Whether it is to improve our overall health or to address a particular health issue, a soothing massage is always welcomed. Massages can reduce stress, improve circulation and mobility, relieve muscle tension and ease sore spots.
The prenatal massage is designed to meet the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies. It gives consideration to their comfort level and stage of pregnancy. Registered massage therapists who are trained to give a prenatal massage will adjust their techniques to suit these special clients.
Benefits of a prenatal massage
The prenatal massage offers the same benefits as a regular massage, but some of these are more applicable to the mother-to-be. For instance, the prenatal massage boosts your immune system, increases blood flow and helps the body to flush out toxins. Good news at a time when you need to keep infections at bay and ensure that an adequate and healthy supply of blood gets to the fetus.
Other benefits include relief of neck pain, low back pain, and joint pain, and reduced swelling of the hands and feet. It helps curb common pregnancy problems, including headaches, insomnia, and sinus congestion. Additionally, women who suffer from depression during pregnancy may find that the prenatal massage helps to lift their spirits, without the need for medication.
Position during the prenatal massage
Tender, swollen breasts and having to lie on a burgeoning belly make the traditional massage table and face down position to be uncomfortable for most pregnant women. Some massage therapists use a special table with hollowed sections to accommodate the belly and breasts allowing the pregnant client to lie face down. Others position you on your side (a much more comfortable option) and use pillows, wedges, or a full-length body pillow to give support where needed.
Lying on your back for extended periods, especially after you have passed mid-pregnancy, may not be advised. This is because too much pressure may be placed on the blood vessel that returns blood from the legs to the heart.
Things to consider before getting a prenatal massage
Many doctors advise their patients against getting a massage during the first trimester of pregnancy. And many massage therapists simply refuse to do it. The reason being, there is a higher risk of a miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy. Aside from this, there are other reasons to shun the prenatal massage at other points in a pregnancy. These include placental abruption, preeclampsia (characterized by high blood pressure) and preterm labor. Other raising red flags would be whether you have diabetes; have abdominal pain or bleeding; a fever; or a contagious virus.