Prenatal Massage by Sharon Hopkins
Pains and aches are part and parcel of every pregnancy. Physical discomfort, muscular tensions, headaches, backaches, pains occur due to increase in weight, shifting posture and hormone levels. Prenatal massages aim to improve circulation, alleviate aches and pains, eases muscular tensions and other pregnancy related symptoms, perking up expectant mother’s mood and mental attitude.
Stress related areas which demand attention are back, neck and shoulder. Massaging the legs reduces blood pooling and full body massage to the head/scalp, feet, hands and face area provides relief from tensions and aches. All the areas should be massaged gently and pressure should be applied when needed.
Experienced masseurs pick ways that are safe and effective and provide special pampering and comfort. Prenatal massage offers encompasses a broad range of benefits such as:
– Increases circulation
– Improves digestion
– Reduces fatigue
– Reduces swelling in hands and lower legs, fewer calf cramps
– Eases backaches, headaches, shoulder and neck aches caused due to muscular tension and postures to accommodate the increasing weight.
– Lessens pain in the pelvic/hip area
– Alleviates stress on weight bearing joints such as knees, ankle and lower back
– Promotes relaxation and deep breathing
– Reduces stress hormones
– Decreased insomnia
– Helps in maintaining proper posture
Prenatal massage during pregnancy is beneficial emotionally as it allows soon to be moms to unwind, feel calm, healthy and comforted during the period of physical and emotional stress.
Prenatal massage can be done in different ways. Expectant moms mostly lie on their sides. A newly designed pillow especially for expecting mothers is available. This pillow has deep center cutout enabling the moms to lie flat on their bellies making them relaxed and comfortable. Lying flat on back reduces circulation of blood to the mother and child; pillows are used to keep the mother’s body in elevated position. Body pillows are used for side lying positions too.
After delivery, new moms are under all kind of emotional and physical stress, especially sleep deprivation. Post partum massage is therapeutic, helping the body to return to its normal state by adjusting to the physical and emotional demands of their little one.
Massage is usually safe for most mothers, though it is advisable to check with your doctor prior to getting one. If you have high BP or diabetes, prenatal massage is not recommended. It is ideal that you tell your therapist if you any problems or complications with your pregnancy. Duration of the massage can be anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour. It depends on how much discomfort you are experiencing and how much time you have on hand. Massage once a week during 2nd trimester and twice a week or more during 3rd trimester are ideal.