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March 2017
Aesthetics
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PREGNANCY MASSAGE


Pregnancy massages and prenatal massages are practices that indulge the needs of the future mother’s body during the different phases of pregnancy, and these do not only include joint problems. The aim of a pregnancy massage is to improve the functions of muscles and joints, improve circulation, tone the body and rejuvenate the mother-to-be on both a physical and mental level. It is a relatively new practice and its popularity is continually increasing since it is very pleasant and useful for both the mother and child. The physical benefits include, among other things, hormonal and physical stress reduction,  which may be related to how the female’s body will change during pregnancy, and it can also prevent stretch marks since it improves the skin’s elasticity by stimulating blood flow.

A prenatal massage is not really very different from a traditional massage. The only element that is different is the position the woman takes: she must lie on her side so the position of the unborn baby in the uterus is not affected, and for a series of other reasons related to protecting the mother and child’s health.

The areas which must be stimulated the most during a prenatal massage are:

  • the pelvic region;
  • the spine;
  • the back muscles.

The abdominal region, in particular, must only be stimulated a little bit and no pressure should be applied to it.

Some of the benefits of a prenatal massage include:

  • relaxation and less insomnia;
  • relief on joints that are painful due to the excess weight that is carried during pregnancy;
  • relief on the neck and spine which may be painful due to the imbalance of muscles and relative weakness;
  • assistance with how to maintain correct posture;
  • preparation of the muscles to be used during labour;
  • reduction of swelling in the hands and feet;
  • relieving pain in the sciatic nerve;
  • reducing headaches and congestion in the breasts.

Contraindications

A prenatal massage does not pose any particular problems for the woman’s health, however it is always best to consult a doctor before having one, especially if you are not sure how experienced the masseuse is. It is also a good idea to tell the masseuse about any physical problems that are occurring during the pregnancy before he/she begins the massage.

Massages are generally contraindicated in the following situations:

  • loss of water or blood;
  • diabetes;
  • contagious diseases;
  • fever;
  • morning sickness or diarrhoea;
  • dizziness;
  • palpitations;
  • unusual pains;
  • high blood pressure;
  • abdominal pains.

A pregnancy massage can involve every part of the body, but it should not involve the hips or heel bones since they are linked to the uterus and stimulating them excessively could cause premature labour.

Massages should also be avoided if you have:

  • open wounds or bruises;
  • inflammations;
  • varicose veins;
  • local infections.

Some doctors do not recommend massages during the first trimester of pregnancy because of the intense physical and hormonal changes that the woman is undergoing. In fact, only after the second trimester will the woman be used to pregnancy and only then will she be able to benefit from a massage, however it should not be forced on the woman as it may cause her to be stressed out. The massage should go hand in hand with a constant reassuring conversation between the therapist and mother-to-be. A prenatal massage can be carried out once a week during the second trimester, for 10-60 minutes, but it can be done twice as often during the third trimester. The use of lotions during the massage is allowed as long as they are fragrance free and respect the woman’s increased olfactive senses. The place where the massage is carried out must be well ventilated for the whole session, and it is always good to have calming and relaxing music playing in the background.

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