What is a Prenatal Massage? Benefits, Safety and Risks
If you’ve ever enjoyed a professional massage, you’d know that the feeling of the mind and body finding ultimate relaxation afterwards is unparalleled. Why do you think it would be any different in a prenatal massage? The concept is the same. Also, there are multiple prenatal massage benefits but it is important, for pregnant women, to be conscious of the safety and risk aspects.
If you’ve not had a prenatal massage before, here’s all you need to know about it.
Prenatal Massage- Is it safe for pregnant women?
The experts on the topic say that a prenatal massage is safe for women as long as they have:
- Passed their first trimester,
- Sought their doctor’s approval and
- Informed the massage therapist well enough about their pregnancy complications (if any)
As a rule, when a pregnant woman hires a massage therapist for a prenatal massage, she will note the therapist staying clear off certain pressure points. The reason behind this is to avoid those areas that may trigger contractions, such as the area between the heel and anklebone. While there is no conclusive evidence however that massage may activate labor, yet massage therapists generally stay away from sensitive areas as a rule of safety.
If pregnant women wish to get a prenatal massage, the safest approach for them is to consult their GP or midwife before proceeding with the treatment. This way, they’d have the medical expert’s approval on how safe or risky the process will be, concerning their health status.
This will ensure a woman is in safe hands and her pregnancy is at no risk with the treatment.
Prenatal Massage Benefits
One cannot doubt the relaxing powers of a good massage and even research supports this fact. A prenatal massage is the same because it can alleviate the stress hormones of a pregnant woman and help them loosen and relax their muscles.
A good prenatal massage will also improve the blood flow, which is extra beneficial for pregnant women. The massage enables their lymphatic system to perform at optimal efficiency and helps the body and mind to reconnect positively.
Many women don’t realize how vital this connection is, especially in moments of doubt or skepticism of whether there is a baby in there, whether it is breathing and developing well etc. Such doubts can constantly plague and fill pregnant women with fear but this restorative connection helps them stay calm and confident.
Here are some of the best prenatal massage benefits:
- Relieves sinus congestion and headaches
- Soothes carpel tunnel pain
- Helps soothe swelling in the feet and hands (only if it is not a result preeclampsia)
- Relieves sciatica
- Soothes leg cramping
- Helps with back and neck pain
- alleviate joint pain
- Relieves insomnia
- Better sleep
Where can you get a Prenatal Massage?
There are several options on where to have a prenatal massage. One option could be hiring a massage therapist to come to your home or booking an appointment at one of the massage facilities in your vicinity. All you need to do is ensure you check the qualifications, training and experience of the practitioner you’re choosing, just to ensure safety.
How is a Pregnancy Massage Done?
Before your massage begins, the professional will ask you several questions concerning your pregnancy and what type of massage you’d like. Generally, a pregnancy massage or a prenatal massage lasts for around an hour.
Therapists usually make the expectant mothers lie on a side for maximum comfort. Many massage spas also give the pregnant woman the freedom to decide how much clothing they want to wear while the massage is in progress.
Here are the common types of massage to choose from:
- Shiatsu massage- this one follows a Japanese technique that involves comfortable pressure application for relaxing her body and relieving stress.
- Deep-tissue massage- this one involves firmer techniques that press deep into the muscles for relaxation.
- Swedish massage- this one is the popular favorite and involves techniques of using longer strokes over a pregnant woman’s tight muscles.
A prenatal massage helps pregnant women find relief for their built-up stress and tightly coiled-up muscles. Partly, the weight of carrying a child and the fear of the unknown causes pregnant women to feel anxious.
A prenatal massage can be a fine way of finding comfort, relaxation and soothing the mind and body.
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