Many women find pregnancy to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling experiences of their lives. However, pregnancy also may come with negative side effects. One of the techniques to relieve aches, pains, and other ailments in expectant mothers is prenatal massage.
What is Prenatal Massage?
Prenatal massage is a form of massage therapy designed to target the pain and tension an expectant mother may experience. Generally, a prenatal massage session consists of the massage therapist applying pressure in specific areas to improve relaxation and circulation. Often, these massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage. This massage technique uses gliding motions that reflect the way blood flows through the body to encourage circulation and decrease muscle tension.
In some cases, the therapist may use lotion or a massage oil to enhance the experience.
Because pregnancy can affect which positions a woman feels comfortable in, most prenatal massages take place while the patient lies on her side or back. The massage therapist works with the patient to determine the most comfortable position before the massage begins.
What Can Prenatal Massage Help With?
When you go in for a prenatal massage, you may ask the therapist to focus on a part of your body or to take a whole-body approach. The direct approach is generally used to address physical symptoms, such as hip pain, joint aches, or swelling in the legs. Whole-body massage may be used to address symptoms that aren't tied to a physical area, such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, or high stress levels.
Massage during pregnancy can help with the following conditions:
- Anxiety and stress
- Back pain
- Body aches
- Nerve pain, including sciatica
While each woman responds differently to massage, many expectant mothers find prenatal massage beneficial. Some studies even suggest that regular therapeutic massage during pregnancy can reduce the trauma of labor for both the mother and child.
Patients can undergo prenatal massage at any time during their pregnancy, though your doctor may recommend against late-term massage in certain situations. Always consult with the doctor overseeing your pregnancy before beginning a new massage routine. Additionally, only work with an experienced and fully certified prenatal massage therapist to ensure your safety and best results.
If you are pregnant and experience stiffness, swelling, or discomfort throughout your body, consider prenatal massage. A trained massage therapist from a clinic like Bakke Chiropractic Clinic SC can help relieve your physical and mental systems so you can focus on staying healthy and strong for your child.