Women have aches, tension and pain when they are pregnant just like they do when they are not carrying a baby. Pregnant massage is effective in relieving their discomfort. However, is pregnancy massage truly safe for an expectant mother? |
Benefits from Massage for an Expectant Mother
Research backs up the fact that expectant mother receive benefits from massage such as a lift in mood, reduction of stress, and relief of aches and pains. It can even improve the birth process lessening the strain on the new-born. Massage even helps reduce stress hormones and elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which improve mood.
Another benefit of massage during pregnancy is that swelling or edema is reduced. The massaging action helps the fluids move from the soft tissues they have settled in, this typically makes the joints less swollen. The fluids then are flushed out of the body with the other waste.
Types of Massage Approved for Pregnant Women
Shiatsu is one form of massage recommended for pregnant women, because it uses various points on the body to stimulate the body's qi or natural energy. Pressure is applied on these points to release the body's own natural healing powers. At times, a tapping motion also is used.
Another one that is safe for pregnant women is Swedish massage. This type using long strokes on the muscles to relax them and it also works to improve the mobility of joints. This massage also addresses certain problems that occur in the body, because of the changes in circulation during pregnancy.
The expectant mother needs to make sure that the massage therapist is experienced with performing massage on pregnant women. Certain precautions do have to be taken such as the woman not lying on her back too long or flat on her stomach should be taken for one thing. There are special massage tables that are available at some places that allow room for the expanding belly. Other times the therapist will have the woman lie on her side. In the first trimester, massage should not be performed over the lower part of the pelvic area where the uterus is located.
The first trimester is tricky for some women to get past without having a miscarriage, so caution is warranted during this time. An expectant mother going through a high-risk pregnancy should avoid getting a massage. The chance is too great for problems under these circumstances.
As long as these precautions are followed, pregnancy massage is safe for the woman and foetus. The expectant mother needs to be as relaxed and happy as possible during her pregnancy. Otherwise, she could become depressed. This will make the pregnancy harder to get through and could harm the health of both mother and the foetus. Pregnancy massage can offer such relief for many of the discomfort that happens during this time. It is well worth using it to improve the mood and health of the expectant mother. Remember, a doctor should be consulted before the massage is performed just to make sure it will not cause a problem.
Fran Kehoe is a fully qualified and insured Sports and remedial massage therapist with ITEC Diplomas in Sports Massage, Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology, Holistic Massage and a FHT Certificate at The Massage Centre, Chiswick.
Click here for more information on Pregnancy Massage and its health benefits.
Or call Fran for a no-obligation chat: 020 8166 8958
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