Pregnancy Massage is increasingly gaining popularity as pregnant women begin recognizing the benefits prenatal massage has to offer women during pregnancy. Back pain is one of the more common side effects of pregnancy. Back pain can continue throughout pregnancy and even after. If you have to carry around other small children you may find your symptoms exacerbated during pregnancy.
Fortunately massage can help relieve back pain associated with muscular tension. Here are just a few of the other benefits prenatal massage has to offer:
- Prenatal massage helps relieve oedema or swelling by stimulating circulation throughout the body.
- Relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.
- Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
- Massage is very beneficial for relaxing anxiety and reducing stress during pregnancy.
- Massage can help promote more restful sleep and help prevent pregnancy related insomnia.
- Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues.
- Pregnancy massage may relax your baby, particularly if you have your abdomen gently stroked.
- Improves outcome of labour and eases labour pain.
- Provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional demands of mothering.
Pregnancy massage differs from a regular massage in a number of ways. There are certain parts of the body that contain acupressure points that may trigger uterine contractions, so the pressure and focus on these needs to be reduced. Also the positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Therefore you will be positioned on your side for the massage or in a semi-reclined position. Also never use the tables with the hole cut out for your belly as these cause undo stress to your lower back, it may seem like a great idea, but it isn’t. Toward the end of your pregnancy you might consider a prenatal massage to relax you during labour.
When to avoid Massage
As well as the general Massage Contraindications, Massage for a Pregnant Woman is not appropriate in these additional circumstances:
First Trimester of pregnancy
- Abdominal Pain
- Contagious Illness
- Heavy Vaginal Discharge
- High Blood Pressure
- Malignant Conditions
- Unusual Pain
Please obtain the consent of your GP/ Healthcare Provider in the following circumstances to ensure that it is safe for you to receive Massage:
- Abnormal foetal movement or heartbeat
- Cardiac, pulmonary or liver disorders
- Chronic Hypertension
- Convulsive Disorders
- History of Problem Pregnancies
- If you are under the age of 18 or over 35
- Multiple Pregnancy
- Pre-pregnancy diabetes mellitus
- RH negative factor or maternal genetic problems
- Risk of foetal disorders
- Have a risk of or family history of pre-eclampsia.