Pregnancy is a life altering time for any woman. And as such it comes with its joy, anxiety and fears. One way to alleviate this anxiety is by the use of pregnancy massage. Pregnancy massage encompasses prenatal and postnatal massage. It is done in a conducive setting with soft lighting and calming music. A specially made bed that fits you and comfortable pillows will be employed for comfort. Many therapists will advice you to lie on your side as you may already be big and uncomfortable with lying on your front or back. Some massage therapists light candles but if these affect you negatively be sure to tell them and they will be removed. Your clothing or lack of it should be what makes you comfortable. After all, it is all about you and your baby.
So when should you get a massage? This is done throughout your pregnancy but most therapists will not touch you during the first trimester. Swedish massage is recommended during pregnancy. It involves the use of light strokes to ease muscle tension and improve blood circulation. Deep tissue massage is ill advised. This is because of the enhanced sensitivity during pregnancy. Areas such as the abdomen are generally avoided but can be massaged very lightly. It is important to get a therapist who is aware of all that the massage entails and who knows the areas to avoid such as pressure points on wrists.
There are many benefits associated with pregnancy massage. First of all, it seeks to reassure the soon to be mother and lower her anxiety levels. Massaging of muscles relieves cramps and soothes back pain. A nicely done massage leads to the reduction of stress hormones thus your mood will improve. For those who experience swellings especially on their joints, massaging these places greatly minimizes the swellings.
Another benefit associated with massage is the improvement in the circulation of blood which has its own benefits such as keeping diseases away. And of course a good massage leads to a good sleep. After giving birth you can engage in postnatal pregnancy massage. This is done to help your body return to its former shape and to relieve the negative stress brought about by carrying a baby to term. It also helps in recovery and relieving sore muscles. At this point, your abdomen can be massaged to help in shrinking your uterus.
However, there are a number of factors you need to ensure before embarking on pregnancy massage. Talk to your doctor. Let him or her give you the go ahead to have a massage. There are high risk pregnancies and other conditions such as hypertension, high blood pressure or a history of pre-term pregnancies which can adversely affect a woman's body and lead to complications if the body is not treated delicately. A doctor should be able to answer your questions and advice you accordingly.
What is clear is that pregnancy massage can bring a lot of benefits if it is done in the right manner and within the right atmosphere.