So many pregnant women I speak with spend a lot of their pregnancies missing their usual activities: enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, eating sushi, engaging in extremely high-impact sports. For many, getting a prenatal massage is one of the few indulgences from their pre-pregnancy days that they can still enjoy. But, as with many things, there are certain considerations to take into account when planning your maternity massage.
For those that enjoy massage it is impossible to deny just how beneficial prenatal massage can be, especially when your body is under a lot of stress as can be the case while pregnant. Simply put, when done in the right way by the right professional, getting a massage during pregnancy can be just the remedy to relieve many prenatal symptoms and simply provide the relaxing pampering that any mom or mom-to-be really needs (I know I did!).
In terms of relieving physical symptoms, maternity massages are said to release back pain, joint pain, improve circulation issues, relieve headaches and tension, improve insomnia and, of course, reduce stress and anxiety.
In order to ensure that you get the most out of your prenatal massage experience (and that it is done safely), there are a number of things to consider when looking into getting a professional massage during pregnancy. Firstly, it is essential that you ensure the massage therapist is certified in prenatal massage. This will ensure that the therapist knows how to perform a prenatal massage safely and comfortably.
Secondly, position is important. When considering the safest position to lie in, choose to be on your side rather than flat on your stomach, with your belly placed into the hole in the table sometimes provided by prenatal massage therapists. Although these tables are designed to increase comfort for pregnant women, the weight of a dangling belly can still cause pressure on the abdomen and uncomfortable stretching in the skin and ligaments.
Finally, you must speak with your doctor prior to scheduling a prenatal massage if any of the following apply to you:
*You have a high risk pregnancy
*You’ve experienced preterm contractions
*You’ve had Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
*You’ve been diagnosed with preeclampsia
*You have severe swelling
*You’ve experienced high blood pressure
*You recently gave birth
In addition to prenatal massage. some women also find some form of massage therapy beneficial during labor. So it may be worth teaching your partner a few moves to help out when the time comes! But, be warned, you may also not want any one to touch you (oh yes, that was me!).