Pregnancy is a life-changing experience offering the gift of childbirth. However, pregnancy takes quite a toll on the body. At Lotus 5 Senses Spa, we recommend pregnancy massage to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Prenatal massages offer several wonderful benefits to support the health and wellness of pregnant women.
The Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
We are sure that you are well aware of the benefits of traditional massage, which is why it is understandable that you would want to experience these same benefits during pregnancy. Prenatal massage is an excellent way to make the pregnancy experience more enjoyable. The benefits of prenatal massage include:
Massage therapists provide leg massages to reduce swelling in the lower extremities. Increased pressure on the back causes poor circulation, which creates swelling.
Eliminates joint and muscle pain
During pregnancy many women experience sciatica, which is lower back pain that is caused by the pelvic muscles applying pressure to the sciatic nerve. This pain worsens as the pregnancy advances. Massage helps to relieve back tension, increase muscle flexibility, and reduce nerve pain.
We have all either heard about or personally experienced the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. Massage helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol while increasing endorphins, which make you feel good. Massage also relieves headaches due to hormonal shifts during pregnancy.
Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy. Massage reduces stomach pressure and relaxes the central nervous system reducing the occurrence of heartburn.
Promotes easy labor
Studies show that women who receive massage during pregnancy tend to have shorter labor times, and they also request less pain medication during labor. We attribute these findings to the reduction of stress courtesy of massage.
With all these benefits, it is no wonder that many women are interested in prenatal massage.
Prenatal Massage Precautions
While we do recommend prenatal massage for its many benefits, there are some precautions pregnant women should consider before booking a massage.
In general, it is best for pregnant women to avoid massage during the first trimester. Massage often causes a detoxification process that can increase the risk of a miscarriage. Thus, it is best to receive massages beginning in the second trimester. Before receiving a massage, you may be asked for a note from your physician or midwife clearing you to receive a massage. If you are a pregnant woman that has a history of heavy drinking, smoking, or drug use, it may be best for you to avoid massage as it can cause significant detoxification. Please consult with your physician or midwife for additional guidance.
Foot massages are excellent for tired, swollen feet. Please be mindful of acupressure points on and near the feet that stimulate labor. We recommend speaking with a trained massage therapist or who can guide you on how to massage your feet while pregnant.
The use of oils scented with essential oils is commonplace during a massage. Certain essential oils are best avoided during pregnancy as they can induce labor such as clary sage and rosemary. We recommend researching essential oils and speaking with a certified aromatherapist and your massage therapist to discuss which essential oils are best to use during pregnancy.
Finally, we do not recommend massage therapy for women experiencing pregnancy complications. If you are experiencing severe morning sickness, have preeclampsia, diabetes, placenta previa, or are on bed rest, massage therapy may create additional pregnancy complications. Please speak with your physician or midwife for guidance about receiving massage therapy, particularly if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
Being aware of these precautions will ensure that you receive a safe prenatal massage.
Pregnancy Massage Therapist
At Qi Massage & Natural Healing Spa, we understand the importance of choosing a massage therapist that understands your needs as a pregnant woman. Thus, we recommend using the services of a licensed massage therapist with a certification in prenatal massage. Doing so ensures that you receive the special accommodations needed for pregnant women by a properly trained massage therapist. Massage therapists certified to work with pregnant women use modifications to ensure the comfort and safety of their clients. These modifications include positioning pregnant women on their sides with a body pillow and using the semi-reclined position to support the back and knees. These modifications differ from the traditional abdominal and back positions that are uncomfortable and unsafe for pregnant women.
As a mom-to-be, it is essential to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. Treating yourself to a massage is an excellent way to obtain peace of mind, alleviate stress, and counteract the physical changes that occur during pregnancy. We recommend prenatal massage as an addition to your pregnancy self-care routine. To experience the benefits of prenatal massage, contact Lotus 5 Senses Spa today to book an appointment.