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Pregnancy Massage Therapy:

Is It A Good Idea To Have A Massage During Pregnancy?

It’s always advisable for a pregnant woman to consult with her health care provider about her
particular situation and the safety, well-being and comfort of both her and her babies before
she participates in any alternative medical treatment… and that includes massage.

I love a good relaxing massage and after getting the thumbs up sign from her doctor, there
are a number of benefits a pregnant mother might expect and a few cautions that she should
consider.

1. Follow your intuition. If you’re feeling hesitant about your health in general, a particular
type of massage, a practitioner or a specific time and location, then pospone your massage until
the “vibes” are right. It is generally wise to follow a mother’s “intuition”.
2. Excessive heat and particularily for extendend periods of time is not usually good for pregnant women
or their babies… so, wisdom and caution would have you avoid hot stone massages, steam rooms and
saunas.
3. During pregnancy, women should avoid lying on their backs for very long at a time. This might
press on blood vessels and reduce the oxygen flow to both the baby and the mother.
4. Women with any complications in pregnancy should have the specific approval of their health care
provider before having a massages and using a certified prenatal massage therapist is a wise choice as
they are carefully trained to take care with specific issues and sensitive pressure points.

Note: Some therapists may have tables that are designed especially for a pregnant woman’s abdomen and
help her in being able to lie on her stomach. It is recommended by the American Pregnancy Association,
that massages during pregancy, take place with the woman lying on her side.

There are many different modes of massage to choose from. Whatever type you choose, the pressure should be
light and the therapy relaxing. The American Pregnancy Association prefers the Swedish Massage becuse it
relaxes the muscles with mild pressure and improves lymph flow and blood circulation throughout the whole body.

There are many benefits that can be experienced during pregnancy. Reducing or eliminating
muscle pain, back pain and joint pain are the most sought after benefits. These are also the benefits tha
most women experience during a pregnacy massage.

Massage can also bring down swelling and soreness in the legs and ankles. This is done by improving the
lymphatic system circulation and stimulating greater blood flow throughout the body’s tissues and muscles.

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by the expanding uterus putting pressure on nerves that run down the legs.
Massage can help relieve this pain and pressure. It also enduces relaxation and significantly reduces the
levels of stress producing hormones that are in body.

With the reduction of pain and stress in addition to improved relaxation, it’s common for expecting mothers
to get a more comfortable, longer and deeper sleep at night.

Many doctors and health care professionals feel that massage is safe any time during the pregnancy. Others believe
it is safer to wait until the first trimester has passed, thus avoiding the time when there is a higher risk
of miscarriage.

It’s not unusual for pregnant women to want a massage more frequenetly later in their term – when there is more
strain on the nerves, muscles and the whole body. Many women find it a great help to have a relaxing Swedish
massage on a regular bi-weeklly or weekly basis. Find what works best for you and enjoy a little extra pampering
and relaxation during this special time of your child’s development.