Massage during pregnancy offers undeniable physical benefits throughout every prenatal stage. Research has shown that women who receive massage while pregnant may have easier deliveries, a reduced chance of post-partum depression, and regain their bodies more quickly. In most cases, massage is perfectly safe and can help the mother-to-be relieve general body aches, pains, and tension that her body is going through while also feeling pampered at the same time.
- Stimulating blood flow (may prevent anemia)
- Increase muscle tone and flexibility (alleviating muscle cramps and spasms)
- Stimulates lymphatic system (may help prevent/reduce edema)
- Relieve headaches
- Help alleviate morning sickness
- Reduce fatigue
- Alleviate backaches and leg cramps
- Enhance sleep
- Alleviate ligament pain
- Relieving aches and pains
- Alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints
- Learn relaxation skills
- Release physical and emotional tension
Positioning During the Massage
While receiving a pregnancy massage, you are positioned on your side using specially designed bolsters and pillows to allow the therapist access to your back. Likewise, more specially designed pillows are used to position you in a semi-reclined position so you can receive work on your belly and anything else that you would normally have massaged if lying flat. No matter the position, you will always remain properly draped except for the area being massaged.
When Massage Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Most normal low-risk pregnancies can receive massage with no problem. However if the pregnancy is high-risk or conditions such as pre-term labor, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, DVT, or severe edema are present, massage may not be advised. Women with any of these conditions need a doctor's authorization before proceeding with a massage, and even if none of the conditions exist, it is still a good idea to double-check with your doctor first.
Spa / Pampering Treatments
Most massage spa treatments are safe as long as they are modified slightly. Facials, foot masques, and paraffin dips are safe, but Hot Stone treatments or anything that involves surrounding the body with heat is not recommended. Aromatherapy is safe, provided that certain essential oils are not used. A therapist certified in aromatherapy treatments will know how to safely guide the mother-to-be in using oils and spa products that are safe.
Massage After Delivery
Massage during the weeks after delivery helps to restore muscle tone in the abdomen and reposition the pelvis. Plus, it can give a new mom some time to relax and possibly a chance for some much-needed quiet time and sleep. Depending on the conditions during the delivery, some women feel "up to" a massage a week or so after delivery, while others it may be beneficial to wait 6 weeks or more. Check with your doctor to determine the best time to receive a massage following your delivery. In addition to helping the mother, massage is also very beneficial to the baby as well. Infant Massage can promote bonding; help alleviate colic and fussiness, while contributing to the baby's overall health. Ask us about our Infant Massage instruction available to parents.
Karen Stoner, LMT is one of the few Massage Therapists in Centre County that holds the designation of
both Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist and Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor
Call (814) 235-1236 for appointment information