Massage during pregnancy is a relaxing practice for the mother and, in general, not dangerous for the baby, which offers a wealth of benefits. In order to have the expected effects, however, pregnancy massage must be practiced in certain circumstances, using reliable methods and tested beforehand.
What is special about pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage is an activity designed to stimulate and relax the mother's body during the prenatal period. In most cases, this type of massage lasts for one hour and is performed on a table specially designed to meet the needs of the woman during pregnancy. The whole prenatal massage can be done by using special pillows, made in such a way that it can support the woman's body, seated on one side.
Benefits of pregnancy massage
Pregnancy massage and its effects on women continue to be researched at prestigious universities around the world. However, studies conducted to date have revealed a number of benefits, such as:
- Decreased anxiety level;
- Relief of back and foot pain;
- Improve sleep quality;
- Lowering the level of the hormone noradrenaline, responsible for stress installation;
- Increased levels of hormones serotonin and dopamine, which provide a well-being;
- Reduction of cortisol level, an indicator of stress;
- Improvement of the general mental state.
Safe massage techniques during pregnancy
There are several techniques for performing the massage during pregnancy, which can be applied in such a way that both the mother and the baby are in complete safety throughout the entire process. The most used methods are the following:
- In-depth massage, with firm movements that apply a high pressure on the muscles;
- Swedish massage or classical massage, which includes a variety of techniques and movements, such as flaking (or smoothing), kneading (or grinding), friction, taping (or beating) and vibrations, performed at varying intensity;
- Shiatsu massage, which involves a technique called acupressure or applying pressure to key points of the body, in order to stimulate the body's self-healing ability.
In general, a specialist in pregnancy massage will avoid techniques that involve high pressure applied to the body. During pregnancy the blood volume of the woman increases by up to 50%; at the same time, the blood circulation in the legs slows down, which increases the risk of blood clots, usually in the legs and in the lower thighs. Applying too harsh movements during the massage would risk dislocating a blood clot, a phenomenon that leads to serious health problems.
Pregnancy massage at home
Massage during pregnancy can also be practiced in the privacy of the home. For example, in the first trimester of pregnancy, you can eat your only tummy with a natural, pleasantly scented oil, for several minutes daily.
As the pregnancy evolves, the partner can take on the duties and perform a gentle massage in different areas of the body - back, neck, feet, soles, etc. -, following your indications, but also those of the specialist doctor. The pregnancy massage, performed by the couple, can last as long as you want, as long as you do not feel discomfort or pain.
When to avoid pregnancy during pregnancy
The opinion of the specialist doctor, who supervises the pregnancy and its evolution, is always essential before making the decision to do prenatal massage. In some cases, the doctor will not recommend the massage during pregnancy, due to the following:
- You have nausea, vomiting or experiencing morning sickness;
- You have an increased risk of miscarriage;
- You have a high risk pregnancy of detaching the placenta or preterm labor prematurely, towards
Also, the massage during pregnancy should never be applied in sensitive, infected, irritated areas, with open wounds or with prominent varicose veins.
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