What is Prenatal Massage? Prenatal Massage treatments are specifically designed to address the needs of pregnant women. In addition, to promoting the overall health and wellness of expectant mothers' changing bodies, the benefits of Prenatal Massage include:
Alleviating back, foot and ankle pain caused by increased weight and postural changes
Decreasing levels of norepinephrine and cortisol, lowering stress and anxiety
Boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine, enhancing overall mood
Improving the quality of sleep
Reducing swelling of the face, hands, feet and breasts
Easing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by swelling in the arms and hands
How Will Prenatal Massage Help? During pregnancy the stress on a woman's back, abdominal muscles, and shoulders increases; her pelvic joints are destabilized as her ligaments loosen; significant postural changes occur due to the forward movement of her pelvis; and her body's centre of gravity shifts dramatically. Combine that with the extra weight she's carrying it's easy to see why many mothers-to-be complain about their aching backs.
Though seasoned Prenatal Massage therapists are familiar with the most common aches and pains their clients experience, pregnant women receiving treatment should always communicate their specific needs to their therapist: particularly if anything during the massage causes discomfort.
How is the Expectant Mother Positioned on the Massage Table? Despite the fact that some therapists choose to use a special table or hollowed out pillows to accommodate a mother-to-be's belly, there is a risk that lying face down for an extended period of time will put unnecessary stress on her low back. As a result, Prenatal Massage treatments done with the client lying on her side (with pillows, wedges or a full-length body pillow used for added support), the natural sleeping position for the vast majority of pregnant women, are best.
What Precautions Should Be Taken Before Having a Prenatal Massage? Every pregnant woman should consult her doctor before getting a massage. However, it is important to note that expectant mothers who are:
Experiencing nausea, vomiting, or morning sickness;
At high risk of miscarriage or early labour; OR
Have a high-risk pregnancy (due to placenta or cervical dysfunction, abdominal pain, pre-eclampsia, etc.)
May be asked to provide written consent from their doctor before receiving a massage treatment.