Pregnancy Massage


Pregnancy is a natural experience that involves much change throughout the woman’s body. With growth and development of the fetus, comes adaptation by every maternal body system—women are often left in search of coping strategies for dealing with the many physical (and emotional) body changes that arise. The intent of pregnancy massage therapy is to aid the woman in coping with these adjustments as they occur.

Potential benefits of pregnancy massage include:

  • Relief from muscle cramps/spasms & myofascial pain
  • Relief from headaches, stiff neck, backaches, sciatica, & sore feet
  • Reduced stress on weight-bearing joints
  • Increased flexibility of muscles
  • Enhanced pliability of skin & underlying tissue
  • Improved digestive tract functioning; relief of constipation/gas
  • Improved blood & lymphatic circulation
  • Reduced swelling (edema) & varicose veins
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Reduced fatigue by eliminating waste products through the lymphatic & circulatory systems
  • Improved breathing patterns
  • Relief of tension in the chest allowing the lungs to expand more fully
  • Relaxation with reduced stress, anxiety & depression
  • Improved sleep; deeper sleep for longer periods
  • Stabilization of hormone levels
  • Stimulation of the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer
  • Stimulation of the release of oxytocin, producing sleepiness, relaxation, & a mild euphoric state
  • Improved neonatal health & development of baby

Conditions that would contraindicate massage

If you are experiencing ANY of the following it is inadvisable for you to receive massage until the condition has subsided. Please consult with your physician or prenatal health care provider PRIOR to having massage therapy treatments.

  • Unexplained, continual abdominal pains
  • Chill & fever over 100 degrees F
  • Noticeable decrease in fetal movements
  • Persistent & severe nausea or vomiting
  • Increasing blood pressure
  • Full body or very sudden swelling (systemic edema)
  • Persistent & severe headaches
  • Dizziness or visual disturbances
  • Excessive discharge or vaginal bleeding
  • Excessive hunger or thirst with reduced urination
  • Frequent burning urination
  • Redness, heat, & pain in legs

High Risk Pregnancies

Below is a list of high risk pregnancies. If you fall into any of the below categories, please have your physician or prenatal health care provider sign a consent form PRIOR to having massage therapy treatments.

  • Young or old maternal age
  • Previous problem pregnancy
  • Three or more consecutive spontaneous abortions
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Maternal illnesses: diabetes mellitus, chronic high blood pressure, chronic asthma, cardiac/renal/connective tissue/liver disorders
  • RH or other genetic problems or uterine abnormalities
  • Drug or other hazardous material exposure

Frequency/Length of Visits

Pregnancy massage therapy can begin at anytime—but again, if you have health concerns or are considered a high risk pregnancy, please consult with your prenatal healthcare provider PRIOR to your first massage visit. As your body progressively changes throughout the course of the pregnancy, your discomforts tend to increase in frequency; therefore, it most beneficial to schedule massages accordingly. Here’s a general guideline:

  Months 1 through 7 of pregnancy: once every month
  Month 8 of pregnancy: every 2 weeks
  Month 9 of pregnancy every week

 

As for length of treatments, sixty minutes is ideal but any amount of time will do— frequent shorter visits seem to be more beneficial than less frequent longer visits.

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