What is a prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage, as the name suggests, is a very specialized massage technique that aims to provide several physiological and psychological benefits to expecting mums. Generally performed on pregnant women who have passed the first trimester of their first twelve weeks of pregnancy, a prenatal massage is designed to greatly enhance the quality of health and wellness of mothers to be.
The techniques used in a prenatal massage might resemble techniques used in many soothing or relaxing massages. But, where prenatal massages are completely different is the way in which the massage is performed on a mother’s body. Exceptional care is taken to ensure that the recipient of a prenatal massage is positioned in such a way that no undue pressure is applied to any part of the body.
Customized cushions, pressure-relieving postures, and very knowledgeable masseuses perform the massage with great care, customizing their techniques to suit the recipient’s very specific body, age, weight, and trimester-specific needs.
When can I start getting a prenatal massage?
Professionally trained and certified prenatal masseuses and therapists can provide prenatal massages at two stages of pregnancy, which is, second and third trimester. That being said, it is also quite common for prenatal massages to be administered only after the end of the first trimester, as there is a slightly higher risk of miscarriage associated with prenatal massages administered in the first trimester.
However, it would be wrong to assume that prenatal massages in the first-trimester cause miscarriages. It only means that an existing risk of miscarriage is very slightly elevated if a mother were to get a prenatal massage in the first trimester. The baby’s body is fully formed after the first trimester and the risk and complications related to prenatal massages are greatly decreased after the first trimester.
What Are the Benefits of prenatal massages, by trimester
A soon-to-be mother’s body goes through a myriad of transitions during a pregnancy. Generally, this transition is broken up into three trimesters. Prenatal massages can offer benefits during each of these trimesters.
Prenatal massage in first trimester benefits
A pregnancy massage in the first trimester can provide relief from a host of problems like headaches, morning sickness and also constipation. It can also play a very significant role in dramatically reducing stress levels.
Aggressive changes in hormonal levels in the first trimester are a source of stress for new mothers, as they learn to cope with their changing bodies and minds. An antenatal massage can alleviate a lot of this stress, helping mothers keep their calm, in times of chaotic change.
Prenatal massage in second-trimester benefits
While the second trimester is relatively easier than the first, it poses its own set of challenges. The second trimester is when a mother may begin to notice her belly growing the most. The significant added weight will change her posture, put pressure on her back and other muscles and throw the body’s natural alignment out of whack.
A prenatal massage can tremendously alleviate back pain, muscle paint, and even joint stiffness, as blood flow is rejuvenated with careful strokes by a masseuse. Besides the obvious physical comfort, a prenatal massage in the second trimester again offers great relief from stress.
Prenatal massage in third-trimester benefits
The third trimester is when the belly is fully enlarged, maximizing the strain on a mother’s back and all her supporting postural muscles.
In some cases, the expectant mother can comfortably lie on her side, aided by special cushions that prop her up comfortably. A third-trimester prenatal massage can alleviate back and general muscle pain. It can also greatly reduce swelling, a very common symptom in the last trimester.
There has even been some research that shows that prenatal massages administered in the last trimester can strengthen the pelvic muscle group, allowing for easier birthing, if the mother is delivering the baby naturally.
Stress and anxiety that often accompany a looming delivery date can also be greatly reduced by well-timed pregnancy massages in the third trimester. Prenatal massages can offer a great infusion of health and wellness for a mother going through pregnancy, through the entirety of the three trimesters.
For more information on pregnancy and childbirth, don’t forget to read this helpful guide from Theraply: The Mommy’s Guide to Pregnancy – From Conception to Childbirth
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