More and more women are discovering the benefits of professional Pregnancy Massage. Once seen as being limited to those who favoured alternative therapies, it is now becoming increasingly popular amongst women of all ages.
Most people believe massage is beneficial if only to relieve the stresses and strains of everyday life. Some mums-to-be, however, were unsure about the safety of pregnancy massage. A mass of research has been done on the subject and it's got the thumbs up from medical practitioners.
When performed by trained therapists pregnancy massage can relieve much of the discomfort of pregnancy and even facilitate an easier birth.
When browsing through Bookwell you may notice that Pregnancy Massage is listed as a specific service. We highly recommend choosing a qualified therapist who specialises in ante-natal massage. Feel free to ask them about their qualifications and training.
The basis of most pregnancy massage services is Swedish massage, known to be particularly beneficial in soothing muscle tension and improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage. As you would expect ante-natal massage needs to take account of not only the mother's needs but also the safety of the baby.
Certain pressure points should be avoided and the therapist will use firm but gentle strokes to achieve results.
As with most massage therapies you have the choice of using essential oils. A trained ante-natal masseuse knows which oils are safe to use, and those that should be avoided. You should avoid the use of peppermint, oregano, basil, thyme, sage and rosemary.
You can also choose to remain clothed if you wish. The important thing is to feel comfortable and secure. It should be noted, however, that the best results are achieved when the therapist can work directly on your skin.
As your pregnancy proceeds and you get bigger, you may find the traditional massage positions difficult to maintain. Many therapists recommend a side-lying position, while others use specially adapted pregnancy massage tables. Lying on your back is not recommended if you are past your first trimester.
Let's get into the benefits of pregnancy massage. One of the biggest is the effect it can have on your general mood. As any expectant mum (or partner) will tell you, all those raging hormones can play havoc with your moods!
Done correctly pregnancy massage has been shown to reduce stress hormones and produce more of those essential feel-good hormones. This can reduce anxiety, which is a great outcome for both mum and bub.
By providing an opportunity to totally rest and relax, it can also deliver a much-needed boost of energy.
Then there are the physical benefits of pregnancy massage, such as relief from a sore back, stiff joints, leg cramps, swollen ankles and fluid retention. Many women experience sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy and massage can help with that, too.
As your due date draws closer, you may feel massage should be avoided. Quite the opposite is true. Research shows that relaxed mums experience fewer problems during labour and birth. It will also help you get the sleep you need before baby arrives.
Before you start enjoying the many benefits of pregnancy massage, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor or midwife. Depending on your personal medical history, it may be suggested you avoid massage for the first trimester.
You may not be a suitable candidate for pregnancy massage if you:
Are in a high-risk pregnancy category
Have previously had a premature labour
Have high blood pressure
Once given the go-ahead by your medical professional, it's easy to find a qualified pregnancy massage therapist in your locality by using Bookwell. Why not give it a go - it could be the best thing you ever do for yourself and your baby.