During pregnancy women often forget to take the time to nurture, relax and have some me time. Prenatal massage, just like a normal massage, helps to make you feel amazing and is very beneficial and good for you.
Prenatal massage is very similar to a regular massage in the sense it helps you relax, releases tension of sore muscles, improves circulation and mobility. The difference is that prenatal is specifically tailored to pregnant women and the changes to their bodies. Therapists are fully trained in how to adjust their techniques to suit the different stages of pregnancy. With women carrying the extra weight in their belly it helps a lot to relieve their strained back and leg muscles.
Benefits of pre-natal massage
- Helps regulate relaxation and stress hormone levels which help to keep you relaxed and feeling good.
- Helps to ease back, neck & shoulder pains that could be caused by changes in the body due to the increased weight.
- Helps to reduce swelling of the hands and feet and increases circulation
- Reduces pain in the pelvic area
- Enhances the elasticity and health of your skin
- Reduces fatigue and helps have a better sleep
- Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery
- It’s a natural and safe choice for pain relief and considering taking medications during pregnancy are limited it’s a great drug-free alternative.
- Promotes relaxation of the nervous system as it releases endorphins into a mother’s body.
Equipment used during a prenatal massage is a little different to standard equipment. A lot of pregnant women may wonder how they are able to get a massage as positioning becomes very limited. Prenatal massage is often performed with the expecting mother on her side, propped up with pillows or using specially designed maternity cushioning, which allows the expecting mother to lie on her stomach or in a semi-reclining position propped up by pillows. Body positioning during prenatal massage is important to ensure you maximise how effective the massage is.
Women should speak with their health care provider before receiving a massage if they have any of the following conditions:
- Previous pre-term labour
- Severe swelling or high blood pressure
- Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
- High risk pregnancy
- Recently gave birth
Expecting mothers can get a massage during their first, second or third trimester although many therapists will not recommend getting a massage within the first trimester because of the risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Seeing a qualified therapist will ensure you get the best and safest treatment for you and your baby during pregnancy.
Special thanks to Kylie Butlin of Balanced Bodies for the article.