What is prenatal massage?
Swedish massage is the usual method of prenatal massage. It is a mild application of pressure to your body’s muscle groups to relax muscle tension. Swedish massage also improves lymphatic and blood circulation.
What are the benefits of prenatal massage?
- Hormone levels: Regular massage therapy during your pregnancy may help to regulate hormone levels, which can mean less stress and promote better cardiovascular health.
- Reduce swelling: Prenatal massage provides the stimulation to the soft tissues that can reduce the fluids collected in swollen joints.
- Less nerve pain: Prenatal massage can help to lessen sciatic nerve pain by easing the tension in the upper and lower leg.
- Improved circulation: Prenatal massage improves blood flow by its application of mild pressure to your body.
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches as well as reduced stress and anxiety.
- May help promote better sleep patterns.
Are there any precautions I should take?
- Always check with your OB/GYN before you begin a prenatal massage regimen.
- Use a certified prenatal massage therapist.
- If you have had any pre-term contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions, let your prenatal massage therapist know so that pressure points can be avoided in that area.
- The following conditions might mean you are not a good massage candidate but check with your OB/GYN: high-risk pregnancy, pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, previous pre-term labor, severe swelling or high blood pressure.
- While prenatal massage therapy can be done at any stage of pregnancy, some prenatal massage therapists prefer to wait until the second trimester.
Why should I use a certified prenatal massage therapist?
A certified prenatal massage therapist has received training just for working with women during pregnancy. They understand specific pregnancy needs and have detailed experience. This includes:
- Having you lie on your side – a table with an opening for your abdomen can cause discomfort.
- Certified prenatal massage therapists are also aware of which pressure points to avoid that might stimulate pelvic muscles.
What about massage during delivery?
Massage during delivery could help you to relax during contractions as well as help alleviate the pain of back labor.
What about massage therapy after my baby’s birth?
Continuing with massage therapy could be a good way to help ease the fatigue association with new motherhood. It could help ease the muscle strain from giving birth and it can reduce tension.