Massage therapy is known to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh the mind and body. Prenatal massage does the same thing, but with specially adapted methods. Pregnancy is a time full of shifts and changes in a woman’s body, and not all of them are comfortable. As the baby grows in the womb, the body must adapt around it, causing many women to feel varying degrees of discomfort. These can range from aches and pains, interrupted sleep, or strong swelling and water retention, which is known as edema.
The pregnancy experience is wildly different from one woman to the next. Even multiple pregnancies for the same woman can vary. One thing many pregnant women have in common is feeling relief after a prenatal massage session. Most pregnant women who leave our clinic tell us they have less back, neck, and hip pain, less tension and stress in their bodies, and feel an overall improvement in their mood and mind. Whether you’re reading for your own personal benefit or on behalf of a pregnant woman in your life, we’re going to discuss the benefits of prenatal massage and everything you need to know about it.
What is Prenatal Massage?
Prenatal massage is a massage treatment that focuses on the complete comfort and relaxation of pregnant women. A pregnancy massage session typically lasts between 45 and 60 minutes, allowing you to relax, forget about your outside stresses, and be pampered from head to toe. During the second and third trimesters, it’s often uncomfortable for women to lie on their backs and impossible to lie on their stomachs. In prenatal massage therapy, the registered massage therapist will help position you to lie on your side and get comfortable by supporting your limbs and stomach with extra bolsters and pillows to ensure you feel supported and can be fully relaxed throughout the appointment.
5 Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Pregnancy is a time of wonderous change, both physically and emotionally. Your hormones are in flux as your body grows and creates life. This growth also creates tension in your muscles and on your joints. Prenatal massage therapy uses deep tissue massage techniques to loosen tight muscles and relieve knots brought on by tension. Our massage therapists will carefully target pressure points to help release tension throughout your body. When your session finishes, you’ll notice a reduction in tension both physically and emotionally.
Alleviate Back, Neck, and Hip Pain
One of the most common complaints we hear from our pregnant clients is back, neck, and hip pain. And it’s no wonder that those areas suffer the brunt of your tension as you move from the second to the third trimester. Our massage therapists use deep tissue massage on those areas to specifically target pain relief. Each woman’s comfort level is different. We’ll adapt our techniques to your experience, checking in with your comfort throughout the session.
Relieve Swelling from Edema
Pregnancy causes many body changes, including the discomfort of edema, the excess build-up of fluid in the body. Edema is most commonly noticeable in the feet, ankles, legs, arms, and hands. If your extremities feel extra puffy, this is likely a sign of edema. A prenatal massage session can help relieve some of the swelling and discomfort that comes from the fluid build-up. Severe cases of edema should be monitored by your physician. If you notice your swelling persists or gets worse, we recommend that you consult with your doctor.
Improve Mobility and Circulation
The benefits of massage therapy also include better blood circulation through the body. Deep tissue massage helps your blood travel through your tense muscle areas, increasing circulation and oxygen delivery to those sore areas. With increased oxygen to your muscles and less overall tension in your body, you’ll also notice an improvement in your mobility.
Prenatal massage is like other types of massage in that it creates a deep sense of relaxation in the client. Pregnancy can be stressful, not only physically from growing a human being inside your womb but also from external factors. Your prenatal massage appointment is your one-hour, stress-free “you-time.” Relax against the pillows and bolsters placed to support the extra weight of your pregnant body. Forget all your stress as your tight and stiff muscle tissues are deeply massaged with essential oils chosen to calm and soothe you.
It’s no surprise that many of our clients rave about their improved sleep quality after a prenatal massage appointment. With less body tension, stress, and aches and pains, it’s natural that our pregnant clients find themselves feeling more relaxed at night and able to get a restful night’s sleep. Some women also credit their massage treatment with reducing their nausea. Getting a massage while pregnant also helps reduce stress by reducing overall pain and providing opportunities for self-care and alone time. The oasis that our massage clinic provides can be that one-hour escape you’ve been dreaming of.
What Are the Risks of Prenatal Massage?
Some massage therapists won’t treat pregnant women until they’ve reached the 12-week mark. If you’re accustomed to massage and have no known health risks, then prenatal massage is considered safe. However, we recommend consulting with your doctor to make sure a pregnancy massage is right for you before booking an appointment.
Massage Therapy Post-Pregnancy
Massage therapy is also highly beneficial for women post-pregnancy. For many of the same reasons prenatal massage is helpful, post-pregnancy massage can also provide relief for muscle pain, physical tension, and emotional stress. It’s important to take care of your body and mind in the weeks and months after your pregnancy, just as it was before!
Prenatal Massage in St. Albert
If you’re pregnant and feeling discomfort, book yourself a prenatal massage session with our skilled massage therapists. We’ll help you feel relaxed and less stressed after one session. And if you have a pregnant woman in your life who has reached the 12-week mark, consider booking them an appointment as an appreciation gift. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer them.