Pregnancy is one of the most important times of your life to get regular massages, as it has many benefits to both mother and baby.
10 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage:
1. It relaxes the mother and decreases stress and anxiety, which reduces stress and anxiety in the baby
2. Improves sleep and reduces fatigue
3. Provides emotional support and a nurturing touch
4. Improves mother body awareness and increases her ability to tune in to her body during pregnancy, birth and labour
5. Improves lymphatic circulation and reduces oedema in hands, legs and feet and relieves headaches and sinus congestion.
6. Improves blood flow to all areas leading to improved nutrition, efficient waste removal and reduced pressure of bulging veins
7. Alleviates stress of weight bearing joints
8. Reduces strain on muscles of the abdomen, neck, shoulders and lower back and assists in maintaining proper posture and reduces muscle spasms and cramps
9. Easier breastfeeding and better milk production due to reduction in tension and muscle tightness
10. Enhances post-natal recovery of muscle tissues, relieves fatigue and facilitates post-partum structural re-alignment of spine and pelvis.
And of course, it feels good.
The most well known position for pregancy massage is side-lying. Women can turn over during the massage to allow a more complete coverage, but if she doesn’t want to roll over it is best to lie on the left side for the duration of the massage. In the early stages of pregnancy it is possible to lie on your stomach with pillows supporting your breasts and hips amd cradling the stomach. Most women find this very comfortable and are usually quite excited to get to lie on their stomachs again. Another variation is the semi-reclining position with the right hip slightly elevated, or a seated massage.
Is it safe?
Yes, when performed by a qualified therapist, pregnancy massage is safe.
Some points to consider:
- There are some acupressure points such as ‘gallbladder 21’ and ‘spleen 6’ that pregnancy massage therapists know to avoid certain techniques on, however these areas can be worked on safely with other techniques.
- The abdomen can be massaged safely however some therapists avoid the belly in the first trimester. The belly is a very sacred spot in pregnant women, and some first time mums choose not to have their belly massaged, which is also completely ok.
- Wait at least 1 week after invasive testing procedures such as amniocentesis before getting a massage.
Massage is also very helpful during labour. Some women might not want to be touched when they’re giving birth, but if you do then get your partner, doula or birth partner to massage your arms, neck and back during labour which can help to reduce pain and provide some comfort.
I recommend monthly massages during pregnancy, and this can be continued after birth in the post-partum period. The upper back is often under strain when breastfeeding, and most Mum’s usually have a lot of knots in their neck and upper back as they spend most on the time craning their necks down to look at their new bub!
If you are interested in pregnancy massage, or perhaps you know someone that would appreciate a gift voucher for pregnancy massage feel free to give us a call.