8 Jun 2022 | 5 min Read
Author | 342 Articles
Who doesn’t enjoy a good spa day? A body massage to relieve stress, pain, and muscle tension especially during pregnancy can be a relaxing escape from the pains and strains of pregnancy.
Whether it’s your hips that scream in pain after a long day on your feet, or your back that throbs as it supports your growing belly or your swollen feet, a prenatal massage sounds absolutely heavenly.
But the question is – “Is prenatal massage safe?”
Yes, a prenatal massage is safe when performed keeping in mind certain precautions. It can provide relief to a growing pregnant body and has several benefits, including reduced back and leg pain and improved mood.
Here’s everything you need to know about prenatal massage.
A prenatal massage is a type of massage therapy that is specifically for expecting women. It is no different in many ways than a regular massage. Its aim is to help the expectant mum feel relaxed, work out tension from muscles, reduce soreness and improve the flow of blood in her body.
The actual body parts covered might range from foot massages to head massages when pregnant. Prenatal massages are tailored to the common areas of soreness and can be customised as per the preferences of the pregnant mum.
Prenatal massages must be carried out by certified and trained masseurs since there are differences in the massage techniques and areas to focus on in the case of pregnancy massages.
In addition to these, the certified masseurs know the spots that are most affected by the travails of pregnancy and have an idea on which areas to avoid.
Some of the benefits of a prenatal massage are:
Dr. Pooja Marathe, Community Expert – Lactation & Nutrition says, “Research suggests that a prenatal massage can help reduce stress, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pain, and improve labour outcomes. It can also help regulate hormone levels, help blood circulation, and reduce swelling. Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy.”
It is advisable to not lie on your back to get the massage, especially at the later stages of your pregnancy. This can compress any of the blood vessels running through your back, and can consequently lower blood pressure.
Usually, prenatal massages are done with the pregnant mum lying sideways, even if it is an oil massage.
However, there are some tables that have deep cut-outs in the belly area, which enable the expecting mum to lie with her face down comfortably.
It is advisable to be careful or avoid massaging certain parts of your body during a prenatal massage.
Although it’s alright to gently rub some stretch mark cream into your belly, you might avoid it if you are in a dilemma.
Your blood volume increases during pregnancy and too much pressure can slow down the blood flow in your legs, making you prone to clots and can dislodge a blood clot.
Research suggests that massaging these areas might cause contractions.
Who Should Avoid A Prenatal Massage?
Your doctor might advise against getting a prenatal massage if you have:
In addition to these, it is also advisable to avoid a prenatal massage if you are experiencing nausea, morning sickness or bouts of vomiting.
Many massage therapists don’t give pregnancy massages during the first trimester because of the potential dangers of miscarriage. Hence, the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine advises all pregnant women to consult with their doctors before trying a prenatal massage.
After a prenatal massage, expecting mums experience deep sleep and feel relaxed. The improved blood circulation and reduction of muscle soreness helps them cope up with the increased weight better.