The Benefits of Prenatal Massages
Pregnancy can be one of life's greatest joys and a time of significant change, both physically and mentally. These changes can strain a woman's body and mind causing various aches and pains.
As the baby grows, the mother puts on healthy weight, and that weight can add pressure and tension to her joints and muscles. Hormonal changes can cause tension headaches and ligament and muscle changes. Soon-to-be moms can also experience stress and anxiety about the pregnancy and upcoming changes to their family. There are worries about the baby's health, that you are making the right choices for diet and exercise and how to cope with life with an infant.
There is one age-old remedy to help combat all these challenges of pregnancy: Prenatal massage. These messages, specifically for expecting women, can be a helpful tool in relieving common pregnancy-related complaints.
The first step in exploring prenatal massage options is to talk to your OB/GYN and make sure you are a good candidate for massage. According to the American Pregnancy Association, massages administered by certified professionals can help many women. But there can be high-risk conditions or something specific to you that your doctor would advise holding off on prenatal massages.
Once your OB/GYN clears you, a great massage option after the first trimester is a Swedish massage. The baby begins to grow at this point in pregnancy, and the mother starts to show, and the added weight can strain the mother's body, including her muscles and joints.
Many women specifically complain about lower back pain and swollen feet during pregnancy. Swedish massage focuses on relieving muscle tension, improving circulation and moving out that fluid buildup.
It's also milder, and it isn't as intense as a deep tissue massage. The focus is on relaxation, and the movements are gentler and less probing than other types of massage.
Slow, circular palm motions provide soothing tension-release during this type of massage. It can also help relieve tension headaches – another common pregnancy complaint.
A certified massage therapist will be sensitive to body position during a prenatal massage, so there is no pressure on the baby. They will also avoid sudden or jarring motions, probing too deeply or using intense techniques.
With relaxation the primary goal of a prenatal massage, many pregnant women find great relief and feel much better after experiencing this type of massage. A regular cadence of prenatal massages also provides a pregnant woman with sustained sessions to relieve common aches and pains as the baby grows.
If you or a friend or family member are interested in learning more about prenatal massage, contact our Elevate by Ochsner Health team at 504-736-4610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.