Expecting moms can gain up to 40 lbs of additional weight during the peak of their pregnancy.
Carrying that additional weight around takes a toll on your muscles and joints. You’re probably feeling the effects of it and no wonder! As an excited mom to be, it’s a small price to pay for the reward of carrying your baby.
Still, you deserve some TLC from time to time and your body needs it!
There are simple ways to relieve sore muscles and swollen joints. Sometimes a gentle foot massage or shoulder rub does the trick. But for the long run, nothing beats a prenatal massage.
If you have questions about the safety and effects of a prenatal massage, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a guide to answering all your questions, including, what is a prenatal massage?
Your body and your baby are going to thank you for learning more!
In many other cultures around the world, prenatal massages are not the exception but the rule. For many generations, expecting mothers have enjoyed the benefits of prenatal massages.
Prenatal massages have the same goal as a regular full body massage. You will most often begin your massage much like any other. Your massage therapist will play soothing music. You will lay in a dim-lit room with a comfortable massage table to lay on.
You will find that there are some differences too.
The first and most important being that you don’t get a prenatal massage on your stomach. For obvious reasons, a pregnant woman should not lie on her stomach.
This is not only unsafe for the baby, but it would also be very uncomfortable for the mother too. Instead, pregnant moms lie on their side usually hugging a body pillow.
You should also not lie on your back during the massage after the fourth month of pregnancy. This can cause compression of blood vessels on and around your placenta. Cutting off the circulation to this area can do serious harm.
There are also certain essential oils that cannot be used on a pregnant mother for safety reasons. For example, clary sage, rosemary, and cinnamon are all off limits. Pregnant mothers should consult with a professional aromatherapist before using essential oils.
Lastly, there are some pressure points that must not be rubbed on a pregnant mom. The massage will not include your ankles or other areas. These can actually jump start labor or encourage contractions.
Your massage therapist is going to focus on certain areas like your shoulders more and should avoid your abdomen. You may also find that they place lighter pressure on tender areas like your back.
As an expectant mom, you want to do what’s best for the health of your precious cargo. It’s a good idea to make sure you are taking precautions to keep you and baby safe.
While massages may seem harmless, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind. The first being that you should wait until after your first trimester to get a massage. In fact, most spas will not allow pregnant mothers to get a massage until after their first trimester.
The reason is simple. Getting a massage can cause a detoxification process in some women’s bodies. This means that the body will begin to rid itself of stored toxins and release them back into the blood. These toxins may get passed into your growing baby.
The greatest risk for miscarriage is within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, which is why experts recommend not getting a massage during this time. There are other circumstances when expecting moms should not have a prenatal massage.
Check with your healthcare provider before scheduling one. We also recommend that you find a massage therapist who is certified and well-trained in prenatal massages. These therapists understand the importance of proper positioning for you and can also spot signs of blood clots.
Gentle massage on your legs is fine. But pregnant women are prone to blood clots in their legs. If you were to get a deep tissue massage in this area it could release blood clots. These could make their way to your brain or heart and cause serious health risks to you and your baby.
Prenatal massages from a trained professional are safe for most mothers. They can also have many positive effects on your pregnancy that you and your baby will enjoy.
For the most part, you will find that prenatal massages have many benefits for moms to be and their babies too!
It relieves physical pain such as muscle aches, soreness, and inflammation. It can also help moms with stress, depression, and anxiety during pregnancy. These benefits improve hormone and cardiovascular health.
Regulating your hormone levels through prenatal massage has been shown to reduce complications during birth.
Swedish massages are often recommended as prenatal massages because they focus on the skeletal and circulatory systems. These are most affected by hormonal shifts during pregnancy. They also help to improve lymphatic and blood circulation.
The list of benefits goes on and on. Prenatal massages can help with edema or fluid build up as well as reduce sciatic nerve pain. They can also prevent or reduce heartburn, which is another common symptom of pregnancy.
Can you believe it? Your body is working hard to carry and grow a tiny human. That’s a lot of work for your body, mind, and spirit! Allowing yourself a 30- or 60-minute massage can make a huge difference as you try to remain calm and healthy during pregnancy.
Prenatal massages are a great way to de-stress and release tension in your tired muscles. Your body is going through many hormonal and physical changes that can strain you inside and out.
Now that you know the answer to “What is a prenatal massage”, why not check with your health care provider to see if it is right for you. Be sure to check with your medical insurance provider to see if they offer discounts.
Want to find a prenatal massage therapist you can trust? Visit us online for a complete list of our services.