Where Not To Massage During Pregnancy
It is natural for women to want a full body massage to find relief from their aches and pains during pregnancy. However, you should avoid massaging your belly to prevent hurting your baby. You should also avoid a deep tissue massage to your legs and pressing certain pressure points in the body that can trigger contractions .
The benefits of pregnancy back massage are well-documented and known. Getting a massage is good for your back and your overall health and well-being during pregnancy and childbirth. Though getting a pregnancy back massage is safe, always check with your healthcare provider before getting one.
Does Massage Help Pregnancy Aches Pains
There is no confirmed scientific evidence that massage or other complementary therapies remove pregnancy related aches and pains. However your own common sense and life experiences will no doubt already have made you aware that at any time when we are suffering pain, a soothing hand from another caring human being can bring much needed care and comfort. Our therapists are specifically selected on their ability to provide great massage and also on being empathetic individuals. Showing empathy whilst massaging is always important and never more so if your customer is feel vulnerable or less confident than usual. Massage with bundles of empathy is what we like to call Real Massage. It is this latter quality which we believe can reap real rewards when receiving a pregnancy massage from The Massage Rooms.
What Are The Risks Of Foot Massage During Pregnancy
Massage responsibly. Massage is not for you if you have a history of blood clots in your legs or the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis , such as a hot swollen area on your leg. See your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect DVT.
Now that youre raring to reap the benefits of massage, keep in mind the three areas below that you want to avoid touching. There are acupressure points said to induce labor.
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What Does It Involve
One of the most popular forms of pregnancy massage uses the principles based on Swedish massage techniques. This is because of its particular benefits in reducing muscle tension and improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
Some massage therapists use aromatherapy oils and burn incense to heighten the sensory experience. There is however, a range of oils which need to be avoided as they can prompt uterine contractions. These include oregano, nutmeg, peppermint, thyme, basil, sage and rosemary. You may prefer the massage therapist uses non-scented or very low scented oils.
How much skin you expose during your massage is entirely up to you. Some women are comfortable wearing very little clothing others want to feel more covered. It is worth bearing in mind though, for you to get the most benefit from your massage, the therapist needs to be able to access as much of your skin surface area as possible.
Can A Massage Make You Have A Miscarriage
Because so many massage therapists will not massage a woman during her first trimester, many mamas wonder if a prenatal massage can trigger a miscarriage.
There are no studies to suggest a direct correlation between massage and miscarriage.
In fact, most miscarriages are not caused by anything Mama did or didnt do.
Massage is not causative in a miscarriage. Elaine Stillerman, a licensed massage therapist
Stillerman isnt the only massage therapist who argues that massages are beneficial during pregnancy. Author Leslie Stager writes that, while deep abdominal massages are not safe during pregnancy, nurturing energy work and soothing, gentle massage can still be beneficial.
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What Is Prenatal Massage
Prenatal massages are built to facilitate the changes in the body that occur during pregnancy. A normal massage may have you lying face-down on your stomach for half of the time. However, it is not feasible during pregnancy. In certain other massages, you are gazing up, putting pressure on a major blood vessel, potentially hampering blood flow to your baby and making you uncomfortable.
As your body shape and posture vary, a trained massage therapist will construct a suitable plan with specialized cushioning systems or holes. It will help you sleep comfortably face down while giving space for your growing tummy and breasts. You must sleep on your side, supported by pillows and cushions.
Seek An Appropriate Massage Therapist
It is important to seek care from a certified prenatal massage therapist. Certified therapists have received training beyond the national standards for massage therapists and know how to address specific pregnancy and massage needs.They are aware of how to position you safely and prevent strain to the uterine ligaments. They are also able to watch for symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins.Women who have recently experienced bleeding, pre-term contractions, or have any of the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:
- High-risk pregnancy
- Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
- Recently gave birth
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What Precautions To Follow For Pregnancy Back Massage
Getting a back massage during pregnancy does not always require you to go to a massage parlor. You can safely get a massage at home during your pregnancy. Ask your partner or a friend to help you give a back massage. Here are some tips that they may use:
- While getting a gentle back rub, lie on your side and ask them to focus on the muscles around your spine.
- A shoulder rub could be relaxing along with a back rub.
- Avoid massaging your belly but applying some vitamin E can help soothe any effects of stretch marks and also prevent them to a large extent.
- Practice prenatal yogaâ some stretching exercises and breathing could help.
