Are There Any Risks Or Dangers In Prenatal Massage?
A prenatal massage is a massage tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women. Every pregnancy is unique, but each woman experiences changes in their bodies that can be uncomfortable and painful. As they progress in their pregnancy, their abdomen grows outwards, changing the body’s centre of gravity to their hips. For many women, the pressures on their joints and muscles during this process can result in the lower back, pelvis, and shoulder pain. While some swelling is to be expected during pregnancy, especially in the legs, ankles and feet, prenatal massages can help reduce the fluid build-up.
Prenatal Massage vs Regular Massages
During a prenatal massage, the woman’s body is properly positioned to maximize the comfort for the mom-to-be and the baby. For example, after 20 weeks, it is not recommended for pregnant women to lie on their backs, as the added pressure on the abdomen can restrict blood flow. Pregnant women will be positioned to lay on their side instead, with pillows or padding to support their backs or knees/feet.
The most used massage technique during a prenatal massage is effleurage, which is a slow stroking technique used in Swedish massages. During a prenatal massage, women notice that the pressure is gentle and light, differing from regular massages where there is increased pressure in painful areas. The massage therapist can use more pressure is areas far away from the abdomen, like the shoulder, but the overall pressure is much less than that of a regular massage. Depending on your needs and concerns, your massage therapist will tailor your session based on these factors.
Safety and Risks Associated With Prenatal Massages
There are limited studies on the risks of prenatal massages. Like any new therapy that you may be undertaking, it is important to consult with your doctor before making an appointment. When you have the green-light from your doctor, then you will want to seek out a qualified massage therapist, preferably one that has additional training in prenatal massages. An experienced prenatal massage therapist will know how to properly position your body to ensure that you and your baby are safe.
What To Expect At Your Appointment?
At your first appointment, your massage therapist will ask you to fill out a medical form, which will require you to provide information, health conditions, medications, and allergies that you have. During this time, it is important to let your massage therapist know of any discomfort or painful areas that you may have.
If you are interested in a prenatal massage, visit us at Prairie Sage Massage. We understand that pregnancy is a vulnerable time for you and your baby, and work with you to reduce any pain you may be experiencing.