Massage during pregnancy provides many benefits to mom and is also beneficial to baby! Research supports that regular massage for mom can help create a more peaceful and nutrient-rich environment for baby, and helps reduce the risk of premature delivery. Read on to find out how!
Some of the benefits are:
FAQ: Pregnancy Massage
Should all pregnant women receive massage?
Although most pregnant women can benefit greatly from regular massage, not all women are good candidates. Certain conditions may indicate avoiding any additional stimulation to the body. High blood pressure, severe swelling, preeclampsia, previous pre-term labor, excessive vomiting, fever, or infectious diseases are examples of such conditions. A high-risk pregnancy of any kind would require clearance from your primary care provider before receiving massage.
How far into the pregnancy can I receive massage?
As long as mommy and baby are experiencing a normal/healthy pregnancy (as deemed by the primary prenatal care provider) massage can be incorporated throughout the entire pregnancy. Be sure to consult with your primary care provider before receiving massage and keep your massage therapist informed about any changes you are experiencing.
Can any massage therapist perform pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage should be performed by a therapist certified in this modality. The well trained therapist will understand the pregnant body and be aware of the necessary precautions. Be informed about your therapist's training before you get on his/her table.
How does prenatal massage benefit my baby?
All of the benefits of prenatal massage for mommy are also bestowed upon the baby. When mommy is relaxed, so is baby. (Research indicates that massage can reduce the levels of stress hormone production for up to two weeks!) When mommy's circulation is improved, blood flow is increased to the uterus and placenta, bringing vital nutrients to baby. Improved lymphatic flow for mommy (helping to flush out toxins), means healthier tissue for baby too. A decrease in blood pressure for mommy helps to avoid many potential complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Research indicates that women who receive regular prenatal massage have reduced likelihood of premature labor, which means baby can develop fully and will have a healthy birth weight. Taking the time for massage also allows mommy and baby to enjoy a part of the day with no interruptions, giving them a chance for further bonding.
Do I have to wait until my second trimester to receive massage?
No. There is some degree of fear associated with the delicacy of the first trimester since this is when the majority of miscarriages will occur. There is, however, no evidence indicating that well performed massage can influence a miscarriage. Massage can help reduce stress, which is associated with a variety of health complications. It is advisable, however, to wait to schedule a massage until you have had your first prenatal check up (which will advise you of any contraindications) and let your primary prenatal healthcare provider know that you will be seeking massage.
How will I be positioned on a massage table? Are massage tables with "belly holes" safe?
It is not advisable to position a pregnant woman in the prone position (on stomach) after the first trimester. Although having a cut-out in the table seems inviting, this position may increase nasal congestion and can further stretch already compromised uterine ligaments. It is optimal that a pregnant woman be positioned side-lying and/or semi-reclined during massage and supported with pillows or body cushions. Some women also find these positions more comfortable even in the first trimester due to tender breasts or nausea.
Do I need to continue seeing any primary prenatal care provider if I am receiving regular prenatal massage?
Yes! Although the benefits of prenatal massage are numerous, it is intended to complement your care, not replace it.
How long should I wait after the baby is born before receiving massage again?
Once you have seen your primary healthcare provider for your postpartum check up, you can return for regular massages provided, of course, that you have not been advised otherwise by your physician. Postpartum massage can be a great way to reduce the emotional and physical stress associated with caring for a newborn and the changes that your body is, once again, going through
Christine S. Gordon, LMT, NMT
By appointment only. 9:30-7:00 T-F, 9:30-4:00 Sat 727-631-4455
8836 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL (Located inside the Yoga4All Studio MM38401)