Pregnancy Massage: pre and post natal
Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling).
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension — which aids in better sleep — and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
Use pillows to make sure you are comfortable.
Sideline positioning with supportive, soft cushions is used to alleviate the extra strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the pressure of massage techniques are applied. Extra strain in these areas can cause unnecessary back or abdominal pain, so naturally we want to avoid any potential discomfort.
Through the second trimester, you may prefer to lie on your back with a small, cushioned wedge placed under one hip to provide a slight elevation. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, your therapist may utilize such massage techniques as reflexology, Swedish massage or certain techniques that address your specific requests and needs.
What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy?
Research on the therapeutic benefits of massage for pregnant women is limited, but small studies suggest that prenatal massage may:
Improve mood and lower stress levels
Reduce prenatal depression and anxiety
Lower the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight in infants of women with prenatal depression
Reduce swelling in the legs (after foot massage)
Getting a pregnancy massage can also put you in a more relaxed state of mind to help you cope with all the big changes that are going on in your life.
If you decide to get a massage, it’s important to tell your massage therapist which areas of your body need attention. Let her know right away if anything – including your position – causes discomfort during the massage.