The pregnancy journey begins with a lot of excitement and joy. Having done all the research, you are confident you are fully prepared to enter this new phase of life. And that’s when the discomfort starts settling in- the body aches, sore feet, swelling and fatigue, to name a few.
Don’t worry, moms-to-be, we have it all covered. Time to rejoice! A massage therapy during maternity might just be the right thing to kick those aches and pains to the curb, so you spend less time worrying about your aching back and more on deciding what colour to paint your baby’s room!
Whilst massage is commonly considered a luxury to indulge in, most fail to recognize that one of the most crucial times for massage is during pregnancy.
So, curious to know what this special massage is all about?
What is a prenatal massage?
A perineal massage offers a blissful experience giving mom-to-be the much-needed relaxation and calm. It is designed to focus the dramatic changes a pregnant woman’s body undergoes and meet their special needs.
A pregnancy massage differs from a regular massage in the technique used and the body position, as certain risks are involved if particular pressure points are stimulated. It typically lasts an hour. In order to maximize the effectiveness of massage, the body needs to be positioned right. While some massage therapists use a maternity massage table, current research propagates the use of standard massage tables. “Cut out” can leave the abdomen dangling unsupported and stretch the uterine ligaments. Thus, many massage professionals highly recommend a side-lying position for pregnant women during massage, as it is the most comfortable position. This helps especially during the later stages of pregnancy.
What is the most favoured massage technique for pregnant women?
Swedish massage is the widely used technique as it addresses the common discomforts during pregnancy. It includes the use of forearms, hands and elbows to soothe relieve muscular pain and relax your nerves. Gentle and long strokes are used for leg massage and back massage. A gentle shoulder rub is also done. It helps increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage. It enhances physical and mental activity. Light belly massage can be done if your gynaecologist approves, please consult! Foot massage is strictly forbidden as pressure under the soles of your feet can induce early labour. Pregnancy massage is only recommended for the third trimester.
Let’s walk you through the various advantages of getting a specialized massage during gestation to handle the complexities of childbearing.
What are the benefits of getting a specialized massage done during your pregnancy?
It does not only benefit the mother but ensures good health of the baby too.
- Reduced Anxiety
- Hormone regulation
- Decreased symptoms of depression
- Improved sleep
- Reduced sciatic pain
- Reduced muscular discomfort, such as in the calves, lower back and neck
- Endorphin release into the brain and nervous system, helping with pain management
- Improved flexibility by releasing your tight muscles
- Improved circulation and reduction of toxins in the lymphatic & circulatory systems
- Reduced swelling of hands, feet and ankles
- Improved labour outcomes
- Better new-born health
- Prevent perineal trauma or tearing during delivery, and pain and discomfort for the months and years following the birth of your baby.
Please note, massage is to be strictly avoided in the first trimester. Also, refrain from getting a massage done if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Nausea, vomiting and morning sickness
- You have a high-risk pregnancy such as placental abruption (where the placenta slightly detaches from the wall of the uterus) or preterm labor
- Risk of miscarriage is high
- Suffering from fever
- Heart problem/breathing issues
- Prone to blood clots
- Cramping or bleeding
Keep yourself active! Soldier on- You got this!
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