Prenatal & Postnatal Massage shares many of the goals of regular massage – to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But it’s also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and therapists who are trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly.Most pregnant women experience discomforts and added stresses in their bodies at various times during pregnancy. Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. 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.
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. Many facilities will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased statistics for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Contraindications to Pregnancy Massage
- Bleeding in 2nd and 3rd trimester (Placenta praevia) – placenta is low in the uterus and any physical manipulation may start more bleeding, which might provoke miscarriage. And any previous experience of bleeding in 2nd and 3rd trimester would be an absolute contraindication to abdominal massage.
- Unexplained low pelvic pain in any trimester – if the patient is diagnosed with APH abdominal, massage is contraindicated.
- Placenta praevia (low lying placenta) – whether there has been bleeding or not – if placenta previa has been demonstrated on ultra sound scan, whether there has been bleeding or not, abdominal massage is contraindicated.
- Preeclampsia – Symptoms include pitting oedema, high blood pressure and protein in the urine/ and usually develop between the 20 weeks and one week after delivery.
- Eclapmsia – this is a more severe form of preeclampsia which results in seizures or a coma. Eclampsia develops in 1 out of 200 women, who have preeclampsia and is usually fatal unless it is treated promptly.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – DVT is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel. The biggest predisposing factor of DVT is stasis, a stopping of flow, usually associated with prolonged inactivity.
- Varicose Veins – If severe (swollen, blue and raised), avoid the area completely.
- Severe symptomatic heart disease – if client cannot lie flat or on side with not being short of breath, massage should not be attempted.
During The Prenatal Massage
At Wei’s Nature Health Clinic, our therapists take extra care to ensure pregnancy massage clients 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 is applied. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, our therapist may utilize such massage techniques as reflexology, Swedish massage or certain techniques that address your specific requests and needs.
Relief of Everyday Symptoms
Massage for pregnant women offers a number of benefits, and it’s always a good idea to discuss with our therapist any everyday symptoms you’d like to see relieved. Those might include:
- Headaches can be relieved by massage focusing on the head, neck and shoulders. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of stress relief through massage reduces the chances of migraines or tension headaches by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
- Muscle tension created by carrying the extra weight of a baby can be relieved by encouraging blood flow to the afflicted areas. This provides more nutrient-rich oxygen and also increases the flow of lymphatic fluid, which sweeps away toxins and metabolic waste.
- Fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling/edema can all be relieved through various types of massage for pregnant women.
- The ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy are countered by the release of serotonin, your body’s natural anti-pain chemical, which is stimulated by massage.
While a massage can’t promise that your newborn will sleep through the night, it can provide you with a better night’s sleep both during pregnancy and afterwards. Regular massage therapy not only helps diminish anxiety and discomfort but boosts relaxation as well. This ultimately can lead to improved sleep patterns.
Nothing is more important than maintaining a healthy, high quality life.
Call us today to discover a better, healthier you.