As pregnancy progresses, you become more in love with the little life growing inside of you. The anticipation and joy that you feel grows with your beautiful baby bump. But, as much as you love your baby and the bump that grows as it does, carrying around another human being also comes with some challenges.
Those challenges are often physical – aching feet, sore backs, lost sleep. Relieving some of these side effects of the bump can be achieved with prenatal message. And, the benefits of prenatal massage do not end with relief of physical discomfort. It is also great for your emotional well-being too.
Prenatal massage, is in many ways, just like a regular massage. There are slight adjustments to technique and areas of focus, but if you have had a regular massage, you should have a good idea of what to expect. One big difference that your body and your bump will appreciate? The tables for prenatal massage are often altered to accommodate a pregnant woman’s belly.
There are a few important things to look for when searching for a prenatal massage provider:
- Experience with prenatal massage, not just the ability to perform them
- A modified table and belly sling to support your baby bump
- The ability to perform side-lying massages if the altered table is not right for you
- Experience with multiple techniques and massage types for pregnant women
- Additional certifications for prenatal massage
The answers are important because just because a masseuse offers prenatal massage does not necessarily mean they have experience performing them. Choosing someone with extensive experience will help make sure the experience is pleasurable and beneficial. Choosing a practice that exclusively performs prenatal massage is ideal.
Massages, whether pregnant or not, are great for relieving muscle aches and pains and migraines. They are particularly effective at addressing back, neck and abdominal pain, which are common issues that arise during pregnancy from the strain that the bump puts on your body.
Additional benefits of prenatal massage include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved ability to relax
- Better circulation
- Deeper sleep and reduction of insomnia
- Reduced edema (swelling in the hands and feet)
- Eliminate sinus congestion
Still not convinced that prenatal massage is right for you? According to the American Pregnancy Association, modern research shows that it can be an important ingredient in a pregnant woman’s care and should be evaluated as an option for managing your pregnancy.
Although prenatal massage has several benefits, there are some women who may not be good candidates for a prenatal massage. If you have pregnancy complications that include high risk pregnancy, previous pre-term labor, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure or abdominal pain, consult your doctor prior to scheduling a prenatal massage. There may be modifications that can be performed so that you can still enjoy the benefits of massage.
The common issues that arise from pregnancy can all be addressed with regular prenatal massages. Eliminating or reducing the impact of these issues on your pregnancy allows you to focus on the beauty of creating and nurturing a new life. And, they are also a great way to focus on yourself. Soon, your beautiful bump will be a beautiful baby who demands all of your time and attention. While this will be an enjoyable, joyous time for you, time for self will become much harder to find. During your pregnancy, the more you focus on keeping yourself healthy and well-rested, the better prepared you will be to care for your baby.
Show your bump the love and caring that it so rightfully deserves!