Pregnancy is a time of many changes, some you may eagerly embrace, while others are less welcome. While your body adapts to the new life growing within you, you will be faced with many important life changes both at home and work, involving your family and friends. You not only need support, you deserve it, especially since two people are now depending on your health, vitality and well being. A massage is a wonderful way to relax, increase your energy, and relieve many of your discomforts during pregnancy.
The caring touch of massage during pregnancy can help you experience your changing body in a special way. Massage can become that relaxing, quiet time for you, when so much of your attention is focused on your baby. Tension, caused by stress, coupled with the physical changes of pregnancy, can drain your energy for coping with day-to-day activities. A soothing massage can relieve physical and emotional tension, help you sleep better, and boost your energy level. Massage durning your pregnancy will loosen tight muscles and calm the nervous system. Massage will also increase blood circulation; bringing energy-producing nutrients to your cells and carrying away metabolic waste products that can make you feel listless. During a pregnancy massage, you may become more aware of your body, helping you recognize tension as it builds during the day and consciously release it.
Easing Aches and Pains Massage can be one of the best methods of helping reduce those annoying aches and pains your body experiences during pregnancy.
- Relieve pain in your muscles and joints that must support extra weight;
- Increase flexibility, making it easier for your body to adjust to additional weight;
- Relieve abdominal soreness caused by an active baby.
- Ease constipation, gas and heartburn by stimulating intestinal movement;
- Reduce excess fluid retention by gently pushing fluid into circulation where it can be eliminated;
- Slow the progress of varicose veins as enhanced circulation lowers pressure on bulging veins;
- Relieve headaches caused by tension, constipation, or buildup of metabolic waste products.
Learning Self-Care Techniques In your quest for comfort you may ask your massage therapist for feedback on your posture or to suggest gentle exercises and stretches to help relieve tension. You may also learn proper breathing techniques to help you relax more quickly. Learning to use pillows as support can be a beneficial aid in relieving discomfort in your back and legs, allowing you to rest more comfortably.
Is Massage Always Appropriate? The more information given to your massage therapist about your pregnancy, the better they will be informed in taking care of you. In some instances massage may not always be appropriate. Some health conditions may possibly prevent or limit how the therapist can work with you. Communication is of utmost importance. Remember, your state of wellness affects not only you, but that of your child.
Your Comfort During a Massage At Phoenixville Massage & Bodywork, we have your ultimate comfort in mind. Our specially designed massage table allows new mothers to relax on their stomachs, while being supported by a sling built into the table. You may prefer having your massage therapist use pillows to support you in a side lying position. If none of these options are comfortable you may remain seated for that relaxing massage. Draping is an important component of a pregnancy massage. You will be draped with a sheet and a blanket everywhere except on the part of your body being massaged. If you become hot or cold ask for a lighter drape or less heat in the room. Your massage therapist should ask your preference of massage crème or lotion before the massage begins, so that if you are sensitive to smell they will be able to adjust as necessary. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about your massage. Let your therapist know if you are uncomfortable, or if there are areas you would rather not have massaged.
Preparing for Labor You will probably be very busy prior to your delivery date, and massage can be that time when you can slow down and enjoy the prospects of being a mother. Massage during your pregnancy will prepare you for that birthing process by releasing the tension in the lower back, thighs and abdomen. The more you are aware of the tension in your body, the better you will be able to consciously release it. This in turn, will allow you to be in control by increasing your confidence level. During your massages, practice controlling your focusing, breathing and relaxation techniques while tender areas are being massaged.
Massage During Labor Around the world in nearly every culture, massage is being used. It has a number of benefits such as reducing pain from tight muscles, helping you to relax between contractions and provide encouragement and emotional support. There is new evidence that massage may speed up the birthing process by increasing labor-inducing hormones. It is a rare luxury to have your massage therapist with you in the labor room. Consider as an alternative, sharing with your birthing partner some of the massage techniques you find the most relaxing. Ask your massage therapist if they would be willing to meet with you and your partner for a private session.
Postpartum Massage Massage during the postpartum period has been shown to be very beneficial. In that time mother nature sets about undoing what it took nine months to create. Now is the time to take just as good of care of yourself as when you where pregnant. The demands of a newborn child can take its toll on your physical well-being, by adding stress and tension to your life. Massage has been shown to help reduce hemorrhoids and speed the healing of an episiotomy by increasing circulation. A relaxing massage can help the nursing mother by reducing tension which may interfere with milk letdown. Postpartum “blues” may be softened by having someone nurture and comfort you for a change. When should you receive your first postpartum massage? It will depend on how your delivery went, how your health is and when your doctor advises. Talk to your massage therapist about what is best for you.
Is Massage for You and Your Baby? Massage will not relieve the discomforts of pregnancy entirely. You will still weigh the same, your hormones will still be changing, and the stress of everyday life will be right where you left it. However, by receiving regular massage through out your pregnancy and after the baby is born, your physical symptoms can be reduced and your ability to cope with stress enhanced. Because massage supports your physical health and vitality, you may be able to adjust to the many demands and changes in your life more readily. Remember taking time for a massage can improve your outlook on life, making it easier to accept all the changes taking place.