Pregnancy massage is one of the most pampering and beneficial activities a pregnant mother can do.
As well as being deeply relaxing for the mother and helping aches and pains associated with being pregnant, massage can also be helpful for the unborn baby.
Massage during pregnancy has a wide range of great of health benefits, including…
* Massage relieves muscle spasms, cramps associated with the stress of extra weight bearing and physical changes that occur during pregnancy.
* It reduces stress and allows the mother to relax, both important for during the pregnancy and labour
* The health of the baby is enhanced through increasing blood circulation, lymph circulation, reducing edema and increasing cellular respiration.
* Massage makes the mother feel nurtured and pampered and this can then be passed onto the baby
* It assists in reducing the stress in the weight bearing joints and other bone and muscle structures.
* It also helps maximise breathing capacity which is needed during labour and delivery.
As the mother’s body undergoes major changes when she becomes pregnant, massage is not recommended during the first three months to ensure the health of the mother and the baby.
Doctors suggest that the pregnancy become well established before the massage takes place.
However it is highly recommended for pregnant women in the second and third trimesters that have had no problems with the pregnancy and no history of miscarriage.
It is also recommended during the birth to help assist the mother relax and relieve contraction pain. Pregnancy massage can be done in a number of ways; the most common is for the mother to lie on her side, bolstered with pillows. This way the therapist can get access to most parts of the client’s body whilst the client remains comfortable on the massage table. There are also a number of special massage cushions available that can be used specifically for pregnancy massage that help support the mother and baby.
Most of the techniques used during pregnancy massage are effleurage, long sweeping strokes that relax the client and muscles. Very deep tissue work is not recommended during pregnancy massage.
There are also a number of pressure points that the therapist must keep away from, including pressure points around the ankles and also between the thumb and forefinger. Reflexology is not recommended during pregnancy, however gentle effleurage on the feet is considered to be okay.
The therapist also needs to be mindful of the types of essential oils used during the massage, as there are few that are contraindicated to being used during pregnancy massage.
It is recommended that if a client is pregnant that they contact a therapist that is professionally trained in pregnancy massage. This will ensure the experience is not only relaxing, pampering and beneficial but also is done in a careful and safe manner.