You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Are you currently pregnant but want to experience the benefits of massage? Well, there’s good news. There’s what we call a pregnancy massage that can be applied to pregnant women. These massages have multiple benefits and they can be helpful during your pregnancy experience. Let’s get to know more about this technique.
What Are Pregnancy Massages?
These are similar to traditional forms of massages in a way wherein the therapist applies pressure to a person’s muscles. They have the same goals as well – to elicit relaxation and provide pain relief – both important factors when it comes to being pregnant.
But how is pregnancy massage different from traditional ones? Well, it all boils down to a person’s body and the way massage therapists ensure that the client is both safe and comfortable.
For instance, a pregnant woman has sensitive points all throughout her body and these have to be treated with caution. Usually, the lower back, legs, and abdomen can undergo through pressure. However, during pregnancy, a woman’s body changes and a lesser amount of pressure is used.
In addition, positions during traditional massage therapies can be uncomfortable for pregnant women. This, of course, is due to the fact that their belly becomes bigger. Professional massage therapists utilize a wide range of position (and even paraphernalia) to ensure that you can rest comfortable during the entire session.
Is It Safe To Undergo Through Pregnancy Massage?
A pregnant woman’s priority is the safety of the child within her belly. A lot of women are concerned about getting a massage because of the amount of pressure they might need to endure. Plus, they might be concerned about lying on their stomachs.
It is definitely true that pregnant women should follow basic guidelines for safety. But massages are still considered safe for pregnant women. Studies have found out that pregnant massages resulted to reduced instances of anxiety, depression, leg pain, and back aches. Those who opt for pregnant massages also experience shorter and less painful labors.
The benefits are too good to make a pass on and it can help struggling would-be moms to become more comfortable during pregnancy. But it is still recommended that you talk to your doctor about alternative treatments before you start them. If you’d love to get pregnancy massages or have concerns about it, visit your doctor first and tell them about your plans.
Getting a pregnancy massage is safe. However, you still have to take some precautions. You can follow the safety tips we will outline below to help you enjoy its benefits without fear of getting into trouble.
1. Look For A Professionally-Trained Therapist
Doctors are concerned with therapists who implement pregnancy massage because there are various training and certifications available to them. Since every state has different laws, you have to ensure that the massage center you go to is certified in their corresponding region.
Massage therapists do not have a standard certification all throughout the nation. However, you can talk to people you meet and ask them if they went through proper training and certification processes with regards to prenatal massage.
2. Use Pregnancy Positions That Are Safe
Once you undergo through pregnancy, your body will begin to change in a lot of obvious ways. Of course, your baby bump is one sure change you will come along with. In addition, a pronounced curve will occur in the spin and breast swelling will happen as well.
Because of these changes, the traditional massage position which involves lying on your stomach becomes unsafe and uncomfortable. It will result to undue stress within your pelvis, back, and uterus. When your breasts are flattened against that of the massage table, it can also be painful.
Ensure that your therapist has cushions, pillows, or a special massage table to make sure a pregnant woman can lay on her side for the massage session. The best position involves lying on the side with pillows that support the head, arm, and upper leg.
3. Avoid Deep Pressure Applied On The Legs Especially If Pitting Edema And Varicose Veins Are Present
Pregnant women are at a greater risk when it comes to forming blood clots within the legs and pelvic region. If the blood clot is dislodged, it might result to a pulmonary embolism. This occurrence is life-threatening and leads to the clot travelling towards that of the lungs and blocking essential arteries located there.
If there are varicose veins present, the risks of actually dislodging any clots are increased by performing a deep tissue massage. It is advised that your massage therapist should apply only light pressure on your legs. In addition, the therapist should utilize upward motions going towards the body’s central region.
4. Do Not Use Potent Essential Oils
Some therapists utilize essential oils to improve the massage experience. Some essential oils including chamomile and lavender are safe. These can help you relax and sleep peacefully.
On the other hand, some essential oils act as stimulants that can even cause uterine contractions. This can also lead to full scale labor contractions. The therapist should be wary of the entire list of essential oils that should be avoided on pregnant women.
The most common oils you should avoid include cinnamon, fennel, tarragon, sage, wormwood, and hyssop. Regardless of which essential oil your therapist will use, it is best to ask them to test a small patch of it on your skin. This should be done before the massage session begins. During pregnancy, your skin changes in nature and it’s better to be safe than sorry before you try out a particular essential oil.
It’s perfectly okay to ask your therapist to not use any oil at all. You might be worried about your safety and this is completely fine. Your massage session should be your haven of relaxation. You shouldn’t be stressing about what would happen to you because of the therapy.
5. Avoid Deep Work Applied On Your Tendons And Ligaments Until 4 Months After Giving Birth
Relaxin is a type of hormone that helps your body undergo through the structural changes required to carry a baby and give birth. It functions to allow the ligaments of the pelvis to soften and then expand. This results in the softening of the ligaments and tendons making them more prone to injury.
