Prenatal Massage Safety And Benefits

It is important to take time for yourself when you are pregnant. You could do this by reading a book, watching a movie, and wearing soft, comfy t-shirts or trousers. Later in pregnancy, a massage can not only be soothing, but also offer multiple health benefits, such as alleviating pain , elevating your mood and even making delivery go more smoothly.

However, what exactly is a prenatal masseuse? And how does it differ from other massages you might get?

How Massage During Pregnancy Is Different From Regular Massage

There's good reason to feel relaxed after a massage. Nicole Cvitkovic LMT, licensed massage therapist, says that a massage can reduce stress hormones, and allow you to produce oxytocin. This could also be helpful for anxiety and depression.

But having a massage during pregnancy looks and feels different from having a massage at other times. Cvitkovic states that a prenatal massage will generally be of very low pressure. It should not exceed a medium to firm pressure. This will feel more like a Swedish Massage with very gentle stroking techniques such as kneading.

Also, expect a different type of massage than you are used to if you feel a knot in your shoulder or neck. Cvitkovic says that the massage shouldn't cause you any pain and won't make it feel like someone is digging at your skin. If a pregnant woman has blood clots, or any other similar condition, then deep pressure could potentially cause them to be dislodged.

The Best Prenatal Massages

Prenatal massages typically last from 15 to one hour. Although some massage therapists have special pregnancy massage tables with a hole cut out so you can lie down on your stomach, it's generally safest to have a prenatal massage while lying on your side.

Cvitkovic states that if you are lying on your back or stomach, it is possible to get hypotension or low blood pressure.

Massage therapists provide prenatal massage pillows and padded bolsters to ensure that you are comfortable, aligned, and relaxed.

We have one larger pillow you place between your knees. Then we have one for you to hug. You almost feel like you have an enormous body pillow.

You Should Wear for Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massages don't require you to be dressed up. You can wear whatever makes you most at ease.

Cvitkovic explained that "Due to religious motives, some people remain fully clothed" or put on a specific garment. Some people dress completely down for massages. You're usually covered with sheets and blankets. Others prefer to wear pregnancy drapes because they are more movable. Others prefer to wear their undergarments. All depends on your personal preference.

Types Of Prenatal Massage

Cvitkovic states that although there may not be multiple prenatal massage types, there are many prenatal massage techniques that are used by therapists.

She says, "They are all very gentle." She says that they are very, very efficient in relieving pain and discomfort. Although they work fast, their movements are gentle and gradual.

Prenatal Massage Benefits

Prenatal massage has many benefits. It can help with pain management and hormone regulation. Cvitkovic states that "Massage may help regulate hormones, such as serotonin and oxytocin. This can make you happier." This can help improve your mood, as well as help you navigate depression and anxiety both during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

These benefits are also long-lasting. Cvitkovic claims that prenatal massage may increase oxytocin levels, which can help with labor outcomes. She adds that oxytocin has been shown to improve the contractions of labor and influence bonding between you and your baby.

There are also other benefits:

Prenatal Massage Risks

Although prenatal massage has many health benefits, pregnant women should still be aware of the potential risks.

You should not use too much pressure. You should be careful around your ankles as well as your little, middle, and big toes.

Cvitkovic cautions that high blood pressure could cause problems if there are blood clots. They have very little pressure points which migrate upwards. The blood flow might be increased by pushing on these pressure points.

A pregnant woman who has deep vein thrombosis or blood clots may need to avoid pressing those veins. This could lead to complications like preeclampsia and labor. Cvitkovic says that avoiding those areas is the best way to reduce your risk of any such complications.

Frequency and timing

Cvitkovic states that although everyone is different, massages can be tolerated differently by each individual. However doctors recommend waiting until the 12th week after a woman has given birth to get a massage.

Cvitkovic says, "Getting out especially of your first trimester is enormous." Cvitkovic explains that miscarriage is a real possibility so it's important to limit or postpone massage during this time.

Once your pregnancy is into the second trimester, she recommends getting a massage once every two weeks. But later on in your pregnancy, you can get a massage up to once a week. Her body is going to have to deal with much more, she says. "Later on in the pregnancy, you can receive massage quite a bit more."

Health Problems

Regular massage can lead to miscarriage and preeclampsia. There are other serious problems that could arise, such as placenta accreta and abruption. If you receive massages frequently, edema (or swelling) can also be a possibility.

Changes in blood pressure can happen, too. Cvitkovic explains that sometimes, a massage with a higher pressure can raise your blood pressure. She adds that sometimes, a light massage can lower blood pressure. This is especially important if you are struggling with gestational diabetes.

Can You Get A Prenatal Massage At Home?

A majority of people will visit a spa to get a prenatal massage. This type isn’t common in hospitals.

Cvitkovic explained that all massage therapists at spas are licensed medically. Cvitkovic explains that all massage therapists are licensed to perform medical massage. But, there is a traveling company that can visit your home to provide massage services if you don't have access to one.

Ask your doctor about prenatal massage

Cvitkovic suggests speaking to your doctor if you are pregnant or considering getting a massage. You should also consult your doctor if you think or are actively trying to get pregnant.

Cvitkovic said, "If your intention is to have a baby or you are trying to have one, I strongly recommend getting a doctor's notice." You don't want someone to think that the massage caused miscarriage if they aren't aware they're pregnant. '"

But an occasional massage can be a great treat during pregnancy. "During pregnancy, so many things are limited - like you can't eat certain meats and fish, you can't have coffee, sodas and sugars, things like that. It's not that massage is restricted - the only thing you need to do differently is change your pressure. Prenatal massage can be very beneficial if you are in pain.