Pregnancy Massage for Prenatal and Postnatal Support
Written by Alicia McIntyre, Massage Therapist
Pregnancy massage can be a wonderful addition to your prenatal support. Today we are going to discuss the different types of pregnancy massage, what to expect from each as well as benefits.
The first type of pregnancy massage we will discuss is prenatal. This is the massage you will get during your pregnancy. While some therapists will not massage during the first trimester, if your doctor gives you the "o.k." you can feel comfortable getting massage at any point in your pregnancy. Often this massage is done while in a side lying position with lots of strategically placed pillows. Although this is a different position than a typical massage, the entire body can be addressed. We will work on any discomfort associated with pregnancy along with typical muscle aches and pains that may have been present before pregnancy. Prenatal massage can also address specific issues like nausea (albeit short lived), round ligament pain, tight hips, low back pain, and calf cramps, just to name a few. Pregnancy can be so exciting, but also stressful at times. It is so important to take care of your mental and physical health and massage is a great way to take care of both!
The next type of pregnancy massage to consider is labor massage. This would be any massage given during actual labor, this is not to induce labor. Most recently I have been showing birth partners how to assist a mom in labor with these techniques, but it can be done by a professional if the timing works out. While labor massage changes with the intensity of contractions, it starts out similar to a prenatal massage. It is great to help mom relax as she prepares for the birth of her child. As labor progresses the massage moves with the laboring mom. Sometimes it is not ideal to sit in one place while in labor and different techniques feel better at different times. Again, keeping the laboring mom as relaxed as possible will only help. These are things we prepare for with labor massage and discuss with birth partners. A woman's body goes through so much physical effort during labor, which can last varying amounts of time. It is similar to preparing for long lasting athletic events such as a marathon. Just as athletes benefit from massage prior to their events, laboring mothers benefit from it!
The last type of pregnancy massage is the most important, Postpartum massage. A woman’s body has 9 months to adjust to a full term baby, while it takes around 6 weeks for the uterus to go back to its original size. That is a lot of change in an even shorter amount of time, all while getting little sleep and taking care of a brand new baby. Some mother’s have to go back to work sooner than others, making this even more challenging. Postpartum massage focuses on bringing the hips and rib cage back together, while also working on areas that were most affected by labor and delivery. It can also help with diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) tension in the neck, shoulders and back from nursing, and postpartum depression. Recovering from labor and delivery can take some time, postpartum massage can be a great tool to assist in that process.
Thank you for taking the time to read about pregnancy massage! If you have any other questions about this topic, please feel free to send us a message. https://www.newcreationbirthservices.com/contact