Pregnancy causes your body to go through many changes- a lot of stretching of the muscles and skin, not to mention the stress on muscles and joints from the added weight you’re carrying. This can cause you to feel pretty achy, and a prenatal massage might be tempting. There are certain pros and cons associated with prenatal massage.
A prenatal massage is any hands on massage during pregnancy (the term does not indicate a massage only to your baby belly), and typically will last about an hour.
Studies show prenatal massage reduces stress, muscle and joint aches and pains, decrease symptoms of depression, and improve newborn health and the outcome of labor . Massage has also been shown to increase blood and lymphatic circulation, and level out hormone production.
Many practitioners will use a pregnancy table or pillows to stabilize the body, to prevent or reduce discomfort. Research has also shown that prenatal massage increases “feel good” hormones production, and can help the patient to sleep better at night.
Discomfort. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just won’t be comfortable lying down. It can also cause discomfort to have a stranger getting personal with your newly changing body. Also, many massage therapists will not give massages during the first trimester, due to increased risk of miscarriage.
Prenatal massage is discouraged if you have certain preexisting conditions, such as high risk pregnancy, asthma, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, cramping, pulmonary embolism, and a few other illnesses or issues.
Postpartum, eventually, your restrictions will fade and activities will return to normal. If you are not able to receive prenatal massages during pregnancy, one way to help relieve stress after the baby comes is with the help of a breast pump! A breast pump can allow you to continue to breastfeed while also building up a milk supply so others can feed your baby while you take some much needed “me time” (possibly to get a postpartum massage).
If you plan to breastfeed, Aeroflow Breastpumps offers many supplies at low rates through our online store, and may be able to provide you a breast pump at little or no cost through your health insurance company!
Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and let our Breastpump Specialists take care of the rest. Our specialist will work with your healthcare provider to obtain your breast pump prescription, will contact your insurance company to verify your coverage, and will contact you within 3-5 business days to discuss your breast pump options.
Always consult with your OB or regular doctor before seeking a pregnancy massage, to see if one is right for you. Precursory to your massage, you should make sure the masseuse is certified in prenatal massage, as handling a pregnant body is very different. Most massage therapists are trained to perform prenatal massage, but a certification guarantees a little more in depth knowledge and understanding on the masseuse’s end.
Overall, with the right precautions being taken, prenatal massage can be a very relaxing and healthy choice for you and your growing new addition!