Pregnant women should discuss the benefits and risks of pregnancy back massage with their obstetrician-gynecologist. The following are the precautions for you :
- Avoid getting a massage when you have varicose veins or signs of a blood clot
- Heated beds and electric blankets are not recommended in pregnancy
- Take care while you are getting on and off the massage table
- Avoid applying direct pressure on your abdomen by lying on it or allowing your abdomen to dangle.
- If you have high blood sugar levels, avoid back massage until your sugar levels stabilize
- Avoid a back massage during pregnancy if you have been diagnosed with placental issues.
Whats The Difference Between A Regular Massage And A Prenatal Massage
In order to make a massage safer and more comfortable for Mama, certain modifications will be made during a prenatal massage.
The biggest modification is Mamas position during the massage.
Mama doesnt lay on her stomach. Not only is that unsafe, it simply isnt comfortable! In order to massage Mamas back, the massage therapist will have Mama lay on her side and cradle a body pillow. The pillow will keep Mama comfortable, yet allow the masseuse access to Mamas back.
Mama doesnt lay flat on her back either. In order to avoid pressure on the vena cava, Mama will be semi-reclined with the use of pillows behind Mama, as well as under her knees.
Other modifications that take place include:
- Essentials oils contraindicated during pregnancy are avoided. For instance, clary sage should be avoided, as that oil can trigger contractions. Other essentials oils to be avoided include rosemary and cinnamon. Check with a certified aromatherapist if youre ever unsure if an oil is safe during pregnancy.
- Certain areas will not be massaged. The abdomen, as well as any pressure points that promote contractions or jump starts labor, are avoided during prenatal massages.
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The History Of Prenatal Massage
Prenatal massages are not new. In fact, prenatal massage has a deep history rooted in many cultures around the world. Heres a look at how prenatal massage has traditionally been used:
- Jamaica: Midwives in Jamaica traditionally used prenatal massage right until delivery. Depending on what stage of labor Mama was in, the midwives would preform different massage techniques. Toona leaves were often used to rub the belly, while olive oil and a warm wet compress was used on the belly during transition.
- Japan: Fun fact: Midwives in Japan are called Sanba, which literally means elderly woman who massages. Japanese sanbas are known for performing acupressure during pregnancy, as well as foot and leg messages while mama labors.
- Mexico: Aztec midwives massaged a mama-to-bes legs and believed that the tension in her legs indicated fetal position. This practice must have been handy when there were no ultrasounds!
- Malaysia: Malaysian mothers massage their own navels with coconut oil. Why? It is believed to encourage the baby to lower into the proper position for birth.
- England: Midwives in 17th century England massaged laboring moms with oil of lilies.
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Which Massage Oils Do You Use
At TenPhysio we use grape seed oil with no added essential oils. Grape seed oil is one of the best oils to use during pregnancy, as its perfect for massage and yet doesnt leave greasy or sticky residue.
We recommend avoiding the use of essential oils during pregnancy. This is purely a precautionary measure, and is simply because you may not always know the chemical composition of the oils, or what effect if any they could have on a developing baby.
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Is Prenatal Massage Safe During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a critical phase in the lives of husband and wife. The concerns and care increase even more if it is the first pregnancy. The parents tend to take everything extra seriously and focus too much on tiny details.
Getting a massage during pregnancy is one of these things. There are a lot of myths associated with getting a prenatal massage. For your comfort, ease and clarity, we are going to dispel these myths and highlight the precautions that you must take regarding getting a massage during your pregnancy and the benefits of getting a prenatal massage.
We have spent a lot of time reading researches and health journals regarding pregnancy and then produced this article because we care for you.
Prenatal Massage Safety Tips
Prenatal massage is meant to nurture you, both physically and mentally, so to fully enjoy it, youll want to put your mind at ease knowing that you and baby are safe. A massage during pregnancy doesnt differ all that much from a regular massage, but there are a few safety tips to keep in mind when youre expecting.
Starting in the second trimester , lying on your side, possibly propped up by pillows, is the optimal position during a massage. Lying on your stomach is of course no longer a comfortable or safe option, and according to the APA, massage tables that feature a belly cutout can still apply pressure to your abdomen plus, having your belly dangle can also cause the uterine ligaments to stretch uncomfortably. Lying on your back once youre in your second trimester can also be unsafe, as the weight of your growing belly can compress an important blood vessel in your back and interfere with blood flow.
Many massage therapists dont offer hot stone massage for their pregnant clients, as raising your core temperature isnt recommended in pregnancy. Many also decline to perform deep tissue massage, since too much pressureespecially near veins in the legscan potentially dislodge a blood clot, which expectant moms are at higher risk of developing. According to Field, moderate pressure that moves the skin is optimal.
