A massage is a pampering experience anytime you have one. But what about a massage during your long 9-months carrying your new baby? With the changes your body will go through hormonally and physically, it’s perfectly safe to indulge in a healthy relaxing and soothing massage. Not only is it safe, it is healthy doing a massage.
- A prenatal massage is different in that it is done especially for mothers to be using the same techniques to relax your body, your mind, and frame of mind. Your massage therapist, called masseurs for men and masseuses for females, are highly skilled at lessening your muscle soreness and improving flexibility to make you feel more comfortable.
- In deference to your condition, you won’t be able to lie on your tummy. It can be done with you on either side. It’s not a wise idea to put you flat on your back either, since that positon can put pressure on specific areas of your body.
- Many massage spas use a special table specifically designed for pregnant women. These tables have hollow areas for you to lay on to eliminate pressure on your belly that could cause distress to you and your baby.
- The reasons have to do with the spine and abdomen mechanics. The special tables can only be personalized to you so much. You might be lying over a hole that could be too wide too narrow too shallow or too deep at whatever stage of your pregnancy.
- The gap can be too loose not putting pressure on your tummy. The weight of your uterus will pull your belly into the hole. This increases the curvature of your lumbar spine area that puts stress on your ligaments for the uterus and sacrum. When a massage therapist presses down to work the lower back muscles, this situation becomes more profound. You don’t want to multiply the discomfort you already have with your aching lower back and heavier tummy.
- Your belly and uterus will have added pressure from the therapist’s hands, even though you are supported well. Thus, your body weight and the pressing of the hands can compress your uterus and belly and that is not good to do.
- The holes used for tender and swelling breasts will cause them to hang down or compress for added discomfort.
With that being said, the same table used for women clients who aren’t pregnant are used for pregnant clients as well. The massage therapist becomes specialized in prenatal therapy and does it well for you and your baby.
Body Positons for a Pregnancy Massage
The second and third trimester massages can be done lying on both your sides. Massage therapists usually have tables that are extra wide and then use 6 to 8 pillows of different shapes and sizes to support your pelvis and spine. A smaller pillow can be added under your tummy for support from gravity and prevent rolling forward as your baby develops and your tummy grows larger and fuller.
Your massage therapist can manipulate your lower back with you on your side without more pressure to the uterus. You can try the same pillow arrangements for a better night’s sleep in your bed. You can also hug up to a specially made maternity pillow.
Some massage therapists put more pillows so that you are semi-reclining. This eliminates any problems you might encounter laying on your back. This flat back positon can compress blood vessels in your belly and larger uterus that could cause anxiety, dizziness, or reduced blood flow to you and the baby and that’s not good for either of you.
This is a good positon to help with any heartburn or nausea you might have when you lay flat on your back. The semi-recline is good for your massage therapist to focus on your feet, tummy, arms, hands, upper shoulders, head, and face. A head massage under your hair is a delicious feeling!
Benefits from a Pregnancy Massage
The feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine can be increased with a soothing massage when you are pregnant. These chemicals help you sleep and be less anxious and mildly depressed at times. With a massage, norepinephrine, and hormone levels can drop that are responsible for mood swings.
Be sure you know a licensed and experienced massage therapist. You can check with family, friends, and your doctor for a certified therapist. Let your massage therapist know about your health, any complications, or injuries. You must be candid about these health issues.
If you feel uncomfortable in some positions, or you need more gentle motions, be sure to be candid and tell your therapist. A trained prenatal massage therapist will know your sore areas and what areas and techniques to steer clear of.
Your prenatal and postpartum times of pregnancy are safe for massage and reduce pregnancy discomforts that enhance the physiological and emotional happiness and welfare of you and the baby inside you. Massage will help you bond and nurture your new baby when that doesn’t seem to automatically happen with some new moms.
Now you know what to expect when you’re expecting with massage therapists!