A prenatal massage, also known as a pregnancy massage, is designed to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy. The massage itself operates similarly to a traditional massage but varies in a few key ways. The main difference has to do with the delicacy of the massage.
A therapist will avoid using deep pressure on a woman’s abdomen and legs during the process. In comparison, a non-prenatal massage can heavily involve the abdomen and legs. The process works by reducing stress hormones and relaxing muscles. It also helps increase blood flow, vastly benefitting the body during pregnancy.
What’s The Appropriate Time To Get A Prenatal Massage?
A mother’s pregnancy is an extraordinary time for her and her partner. Still, this magnificent moment can also be a considerable burden on her throughout the entire nine months. Pregnancy necessitates that you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally invested in caring for your future child.
Nature offers no concessions when it comes to carrying a child in your womb. Fortunately, a prenatal massage is an excellent way to relieve stress and physical pain very quickly. It’s also perfectly safe to get a prenatal massage at any point during the pregnancy. It is important to note that some massage therapists refuse to give first-trimester massages. Still, this depends on the facility’s rules.
Prenatal Massage Vs. Perineal Massage
When discussing this topic, it’s helpful to distinguish between the two kinds of massages pregnant women need. Therapeutic prenatal massages are an essential part of prenatal care and promote the baby’s well-being besides healing for the mother.
Perineal massages, on the other hand, are performed to help with the birthing process. They focus on stretching the tissues around the birth canal and help reduce the risk of trauma or episiotomy during delivery.
Why Do Women Need Prenatal Care?
Prenatal care does an excellent job at keeping a pregnant woman and her baby healthy. Studies have shown that babies of mothers who don’t get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a lower birth weight. Studies have also shown these babies are five times more likely to die than babies whose mothers received prenatal care.
Besides promoting better health for the mother and child throughout the process, it also reduces pain, is a hormone regulator, and aids in swelling. Mental and physical health are essential throughout pregnancy. Monitoring these points closely is a crucial example of why prenatal care is so critical.
Introducing massage therapy during a woman’s prenatal period leads to much pain relief. This enables the mother to relax and de-stress, thus improving their emotional wellbeing and cardiovascular health.
A stressed pregnant woman can suffer from fluctuating levels of cortisol and norepinephrine. Since cortisol is responsible for inducing stress, it can make the woman feel constantly distressed and low.
This can also affect her immunity system, making her susceptible to ailments. With the help of prenatal massages, dopamine and serotonin levels can be increased to cure depressive episodes and erratic mood swings. Not to mention, it essentially cuts down the risk of complications during birth and subsequent congenital disabilities.
The expansion of the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels, which causes the joints to swell. This, paired with restricted movement and reduced blood circulation, further aggravates the condition.
Massage therapy helps stimulate these tissues with the help of hand movements and bodywork. This works against the collection of fluids in the joints and thereby curbs swelling. It also effectively enhances the body’s lymph system, removing tissue waste.
As the uterus descends on the pelvic floor, expecting mothers experience sciatic nerve pain during their last few months. This also puts pressure on their lower back and restricts movement considerably. The pressure on the pelvic floor also extends the burden on the upper thighs and lower limbs, causing the legs to swell up.
Along with the stress of the impending childbirth, this can put expecting women under added pressure. Prenatal massages can take some of that worry away. They work on tensed nerves and reduce inflammation by massaging nearby muscles.
What is Different About a Prenatal Massage?
A prenatal massage has a few key differences compared to a traditional massage, mainly having to do with the technique. A massage therapist will in no way cause harm to the mother or the baby during a prenatal massage. The massage is much more delicate compared to other massages, but still very effective.
What Do They Do During a Prenatal Massage?
A prenatal massage therapist is mindful not to squeeze certain parts of the body compared to other massage types. The therapist typically utilizes particular positions to make the mother feel comfortable. For instance, instead of spending the whole meeting lying face-down, the mother will be on her side.
This method tries not to squeeze the mother’s mid-region and disturb her blood flow. The massage specialist will also not use profound tension on the mother’s midsection and legs during the process. Delicate pressing might be utilized, but heavy tension in the legs can cause issues for the mother.
Do You Lay On Your Stomach During A Prenatal Massage?
As mentioned, most prenatal massages revolve around the mother lying on her side. However, this doesn’t mean the only example of the massage is when the woman is on her side. As long as the woman is comfortable, laying on her stomach during the massage is perfectly fine and won’t hurt the baby.
What Do You Wear to a Prenatal Massage?
Prenatal massages don’t require special outfits for someone to wear. The mother can wear as much or as little clothing as they’re comfortable wearing. Most experts recommend keeping underwear on with towels over for coverage. This method helps the parts that are being massaged as the only ones being exposed.
Where Can I Get a Prenatal Massage in Edmonton?
If you’re pregnant and are searching for an Edmonton-based prenatal massage service, you’re in the right place! Here at Soul 2 Sole Massage Studio, we have everything you could need, including prenatal massages. Besides prenatal massages, we offer deep tissue massages, traditional Thai massages, hot stone massages, reflexology, and much more.