Prenatal / Pregnancy Massage
Prenatal massage refers to specific massage techniques that have been shown to reduce pregnancy discomforts and to enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus.
Pregnancy is a tumultuous period for a womans mind and body. Any woman who has been pregnant can sympathize with the mental and physical fatigue associated with being pregnant. Not only does a woman experience physical changes, she also experiences mental changes as well.
Massage has been known to calm many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy such as sciatica, swelling, back and neck pain, and stomach upset. Prenatal massage has also been shown to improve physical discomforts by encouraging circulation and by stretching the muscles and joints to their full range of motion to improve skin elasticity and body tone. Studies show that pregnant women who receive regular prenatal massages are more at ease - furthermore relaxing the fetus inside their womb.
During labor, a massage has been shown to do wonders for the mother-in-waiting. A massage can be given to a woman in labor as she lies on her side, in a reclined position, or on her belly with the use of a pregnancy pillow. Women have often asked for soft music to be played in the background during their labor in order to create a peaceful setting for birth, and to soothe their nerves and pain during labor.
In the postpartum period, specialized massage techniques can help to rebalance the structure of a womans body by improving skin elasticity and muscle tone. Massage also has a physiological effect on a new mother; it can help ease any postpartum depression and encourage her to bond with her new baby.
In all cases, a pregnant or post-pregnant woman should always ask their doctor if massage therapy is recommended before seeking a massage therapist. In most cases, massage therapists require a physician's referral. Also, be sure to ask if your massage therapist has specialized, advanced training in prenatal massage.