Some of my most peaceful massages are my prenatal massages. There is something about being in the presence of an unborn child and the stillness of their nurturing mother that I find very peaceful and relaxing. I love to uncover the story of how far along the pregnancy is and get to know the unborn child as we progress through the massage. Sometimes, and it’s such an honor, when I am massaging the abdomen I get to feel the baby move….and that is one of the most amazing treats in this world.
We all know that massage is good for us….true??
But did you know that prenatal massage helps with stress and anxiety, shoulder pain, low back pain, sciatic nerve pain, swelling and trouble sleeping? The stress on the body of the expectant mother starts at conception and just increases as the baby grows and puts added stress on her body.
There are some cases where massage is not indicated for the expectant mother; preterm labor, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, high risk pregnancy and severe swelling are
contraindications for massage. Of course, anytime the mother-to-be questions whether or not massage is indicated it’s always advisable to check with her physician.
A prenatal massage is much like a regular Swedish massage with a few modifications. Once the
expectant mother is past her first trimester the massage will be performed in side lying position with pillows used for support between the knees, under the head and under the abdomen. Strokes will be long and slow to induce relaxation and special focus will be on the neck, back, hips and legs to reduce the pain and discomfort from the added stress on the body. Certain reflexology points will be avoided until the pregnancy is full term.
Consideration should be given to include regular massage into the prenatal care of the expectant woman to help maintain the emotional and physical well being as she progresses through pregnancy.