Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, but it can also be physically exhausting. From swollen ankles to tight muscles, it’s common for expectant mothers to experience discomfort and aches throughout their pregnancy. Massage is a great way to ease those feelings of fatigue and help the body heal after the strains of childbirth. Prenatal massage specifically targets areas that are most impacted by pregnancy and it helps improve circulation as well. It’s a natural, healthy and safe treatment for expecting moms.
While the benefits of massage are numerous, many women may wonder whether it’s safe for them to get a massage while pregnant. Pre- and post-natal chiropractor and massage therapist at Atlanta family chiropractor, says that for the most part, it’s safe to receive a prenatal massage. However, she recommends that all women check with their OB/GYN or midwife first to ensure that it’s okay and to provide guidance on when it’s not safe.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a person can safely get a prenatal massage up through their third trimester, depending on their medical history and current state of health. Women who have a history of miscarriage or preeclampsia should avoid the massage until after they’ve delivered.
It’s important that a woman feels comfortable during her massage. She should let the therapist know that she is experiencing any discomfort or pain, so the therapist can adjust the pressure and use bolsters to support her during the session. The therapist will typically have women lie on their side to prevent too much pressure on the abdomen and thighs. They will also ask the woman to move around frequently for comfort as well as to reduce the risk of leg and foot swelling.
Studies have shown that prenatal massage can help alleviate some of the discomforts associated with anemia, which is a condition that occurs when a woman doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body. By increasing blood and lymph circulation, massage can help increase the red blood cell count, which should make a woman feel less tired.
Many women find that massages are a great way to relieve some of the symptoms of depression during pregnancy, which is another condition that can be exacerbated by stress and hormonal changes. Studies have shown that massage can reduce the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Massage can also ease the tension and anxiety that often goes hand in hand with depression. This can make the entire experience more enjoyable and relaxing for a mother-to-be. It can also allow her to sleep better, which is something that’s hard to do during pregnancy due to the added stress. If you’re thinking about getting a prenatal massage, be sure to look for a certified therapist who has experience working with pregnant clients. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the massage studio or spa is hygienic and that their therapists are properly trained to work with expectant mothers.