What is prenatal massage?
The act of massaging a pregnant woman has been practiced for thousands of years, to support mothers physically, mentally and spiritually through the journey of childbirth. These massages can help to relieve you of any aches and pains, stress or swelling you might experience.
Why should you request a prenatal massage when pregnant?
When you’re pregnant, getting a normal massage is not advisable as your body is changing and growing in unique ways – but you don’t need us to tell you that. It’s important to request a prenatal massage as they take into consideration your growing baby and the effects it’s having on your body. A masseuse offering pregnancy massage will be specifically trained for this type of treatment and will use long, slow strokes and kneading movements in tense areas, with special attention paid to the lower back, hips, and legs.
What are the benefits?
Brace yourself, the list is long! Pregnancy massage can alleviate stress from joints that have been working extra hard to support your additional weight, as well as improve your circulation to help your circulatory system deliver nutrients more easily to the rest of your body and your baby. Prenatal massage is also great for helping to relieve lower back pain, painful varicose veins, constipation, and heartburn. It can also help stabilize your hormone levels and soothe your nervous system, preparing you for an easier delivery as well as providing you with emotional support and a nurturing touch.
Are there any risks?
If you are having what is considered a normal pregnancy, there are not any inherent risks to prenatal massage. It’s sometimes advised that you avoid massage in your first trimester, as some massage experts worry about the increased risk of miscarriage at this time. However, there isn’t any research that has shown a connection between massage and miscarriage. That said, many massage therapists will not offer massage if you are in your first trimester, so do keep that in mind when booking. Once you’re into your second trimester you can feel free to indulge in a pregnancy massage, as long as you don’t have what is considered a high-risk pregnancy (this generally includes carrying multiples, having pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, or other pre-existing health conditions).
Will it hurt?
There should be no pain during a pregnancy massage, and if you start to feel dizzy, light-headed or any discomfort while you’re having your treatment be sure to communicate to your therapist immediately so they can stop treatment.
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