Massage therapy can work wonders on everyday aches and pains. It can also help pregnant women throughout the duration of their pregnancy. Prenatal massages are a great way to relieve tight muscles, cramps and discomfort during pregnancy. If you’re worried about getting a massage while pregnant, keep reading. We’re sharing everything you need to know about prenatal massage and the benefits that come with it.
What Is a Prenatal Massage?
If you’ve ever had a regular massage, then you already understand the basic routine. Most therapists will have you lie on your back for the first half-hour and then your stomach for the remainder of the massage. A trained prenatal massage therapist will adjust your treatment based on where you’re at with your pregnancy.
Massage therapists know when it’s no longer safe to have you lay on your back and will make special accommodations to ensure you’re comfortable. Usually, this involves special cushioning or holes in the table for you to lay face down safely. It’s also common that you might lie on your side with pillows and/or cushions to support you.
When Is It Safe to Get a Prenatal Massage?
It’s always best to check with your obstetrician or specialists before scheduling a massage, but the general rule of thumb is after the first trimester. Be sure to let your massage therapist know you’re pregnant and avoid getting a massage within the first three months, as you may experience worsened nausea and morning sickness.
A prenatal massage may be a risky choice for you if you experience pregnancy complications, including diabetes, preeclampsia, previous pre-term labor, high blood pressure, pregnancy-induced hypertension, abdominal pain or bleeding, fever or morning sickness.
What are the Benefits of Prenatal Massages?
Massage therapy is known for reducing stress, relieving muscle tension and improving overall health. A prenatal massage can provide the same benefits for women who are pregnant. The types of relief with which massages are commonly associated can be particularly valuable for pregnant women, as they often experience stress, muscle tension and soreness.
Reducing stress is not only beneficial for yourself but also for your baby. By getting regular prenatal massages, you lower your cortisol levels, which is believed to promote better outcomes at birth. A baby born with high cortisol may cry more or feel stressed.
A prenatal massage is also known to help:
- Regulate hormones
- Reduce sciatic nerve pain
- Improve circulation
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Reduce joint and back pain
- Manage insomnia
- Reduce swelling in the hands and feet
- Alleviate headaches and muscle tension
- Relieve leg cramping
- Reduce sinus congestion
- Lower the risk of postpartum depression
Are Any Safety Precautions Needed During a Prenatal Massage?
As mentioned earlier, it’s very important to consult with your obstetrician or prenatal care provider prior to scheduling a massage. They can help you decide if it’s the right (and safe) decision for you and your baby. Always be open and honest with your doctors and massage therapist to ensure the advice your receive is as accurate as possible.
If they give you the green light to go ahead with a prenatal massage, please keep these precautions in mind:
- Your massage therapist needs to know you’re pregnant. Even if your therapist is trained in prenatal massage, make sure they know you need a specialized massage designed for pregnancy. You should not rely on them to notice your bump and assume.
- Avoid compressing your belly or putting pressure on your uterus. This includes lying on your stomach or back if it cannot be done in a safe manner. Speak with your prenatal massage therapist to learn how they perform the massage.
Seek Prenatal Chiropractic Care and Massages in Georgia
After consulting with your doctor, speak with an Optimum Health Rehab specialist to learn how our massage therapists can help you during your pregnancy. You can reach us by calling 877-704-1761 or filling out our form.Massage Therapy