
The Second Trimester
Most women agree the second trimester can be a wonderful stage in pregnancy. The baby’s movements are felt, and morning sickness usually subsides. During this time, a prenatal massage feels exceptionally 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 specialized body cushions to make this a far more enjoyable session.
The Third Trimester
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. Discuss any medical conditions with your massage therapist, especially if you have experienced 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 any sensitive areas should be avoided, that should always be mentioned as well.
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!