Pregnancy changes your center of gravity, and as a result, you may get neck aches, backaches and soreness in your shoulders. Massage is one way to help alleviate some of this pain, according to the Baby Center website. Although prenatal massage therapy is usually safe, talk to your doctor about getting a massage before you do.
Benefits of Massage
Reasons for getting a massage while you are pregnant are not much different from getting one before you became pregnant. A massage can improve your health and well-being, relieve tension, reduce stress and calm you. Other benefits include easing of pain, reducing swelling, relieving headaches and giving you an energy boost. A massage by a therapist trained in prenatal massage specifically targets the needs of pregnant women.
How to Lie Down
Lying on a traditional massage table presents a problem for pregnant women. Swollen breasts and a growing belly make it impossible to lie face down for your massage, and lying on your back is not recommended after the second half of your pregnancy. Some prenatal massage therapists have a special table or use a pad with hollowed areas to accommodate your belly so that you can lie face down. If the therapist only has a traditional table, you can still get a massage by lying on your side and using a pillow for support.
When you are pregnant, you need to be more cautious about getting a massage. You don’t want to have an extremely vigorous massage at this time, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. You must also be cautious and talk to your doctor before getting a prenatal massage if you have high blood pressure, morning sickness, diarrhea or diabetes. To be safe, it’s better to find a massage therapist who is trained to massage pregnant women. You should be able to find one by asking your health care provider for a recommendation. Or, if you already have a massage therapist, ask her whether she is trained in prenatal massage or knows someone who is. If you have no luck, try contacting the American Massage Therapy Association.
Teach Your Partner
If you can’t afford the cost of a massage, check your health insurance benefits. Some plans cover massage for a medical reason such as back pain, according to the Baby Center website. Another option is for you and your partner to watch a video about prenatal massage and try it yourselves.
Massage Your Baby, Too
After you deliver, you can massage your newborn. They like massage, too. Newborns who receive a massage from their moms cry less, sleep better, and are more active and sociable, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Massage is also beneficial for creating an emotional bond between moms and their babies.
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