What Is a Prenatal Massage?

There are many wonderful and wondrous things about being pregnant.  There are also many uncomfortable and downright painful things about being pregnant for some women, which is why prenatal massage is such a great idea. Prenatal massage is much the same as a traditional Swedish massage, with some distinct differences in technique.

Prenatal Massage Defined

Prenatal massage is massage therapy for pregnant women. Prenatal massage can be used to treat women during any trimester of pregnancy. However, a thorough health history should be taken, and there should be no pregnancy or health complications. There are some therapists who will not perform massage therapy during the first three months of pregnancy, due to increased risk of miscarriage. There are also certain pressure points which should be avoided or carefully massaged during pregnancy.

Why Prenatal Massage?

The reasons for getting prenatal massages are much the same as getting a regular Swedish massage, but with extra benefit to the pregnant woman. For instance, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can sometimes induce depression. Depression can be relieved, or at least lessened, by massage therapy in some cases.

Pregnancy can also cause pressure or pain in or around the sciatic nerve. This pain is caused by the uterus, which rests on the pelvic and lower back area. Prenatal massage can help to relieve the pain and discomfort that naturally occurs with a growing and changing body. Prenatal massage can also improve circulation, which is often needed during pregnancy when extra pressure is placed on joints and ligaments. Prenatal massage will assist in reducing the swelling or edema which often happens during the last trimester of pregnancy.

All of these benefits together will have a positive impact on mobility and general well being during a time of great change.

Things to Consider before Getting a Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage can make pregnancy an enjoyable, or at least a less painful experience. Before you make an appointment for a prenatal massage, you must consider the experience and licensing of the massage therapist. Although most massage therapists have some general knowledge of prenatal massage, it’s best to find one with specific and extensive knowledge. This will ensure the safest experience.

You should also look for a prenatal massage therapist that has appropriate accommodations for a pregnant body. There are special massage tables or cushions that are conformed to fit a pregnant belly and sensitive and enlarged breasts. This will make the prenatal massage more comfortable and enjoyable, as well as enhance the healing experience.

As with any massage experience, it’s important to communicate clearly with the massage therapist. The massage therapist should be made aware of any complications, pain, tender areas, sore spots or other issues which can be affected by massage.

Some pregnant women enjoy the luxury of prenatal massage on a weekly basis, while most others enjoy the experience less often. You should always consult with your obstetrician before making prenatal massage part of your regular routine. Your doctor may even be able to refer to a reputable massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage.


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