In recent few years, pregnancy massage has gained a lot of popularity. In beginning, it was restricted to the women who preferred alternative therapies over regular treatment. But now the pregnancy massage has become an appropriate and useful mean of getting relieve from pregnancy discomforts. Recently, many scientific evidences appeared on the scene expressing the benefits of the pregnancy massage.
Who does pregnancy massage?
If you are willing to have a pregnancy massage, better go for a qualified therapist with specialization in ante-natal massaging field. If you have no clue where to find one, ask your obstetrician or midwife to recommend one to you. You can also search on internet to find a specialized therapist near your locality. Before signing a deal, it is better to verify whether the massage therapist is qualified and what sort of training she has got previously.
What does it involve?
A lot of forms used in pregnancy massage majority of which are derived from the Swedish massage techniques. These techniques are far beneficial in minimizing the muscle tension and enhance the blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
In order to heighten the sensory experience, many massage therapists opt for aromatherapy oils and burn incense. However, it is important to make a careful selection of oils as there are many that can trigger the uterine contractions. Some of the oils are oregano, peppermint, thyme, basil, sage and rosemary. You can ask your massage therapist to use non-scented or very low scented oils if you prefer.
During massage, it is required to expose your skin but how much you want to expose solely depends on you. Some women never hesitate to expose maximum of their skin for better massage, while others prefer to remain covered for most part. However, to make your massage really a profitable, you need to allow your therapist to have maximum access to your skin surface.
What makes pregnancy massage different?
Compared to general massage, ante-natal massage is very different and a lot of care should be taken while performing the massage as it can be risky if particular pressure points are stimulated. These pressure points are normally present in wrists and ankles and irresponsible massaging can excite the uterus to start contracting. Ante-natal massage therapist should be well aware of the level of sensitivity and gentleness involved.
There are couples who book a massage therapist to give massage to both of them. Sometimes, massage therapists teach some massage techniques to your partner so that he can massage you later in his own.
But I can’t even lie down!
Certainly, the equipment used in pregnancy massage is far different than the one used in standard massage. There is a cut-out in the pregnancy massage table essential to fit your belly in. after the first trimester, it is not recommended to lie on your back, so you have to lie on your stomach or side. In order to prevent muscular strain, your therapist has a range of pillows and foam-cuts to assist your belly during the massage.
Some therapists have modernized equipment and a mobile massage services. They usually possess portable massage tables which can be folded up to become size of suitcase. Pregnancy massage services are available at different rates depending on your locality. If you have some kind of health insurance, your expenses will be paid through insurance funds.
Benefits of Ante-Natal Massage:
- An effective massage can help reduce stress hormones within the body of pregnant woman and also help increase the level of hormones which are required in the body of pregnant woman but are low.
- Ante-natal massage help reduce the stress and anxiety in pregnant women. Majority of the women state that they saw an obvious change in their moods following the massage.
- The massage helps pregnant women to regain their energy and feel fresh as it offers a full range of relaxation and peace of mind.
- The massage in some pregnant women helps reduce the symptoms of nausea and heartburn, while in many others it deteriorates the condition further.
- The massage also helps to get relieve from aching neck, sore back, and heaviness in the pelvic bones, leg cramps, swelling of the ankles and feet and oedema (fluid retention).
- The pregnancy massage is extremely helpful in the treatment of sciatic nerve pain. It also provides muscle relaxation and cures joint pain.
- Many women find this massage helpful in developing the feeling of connectedness and rapport. However, many pregnant women find it working in a reverse manner where they become touch deprived.
- Massage will help making your muscles stronger and therefore improve development of labor. The relaxing effect helps mothers to prevent lots of risk factors during labor and birth.
- Pregnancy massage also helps women to calm their nerves and relax their minds. The massage encourages positive thinking in pregnant women.
- Relieving from discomfort and muscle tension will help you getting a good sleep.
When to Avoid Having a Pregnancy Massage
Don’t go for ante-natal massage, if you are told not to do so by your midwife or healthcare provider.
- If you are willing to have massage during first trimester, you might be told by your therapist that it is risky to have massage at this time which can cause miscarriage or other complications. Take these words seriously and don’t insist.
- If you are having complications, don’t go for it.
- Women with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, such as high blood pressure, should avoid pregnancy massage.
- Women experiencing pre-eclampsia or sudden swelling with retention of fluid or severe headaches should avoid pregnancy massage.
- Sometimes, pregnancy massage makes you feel sick, lightheaded, headache or any other problem, just simply dropped the idea of having it. Not all the pregnant women enjoy pregnancy massage all the time. So give yourself break and see what actually relaxes you.
- If you find your massage therapist too vigorous, don’t hesitate to tell them being gentle. A good therapeutic relationship is extremely necessary to get maximum benefit from your massage. However, if you are not satisfied with your therapist, you can look for another in your area.
What about when I’m in labor?
During labor, massage can be really handy in relieving back pain and stabilize muscle tension. It is a good opportunity for your partner to show how he is contributing his share in the preparation of your newborn. However, some women don’t like to have a massage particularly when they are in labor as they find it distracting and disturbing.
Often massage therapists or doulas prefer aromatherapy oils along with massage which help in the development of labor.