A Boon for Would be Moms: Pre Natal Massage

Readers of Agloware well aware with the concepts of different types and techniques of massages by now. These massages have been beneficial in improving general health, reducing stress and relieving muscular tension. Women generally wonder about the safety and aim of massage administered during pregnancy. But new research and studies have proven that prenatal massage acts as a therapy in pregnancy and forms an integral part of pregnancy care.

Pre Natal Massage

What is pre-natal massage?
Pre-natal massage is a specialized massage given by therapists trained to address the specific needs and handling the sensitive areas of the body of a pregnant woman. The expert giving the pre-natal massage can identify the sensitive and specific pressure points on the ankles or wrists so that they can gently stimulate the pelvic muscles including uterus.

Pre-natal massage is given to relax tensed muscles, ease soreness, improve blood flow and movement, and generate general feeling of good health. The pre-natal massage is custom made depending on the needs of the lady and the expert professionals manipulate their massage techniques according to the condition of the pregnant lady.

How is a pre-natal massage given?
When the pre-natal massage is being administered, it is of utmost significance to ensure that the lady is lying in the most comfortable position. The best position for a pregnant woman during pre-natal massage is side-lying. Some therapists use a special massage table or pad which have hollowed out areas and provided with special pillows to accommodate your belly and breasts as well. On a traditional massage table, you can lie on your side with pillows, wedges or a full-length body pillow for the support of the body.

Other positions which are considered to be comfortable while administering a massage are making use of specially designed maternity cushioning systems which help the expecting mothers to lie on her stomach with the support of cushions or positioning the mother in a semi-reclining position supported with pillows.
The recommended technique of massage which has been proven to be most beneficial in pregnancy is the Swedish massage. It can successfully provide answer to many problems of pregnancy such as common discomforts associated with the changes in the skeletal and circulatory system and hormonal shifts.

The benefits of pre-natal massage
Different research studies have been conducted to assess the therapeutic benefits of the pre-natal massage. There are evidences to prove that massage given during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, reduce the symptoms of depression, release aching muscle joints and joint pains and also improve the outcome of labor and health of the new born. The different therapeutic benefits of massage during pregnancy are;

1. Regulation of hormones: massage therapy has a significant effect on the hormone levels and this leads to a regulation of the mood and an improvement in the cardiovascular health. Changes in hormones is also effective in reducing the complications associated with pregnancy and brings down the instance of new born complications such as low birth weight as well.

2. An improved blood flow also reduces or eliminates the oedema or swelling associated with pregnancy. Massage also helps in stimulating the soft tissues and reduces the accumulation of fluids in the swollen joints. It also improves lymph flow which in turn improves the elimination of toxic waste from the body.

3. Massage therapy in pregnancy also improves nerve pain. Many pregnant women experience sciatic nerve pain which is significantly reduced with the help of regular massage.

Added to these major benefits there are various other benefits also which are reduction in back pain, reduction in joint pain, improvement in blood circulation, reduction in oedema, reduction in tension in the muscles, reduction in stress and anxiety, improved oxygen levels in the soft tissues and muscles of the body and an improved quality of sleep.

The pre-natal massage releases endorphins in the mother’s body making her more relaxed and at ease. It helps in maintaining good posture and also enhances the pliability of the skin and the tissues lying within. It also leaves a sedating effect on the nervous system which promotes relaxation and relief from stress. At last pre-natal massage provides the much needed emotional support to the mother through touch and human energy.

Precautions during pre-natal massage
It is important to avoid applying specific and focused pressure to certain areas during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have experienced Braxton-hicks contractions should completely avoid massage of these sensitive points. There are certain conditions during which the pre-natal massage should either be avoided or given only after consultation with your doctor. These are;
1. High risk pregnancy
2. Pregnancy induced hypertension
3. Preeclampsia
4. Previous pre-term labor
5. Presence of severe swelling, high blood pressure or severe headaches
6. Recent delivery

Is it all right to get massage any time during the pregnancy?
Pregnant women can start getting the pre-natal massage at any time of their pregnancy including first, second or third trimester. Sometimes, experts avoid giving massage in the first trimester since the pregnancy is most vulnerable during the first 12 weeks and there may be a chance of miscarriage. But if the massage is given by an expert, it is safe to get pre-natal massage any time during the massage.

It can be concluded that along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, pre-natal massage should form an integral part and routine of pregnancy care. It is extremely helpful in maintaining a balanced emotional and physical health in pregnant ladies.

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