The Benefits of Pregnancy Massages
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:
Tranquil relaxation and reduce stress.
Relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.
Increase in blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling.
Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
Improves outcome of labor and eases labor pain.
Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues.
Provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional strains of mothering.
Massage during pregnancy differs from a regular massage in a couple of ways. The biggest way it differs is that the person receiving the massage is pregnant, and therefore knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy of a pregnant woman are very important. This means that positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby she is carrying. There are also parts of the body that should not be massaged.
The room setting for a pregnancy massage is much like a typical massage, the room will have low lightening, you will lie on a warm extra padded table. Soft music will be in the background to help you relax and drift off. Some therapists will provide music with a baby’s heartbeat in the background, some use candles to also set the mood and of course they smell good too. Be sure to tell your therapist if any of these disturb your senses. Sometimes there might be music or smells that don’t quite agree with you and they are easily changed.
A questions I am often asked about massage is about the level of clothing one will wear. That is really between you and your therapist. Many moms choose to remove all of their clothing, though they are never uncovered, as they are always covered by the sheets. Some choose to wear their underwear or their bra and underwear. Whatever you choose to wear or remove is completely up to you and your comfort level.
Massage is beneficial for almost everyone. Even women carrying multiples babies can benefit greatly from massage. There may be certain conditions that may or may not be related to the pregnancy that would preclude massage or certain types of massage. This may include women at risk for preterm labor, women with blood clots or clotting disorders, and other ailments. Many therapists recommend that you have a written notice from your doctor or midwife before receiving massage therapy during pregnancy. Massage done during the first trimester is generally up to the therapist, the woman and her practitioner. Massage has never been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.
Massage can also be useful for labor. Techniques can be done by your partner or a doula. “The time to learn the techniques is while your pregnant before you go into labor. It is a great idea to take your partner or friend with you when you get your massage, any professional therapist will encourage this, they can show your partner many comfort measures he or she can use at home and will also explain why some techniques are unsafe. These hints will really help out when your in labor!”
This article originally appeared on Mending Hands Massage.