Can pregnancy massage offer substantial therapeutic benefit to the pregnant mother? In this article, I’ll discuss what is prenatal massage, how it differs from a ‘normal’ massage, some of its benefits, and precautions that should be considered.
Pregnancy is a very special time for a mother to bond with the child she is carrying and no doubt it will always be remembered as a unique experience. It is also, however, a time of great physical change as the mother’s body adapts to include the growth of another human inside her. Along with the physical changes come the emotional changes and fluctuations as her body undergoes radical physiological modifications.
As the pregnancy progresses, the stomach grows, hormonal production changes, the center of gravity shifts and biomechanical adaptations follow. Joints suffer under the increased load and muscles ache with the increased burden.
Pregnancy massage can significantly alleviate these distresses and should be considered by all expectant mothers as the benefits are far and wide.
What is pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage is simply massaged during pregnancy. It is also commonly referred to as prenatal massage.
It differs from ‘normal’ message in several ways.
- The pregnancy massage therapist will need to have specialized knowledge of the pregnant female body
- The massage is given with extra care to ensure no harm can be caused to the baby
- The intensity of the massage is reduced, and excellent sensitivity is given to the mother’s feedback.
- The body position of the expectant mother during the massage is different. Typically the woman is on her side although lying on the front or the back is occasionally allowable with modification to ensure no harm to mother or child.
Pregnancy is often a time of stress, emotionally as well as physically. The mother is always worried about issues such as the state of her unborn child, the act of giving birth, her changing body, becoming a parent, etc. The last thing she wants is having to deal with her sore back and other aches and pains inherent with being pregnant.
During the pregnancy, the mother will experience regular instances of tightening and cramping of muscles, with tension, stiffness, and knots being present.
Pregnancy massage also helps with improving muscle flexibility, which is vital during childbirth and highly beneficial during the last trimester when physical stresses and changes to the body are significant.
A collective detriment women experience in pregnancy is swelling of the feet, ankles and lower legs, particularly in the most advanced stages of pregnancy. This is due to pooling of the blood as the body deals with the increased weight and workload. Pregnancy massage is proven to increase circulation and relieve swelling.
Certainly, diabetes and high blood pressure should disclose. Having a massage in a lying down position will affect your blood pressure so doing so while pregnant may potentially be harmful.
Pregnancy massage offers many benefits, both physically and emotionally to the pregnant mother. It will require a specialist who experienced in the modified techniques and methods required to ensure there is no harm to either the mother or her unborn child and maximum therapeutic value can achieve.
Apart from the benefits discussed in this article, another major plus for undergoing a program of pregnancy massage therapy is that it greatly assists the body in preparation for the act of childbirth and the subsequent recovery.