Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in the life of a woman, and indeed is a time to feel loved and pampered. Some women go through difficult pregnancies but some manage to breeze through it without any hassle.
During this period, pregnant women need to relax more just to keep the baby comfortable while in the womb. Some women go for soothing music, others go to peaceful and quiet places, and the rest get a massage. Yes, prenatal massage is allowed as long as it is done with a trained massage therapist specifically for pregnant women. Whatever the situation is, it is but normal for them to have some sort of relaxation. With prenatal massage, there are also certain strokes or techniques applied to certain aching areas for relief and relaxation.
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1. Is prenatal massage for you?
Consult first with your obstetrician if you are allowed to have a massage so as not to put you and your baby at risk. The doctor may also recommend some trained therapists to give massages at a clinic or in the comforts of your home. You can even ask your friends or relatives if they know one. But remember to double verify whoever you appoint for the therapist has to be a pro.
2. When can you have a prenatal massage?
Some women find it relaxing when they get a prenatal massage during the early stages of pregnancy. When the pregnancy approaches the 6th month, the body needs more massage as the body is undergoing some changes and sometimes these changes are accompanied by pain. A massage usually eases pain and makes you feel relaxed no matter what month of pregnancy you are in.
3. What are the benefits of the prenatal massage?
The most important benefit you can get out of a massage is relaxation. For pregnant women, it is also a time to ease the aching muscles in some parts of their body due to the growth of the baby. As the baby grows, more aches and pains are felt and so is the growing need for a massage. Here are more benefits of a prenatal massage:
- To ease muscle tension on some parts of the body especially the lower back.
- Takes away aches.
- It helps reduce anxiety.
- Relaxes the muscles.
- One-Way to relax and cope easily with stress.
- The massage takes away tiredness and fatigue.
- Improved blood circulation can be achieved.
- Takes your mind off eating too much and eating the wrong kind of food like sweets.
- It acts as some form of therapy to relax the mind and body.
- Gives a feeling of time-off from worries, problems, responsibilities, challenges and difficulties especially at home.
- Takes you to a feeling of nirvana.
- Keeps the blood pressure at a normal level.
- Helps you to sleep easily and soundly.
- Let’s you and the baby relax naturally.
4. What to do before a massage?
If massage is done in a clinic
Remember that when you are required to go to a clinic or health institution, you will have to travel. Ask the therapist to let you be well-rested first before a massage is given. Let the therapist know when you are ready for the session and if you are no longer tired.
If massage is done at home
Prepare the room for the massage. It should be clean, quiet and comfortable for both you and the therapist. Make sure the therapist can move around freely to accommodate the massage to be applied to a certain body part. It should also be dimly lit or you can use scented candles for a more relaxing atmosphere. Mellow music also helps to set the ambience right and lets you relax more. You can also use oil or your favourite lotion for the massage for sanitary reasons. Also, ask the therapist if there is anything else needed for the massage session.
5. What is the best position during a massage?
Since the abdomen of the pregnant woman grows due to the baby’s increase in size, she may not lie face down. The best position is to lie sideways or with the back flat on the table. If sideways, have some pillows or pads to cushion the belly or the breasts as they tend to be swollen. The therapist can also put a pillow on your legs and feet to make you feel more comfortable. This is also a good position to allow the therapist to massage your lower back.
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6. What is the cost of having a prenatal massage?
A prenatal massage session usually takes an hour and the price range can vary. Check your health insurance if a massage is included as a therapy for the pregnant woman. If not covered, then go the extra mile, feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
7. Are there areas to be avoided during a prenatal massage?
Let the massage therapist know the painful areas. The therapist will determine if a massage can be done in that area. Otherwise, it is advisable to avoid the areas, which feel uncomfortable or may put risk to you and the baby.
There are also some instances when a massage is not advisable. These may not be done on open wounds, burns or skin infections wherein rubbing may aggravate the situation. Do let the therapist know which areas to avoid.
8. What is the therapist allowed to massage?
Before a massage, ask the therapist to guide you on what part of your body is to be massaged. This way, the therapist will focus on the area where you need more attention. The most affected area is the lower back where the pain is the most especially when the belly is bigger. Other areas include the neck, upper back, shoulders and abdominal muscles. A trained therapist will know what technique to apply but it is still best to tell beforehand to go easy or to stop when and if you feel uncomfortable. If you want the pressure to be a little harder, let the therapist know. Remember that it is important to let the therapist know how you are feeling throughout the session.
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9. Can I try a massage alternative at home?
If the pregnant woman is feeling stressed out and needs to relax, you can have a simple massage at home? How? Ask help from your partner. Your significant other may not be properly trained but a simple and loving touch might just do the trick. A soft head massage may make your headache go away. Or you can ask your partner to gently massage your feet and toes especially if you have had long-standing hours. This will also let your partner know how relaxing a loving touch can be. A massage tool can also be used as a stress ball.
Pregnant women can also try walking to keep them relaxed and this sort of massages the muscles on the legs. It is said that walking keeps the mind off problems and relieves stress. If there is a park nearby then go there walking slowly and make sure it isn’t exactly a playground, since the idea is to relax and let serenity prevail.
Watch video on Exercising During Pregnancy
10. Can massages be done by the pregnant woman?
If the abdomen is aching gentle touching or massage will ease the pain. This is especially true if the baby is moving a lot and it gives you abdominal pain. Gently massage the abdomen and this will also signal the baby to be calm. As well it is also a great way to bond with your baby.
11. What to expect after a prenatal massage?
After the massage session, expect a feeling of relaxation to serenade you, as your tired muscles would feel relaxed due to the touch therapy. The expectant mother will feel lighter and relieved. Also, expect to feel sleepy as the soothing music and the scent of the burning candles ease your senses. After the massage, do not get up yet and let your body feel all the satisfaction it’s been craving for.
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Having a prenatal massage is recommended to would-be-mothers for relaxation. Being in this wonderful phase, they need to be pampered, as they are about to bring life in about nine months. And while the baby is still in the womb, it is a necessity to take good care of not only the baby but the mother too keeping her well-relaxed, pampered and most of all loved.