Pregnancy Information Massage Therapy

During pregnancy, women often welcome the thought of a massage. The symptoms and pains associated with pregnancy tend to be quite uncomfortable. Besides, most people love the idea of a massage! Pregnancy massage, also referred to as prenatal massage, is a good way to relax tense muscles and a tense mind. Massage also helps to lower stress levels, which if high, can be dangerous to the fetus.

Before You Get a Massage

Before having a pregnancy massage, it’s always advisable to contact your physician. The decision on whether to get a massage will be based on your trimester and overall health. Your physician also might be able to refer you to a massage therapist.

It is highly recommended you seek a massage therapist who is certified in prenatal massage. Having expertise in this area will ensure safety and comfort for you and your baby.

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Relaxation is the best thing for a mother-to-be, and a full body massage can certainly get you in that wonderful mindset.

Aside from relaxation, a prenatal massage can also:

  • aid in hormone stabilization
  • alleviate migraines
  • alleviate neck and back pain
  • decrease swelling in hands and feet
  • minimize cramping
  • improve restful sleep
  • reduce anxiety and depression
  • relax childbirth muscles.

When to Get a Prenatal Massage

A woman in her first trimester of pregnancy is advised not to get a massage. Even though a massage therapist may be certified in pregnancy massage, it is still not recommended.

In your second trimester, and if your physician approves, you may have a massage one time per week.

Going into your third trimester, you can increase massages to two or more times per week. Again, follow your physician’s recommendations.

Precautions for Prenatal Massages

Having a massage during pregnancy may not be advisable for all women. Depending on the situation, a doctor may advise his patient against prenatal massage.

Some other things to remember are:

  • After week 20, do not lie on your back for a massage.
  • Avoid massage over raised varicose veins.
  • Be sure you are comfortable during the massage with proper padding and pillows.
  • Check with your health care provider to see if your massages are covered.
  • Do not receive a deep tissue massage.
  • Report any pain or discomfort to your massage therapist.
  • Your therapist must avoid the pressure points between the heel and the anklebone; reflexologists believe these pressure points could induce early labor.

Massage length may last anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. Even a short massage will produce health benefits. However, avoid massages lasting longer than one hour.

After The Baby Is Born

Postpartum massage is a wonderful way to get your body back in balance after the birth of your child. This speciality massage will help your body restore itself in the following areas:

  • abdominal wall restoration
  • toning of stretched skinned areas
  • relief of muscle tension
  • relief of anxiety and stress
  • uterus restoration.

Not only can postpartum massages help restore your body after pregnancy, they are also known to help lead women to a relaxing and happy journey as a mother.

Resources

Exon, A. Benefits of receiving massages during pregnancy. Retrieved April 7, 2008, from the Ezine Articles Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?Benefits-of-Receiving- Massages-during-Pregnancy