The 9 months of pregnancy can really take a toll on a woman’s body. If you have ever been pregnant or been around a pregnant woman, then you do understand how stressful that period can be and the amount of body changes that these dear ones go through. Prenatal massage can however help greatly to ease the pressure and deal with cases of aches and pains commonly associated with pregnancy period.
This kind of massage is however offered differently from your regular massage and therapists are trained to know how best and safely to administer it without complicating the pregnancy. There are several places where prenatal massage is offered safely. When looking for prenatal massage, always ensure that the therapist is certified and experienced for this kind of work.
Understanding prenatal massage
It’s easy to understand prenatal massage if you do have some knowledge of regular massage. The aim of the two is the same and that’s to ease sore spots, relax tense muscles, enhance mobility and circulation and generally make you feel better. However, the two massage techniques differ in that prenatal massage is more customized to cater for the needs of the pregnant woman with the body changes in mind. Therapists offering prenatal massage are specifically trained to understand the anatomy of pregnant women’s bodies and thus adjust the administration of their services accordingly.
There are many changes that take place in the body of a pregnant woman and this puts too much pressure on the shoulders, back, abdominal muscles, legs and neck as well. This can be discomforting especially when coupled by emotional changes resulting from hormonal imbalance. An experience prenatal therapist clearly understands the parts to target, those to avoid and the kind of pressure to apply in order to ease the tension without causing any trouble. He or she will also know which techniques are ideal to achieve the best results.
Benefits of prenatal massage
Massage has multiple therapeutic benefits especially on pregnant women. There are many benefits but below are the major ones based on studies: –
- Reduction of prenatal anxiety and depression
- Lower stress and improve mood levels
- Reduce swelling of the feet
- Reduce the possibility of preterm birth
- Enhance circulation and balance in the body and mind.
During the prenatal massage, it is always important to communicate with the therapist so he or she will know where to concentrate on based on how you are feeling at any given moment. Your comfort is also very important and can be guaranteed more if you’re able to communicate.
Finding the right therapist for prenatal massage
As aforementioned, regular massage is different from pregnancy massage and therefore the therapist offering the services must be experienced and certified. Spas such as Nouri Face & Body Concepts will always have certified therapists and testimonials to show for their work. You can depend on recommendations from family, friends, hospitals or even midwives. However, never shy away to ask for evidence of the therapists’ certification.
The best massage position
During the prenatal massage, lying face down is never an option. Not only is it uncomfortable but also could complicate the pregnancy due to the pressure from the body weight. A good therapist should provide you with multiple comfortable pillows for comfort and support. The best position is when you’re lying on your side and on the left hand side. This however is largely dependent on the time of your pregnancy and how you feel. A semi-reclined position is also good during the last stages of the pregnancy but this can always be discussed with your therapist to ensure you’re comfortable always.
During the massage, the pressure applied should be very gentle and certain body parts should be avoided including the inner parts of the woman’s legs. The belly shouldn’t be massaged also to avoid premature contractions which could lead to preterm birth. It is also important to note that some massage oils used in the regular massage shouldn’t be used during pregnancy massage. This is necessary to remember especially if you decide to have a friend massage you at home. However, it is always safe and effective to be massaged by an experienced therapist.
Is prenatal massage always safe?
Carried out professionally, prenatal massage will always be safe. However, studies have shown that this kind of massage should be avoided if the woman has a skin condition or injury that’s likely to worsen when rubbed. These conditions include open wounds, burns, and eczema or skin infections.
Some women might also be allergic to the massage oils and in such cases, pregnancy massage should be avoided. In case you’re not sure whether pregnancy massage is for you, always discuss with your healthcare giver and have clearance for the same.