Pregnancy massage uses the principals based on Swedish massage, using long, slow relaxing movements to reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
Body position during a prenatal massage is very important to maximise the benefits of the treatment. Many health professionals recommend a side-lying position.
Benefits of antenatal massage include reduction of stress hormones and can increase energy levels because it gives pregnant women a chance to rest and relax. It relieves the everyday discomforts of pregnancy such as sciatic pain, heaviness in the pelvic bones, leg cramps and swelling of the hands and feet.
When not to have a pregnancy massage
> If you have pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure)
> If you feel the massage therapist is not qualified or is too vigorous
> If you have pre-eclampsia, sudden fluid retention or severe headache.
> If you in a high-risk pregnancy category or have previously had premature labour.
Some women believe there are adverse effects of having massage in the first trimester. There is no evidence supporting any adverse effects during any trimester. Conversely, massage during pregnancy is hugely beneficial and studies have reported women experiencing decreased depression, anxiety, leg and back pain, cortisol levels decrease (and, in turn, excessive fetal activity decreased), and the rate of prematurity was lower. Any complications during pregnancy are purely coincidental and are completely unrelated to massage.
To read more information about Pregnancy Massages click here.