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Advantages Of Pregnancy Massage
The centre of gravity realigns over the hips as the abdomen expands outward. Some patients have low back, pelvic, neck, shoulder, or sciatic nerve pain due to the tension on their joints and muscles. These pains can be relieved with professional prenatal massage therapy. It has been shown in studies to help with leg and back discomfort during pregnancy.
Better sleep at night.
Due to physical discomfort as well as tension and worry, sleeping problems are typical throughout the pregnancy. Pregnancy massage in Calgary may assist with insomnia and sleep quality during pregnancy.
You might face edema, or swelling which is common during pregnancy. Because the expanding uterus puts pressure on the veins in the legs, the fluid accretion is more noticeable in the legs, ankles, and feet. Massage therapy will help you decrease the level of fluid retention.
Prenatal massage can also help improve mood and overall well-being throughout pregnancy. Women who undergo a series of prenatal massages, for example, exhibited substantial reductions in stress hormone levels and improved immune function as per one research.
Better fetal positioning.
Fewer nerve pains.
Better blood circulation.
Before receiving massage therapy in Calgary from your spouse or a professional massage therapist, you must talk to your doctor first before getting one to be on the safe side.
Tips For Pregnancy Massage
When you’ve gotten your doctor’s OK and you’ve found a qualified therapist, there are some steps you can take to ensure you have a positive prenatal massage experience.
- Try to leave your self-consciousness at the door. If you are feeling uneasy about your pregnancy body, try to go into your massage reassured that therapists are unbiased and are there to help you feel your best.
- Speak up. If you are uncomfortable exposing certain parts of your body, let your therapist know. A professional massage therapist will create a safe environment for the massage and will not force you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
- Drink plenty of water before and after your massage. Staying hydrated is always important, but the fluids may also help to flush away toxins.
- Avoid scheduling your appointments more often than weekly. The general recommendation is that you don’t have more than one prenatal massage per week, but you will want to ask your doctor how often is right for you.
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What About When I’m In Labour
Massage can also be used very effectively during labour to relieve back pain and generalised muscle tension. It is a good, practical way of partners being an active part of labour. Not all women like to be massaged when they are in labour though, and find it to be distracting and a major irritation. Some massage therapists or doulas use aromatherapy oils to induce labour. These combined with massage are thought to enhance the progression of labour.
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.
Risks Of Foot Massage During Pregnancy
Many pregnant women want relief from their aching feet and may opt for a foot massage during pregnancy. If you fall into this category, your first instinct may be to get a pedicure massage because you can also get your toenails clipped and painted in the same visit. But, many doctors don’t recommend a pedicure massage because they are typically not done by a licensed massage therapist who has studied the anatomy of the foot and is familiar with pressure points and other massaging techniques specific to pregnant women.
You should talk to your doctor before getting any type of massage while pregnant, especially a foot massage. According to the American Pregnancy Association, prenatal massage is generally safe during all trimesters. But, many places will not accept a woman for massage until after her first trimester when the risk of miscarriage is typically less.
If you have a history of blood clots in your legs or deep vein thrombosis, your doctor will likely not recommend any foot massages while pregnant.
Positano says that the area of the heel, arch, and forefoot are the best suited for massage therapy. If there are musculoskeletal issues like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or neuroma, extra care should be taken and an even softer massage touch is recommended. The Achilles tendon and the area under the big toe are more sensitive than others because the blood supply to the Achilles is reduced and the area under the big toe has many structures in a small space.
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Fewer Complications During And After Labor
“Perineal massage, when performed 3-4 times a week from 34 weeks of pregnancy, can make the perineum – the area of muscle and skin between the vagina and anus more elastic and reduce the severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy a surgical cut to the area to facilitate babys birth,” explains Gilchrist.
Additionally, she says, regular massage in pregnancy has been shown to decrease pain in labor and to shorten labor by up to three hours.
Certain Medical Issues Or Conditions
When getting a massage during pregnancy, you must be careful about how the process affects your body and its systems. Prenatal massage therapists suggest that women who have the following issues or conditions to not undergo massage because of the increase in blood flow due to its stimulation of the circulatory system:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Recent surgery or another injury
- Having pre-term labor in past pregnancies
- Undergoing a recent organ transplant
- Suffering from a high-risk pregnancy, such as having preeclampsia or congenital heart problems
It is safe for pregnant women to get massages even on a regular basis in the second and third trimester as long as they have no health issues that prevent it.
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