The Power of Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage
YOU could be expecting your first child, decided that you’ve just had your last child, or anywhere in between. If so, there is a good chance that you’ve probably been told that pregnancy is a wonderful and positive experience at every turn.
But what happens when it’s not, and you are experiencing all sorts of aches and pains and just don’t feel at your best? Perhaps you’ve also been told that aches and pain during pregnancy are something you must live with for the next nine months and beyond.
The physical aches and pains of pregnancy are most certainly a real issue, but there are solutions available to you, and one of the best ways to address this is to invest in self-care and treat yourself to a pregnancy massage that can set you up for long-term physical and emotional well-being.
It can be called different names in different places, but at its core, pregnancy massage is any massage therapy treatment you receive between becoming pregnant and giving birth. Additionally, post-partum massage is still related to your pregnancy but occurs during the period after you have given birth.
Why should I seek out massage therapy?
Put simply, it is one of the most straight-forward ways to address a lot of the problems mentioned above and to successfully decrease physical and mental stress during pregnancy, improve your ability to recover from those stressors after giving birth, or both.
Relief from muscle, bone, and joint pain – This is probably the most well-known benefit of massage in general, and possibly the benefit that is most sought after by those seeking a massage during and after pregnancy.
The pain and strain that can be created or amplified in your abdomen, upper and low back, groin, and thighs purely from carrying your pregnancy to term can be greatly relieved from massage techniques. This can make your pregnancy more pleasant as well as keep those symptoms from persisting well after you have given birth.
Anything from the sinus pressure created by a tension headache down to foot pain created by a different walking pattern during your pregnancy can be greatly aided by regular and/or frequent massage during this time.
Hormone regulation impacting sleep and mood – At a basic level, we can all appreciate how a hormone change can shift our mood, that mood shift can throw off our sleep habits, and a spiral is created that can either create or amplify any issues involving anxiety or depression.
The natural endorphins that are released during a massage can serve as a mood leveler that can assist with some forms of anxiety and depression, and more generally serve to move you towards a more familiar baseline from which it can be easier to both fall and stay asleep.
Reduction of swelling – This benefit is perhaps less talked about, but just as crucial as any other. Your body has a natural tendency to retain more fluid over the course of taking care of two humans. Even if your body doesn’t produce more fluid, it has to work a lot harder to clear the fluid on its own. Regular massage can assist with the release, movement and processing of retained fluid that might otherwise weigh you down or create muscle tightness and cramping.
How do I get a pregnancy massage?
Contacting a massage provider and saying you would like this service is often not enough. Many providers are hesitant to work on a pregnant client, and among those who are it is quite possible that a lack of specific equipment could lead to conservative treatments that stop shy of providing the benefits you are seeking from your sessions. Your pregnancy can also increase your need for more deep tissue treatments and lower your tolerance for them, making a skilled provider even more critical.
Pregnancy massages cannot be done lying purely on your back or belly after the first few weeks due to the potential pressure on either your core vasculature or your baby, so inclined, side lying, or half-side lying (45-degree angle) positions are recommended. These are worthwhile positions, but some clients want the stress relief of lying face down.
Face down is not the general go-to or ideal position for extended time periods (like a full hour massage), nor should it be done without specialized equipment to “float” or offload the abdomen. However, it can provide great tension relief especially for those who are natural belly sleepers outside of pregnancy. This makes it a great option to offer.
Getting a massage during and after your pregnancy can provide amazing benefits, but connecting with the right provider can make sure that you have the best possible experience and gives you the greatest possible return on your investment.
I feel educated, but what should I do next?
I encourage you to contact my studio to talk about how I can help you conquer these existing or potential issues with a pregnancy or post-partum massage. Reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 504-321-3292, through my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/enlightenmovementtw, or go straight to booking an appointment at www.vagaro/com/enlightenmovement or the “Book Now” links at my website www.enlightenmovement.com