Thus, you should be wary of the fact that your massage therapist should avoid working deeply on your ligaments and tendons. They should focus on the muscle bellies instead.
Common Techniques For Pregnancy Massage
There are more than a dozen types of massages. Weird ones have been developed all around the world. However, the best types of massages for pregnant women should be available in your area provided that you look for a certified and trained therapist.
So, what massage techniques are safe and most appropriate for women undergoing pregnancy? The experts tell us that there are three most common massage therapy techniques. These are the following:
- Swedish Massage. This utilizes long strokes that are of light to medium pressure.
- Deep Tissue Massage. This applied strong pressure to that of a pregnant woman’s muscles.
- Shiatsu Massage. This utilizes tapping and places pressure on different acupuncture points.
These three massage techniques have different benefits for pregnant women. It is recommended that you ask your therapist about which technique they will use during the session.
Pregnancy Massage: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We know that you have a lot of questions regarding pregnancy massage. In this article’s section, we will go through some of the questions frequently asked concerning pregnancy massage. We are wary of the fact that we don’t have the ability to address everything in this section. However, we will encourage you to do your due diligence and get the advice of a professional before you embark on a pregnancy massage.
1. How Do I Look For A Professional Pregnancy Massage Therapist?
The best way to look for a professional pregnancy massage therapist is to ask the advice of your doctor, labor professional, or midwife. They might have a list of professionally-trained therapists they can recommend. You can also look for a nearby massage therapist within your area and do your due diligence while asking for credentials and training certifications.
2. What Will A Pregnancy Massage Be Like Especially For First-Timers?
If you want to opt for a massage while pregnant, you will still have a fairly great deal of control over the session. When you have found the right therapist, the first meet-up will involve a health questionnaire and some paperwork.
Your therapist will ask you multiple questions regarding your pregnancy and concerns. Plus, he or she will ask you about what you wish to achieve with your massage sessions. You will know which massage technique your therapist will use, which position is most comfortable for your body, the length of the massage session, and if you’d wish to remain clothed during the therapy.
During the actual massage session, the therapist will usually ask questions in order to determine bodily areas that require the greatest amount of work. He or she will customize the therapy depending on your specific needs. During your session, it is necessary that you communicate with the therapist regarding what hurts and what feels good.
3. When Is A Pregnancy Massage Not Recommended Because It Might Be Dangerous?
Generally, a massage is safe for pregnant women. However, you might want to avoid getting it if you have high-blood pressure. Plus, if the doctor states that your pregnancy is high-risk, you should avoid it too.
History of blood clots or deep vein thromboses within your legs is an immediate no-no to massage therapy. Pregnant women are recommended to get professional advice from their physicians before starting with a massage therapy session.
4. How Frequent Should I Opt For A Pregnancy Massage?
There are not standardized measures as to how many times you should get a pregnancy massage. You can get it every week or every month. Or, you can opt to get a pregnancy massage whenever you are hurting.
It depends on a lot of factors including your personal needs, your budget, and your overall well-being. The professional therapist might be able to help you get a schedule that works for you.
If you wish to get massages frequently, it is best to take the precautions necessary to enjoy its benefits. These might include hydrating yourself with a lot of water and not partaking in strenuous activities after the massage therapy session. This helps in avoiding dizziness and even headaches.
5. What’s A Massage Table Especially Made For Pregnancy?
A lot of therapists utilize pregnancy pillows and wedges to ensure that pregnant women are on their side while being massaged. This is usually the best position for pregnant women during the therapeutic session.
But, other therapists use massage tables customized for pregnant women. Usually, this table has a hole for bellies and they also have depression to incorporate breasts. It can be a great experience for pregnant women who haven’t been able to lie on their stomach for quite some time.
6. What’s A Labor Massage?
Massage can be beneficial for labor. You and possibly your partner might learn the techniques you can use to relieve nerve pain. Plus, both of you can learn how to massage the back for a better labor experience. When a pregnant woman’s muscles are pliable and relaxed, the labor process is usually easier.
7. Is It Okay To Utilize Massage Chairs?
Massage chairs can be great tools to enjoy the perks of having a massage. These chairs usually provide vibration and heat in order to relieve pain. However, a lot of pregnant women want to know if these are actually safe to use. A lot of conjecture exists. However, there are no scientific evidence that proves massage chairs are not safe for pregnant women and the unborn child.
8. Are Massages Done And Created Equally?
Not really. For instance, different states and different nations have a variety of training requirements when it comes to massage therapy. Some states, for example, need at least a 1000 hours of training in order to become licensed. Other states require only approximately 500 hours. It is generally safe to ask the therapist about his or her training experience and credentials before delving into the actual therapy.
Enjoying The Experience!
Pregnant women usually experience a lot of stress and pain as their baby bump grows. However, with pregnancy massage, you can enjoy the experience of carrying a little child on your womb.
Did the doctor advise you to have a pregnancy massage? If so, you can find your massage therapist easily. You’ll be astounded by the benefits you can get from this technique. You can even share your experiences with other would-be moms and get a massage together with your friends!
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