Most people enjoy human touch. A touch can convey comfort, love, awareness and many other sensations. It can also help alleviate aches and pains. All of these are of benefit, especially when you are pregnant.
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:
Tranquil relaxation and reduce stress.
Relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.
Increase in blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling.
Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
Improves outcome of labor and eases labor pain.
Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues.
Provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional strains of mothering.
Massage during pregnancy differs from a regular massage in a couple of ways. The biggest way it differs is that the person receiving the massage is pregnant, and therefore knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy of a pregnant woman are very important. This means that positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby she is carrying. There are also parts of the body that should not be massaged.
“The massage table will be set up so you will lie in a semi-reclining position. This is not only really comfortable, but safe for baby. Also you will turn from side to side to do your back and hips, there are body pillows, wedge pillows and extra padding to make you comfortable,” Davis explains. “Never use the tables with the whole cut out for your belly, these cause undo stress to your lower back, it may seem like a great idea, but it isn’t.”
The room setting for a pregnancy massage is much like a typical massage, the room will have low lightening, you will lie on a warm extra padded table. Soft music will be in the background to help you relax and drift off. Some therapists will provide music with a baby’s heartbeat in the background, some use candles to also set the mood and of course they smell good too. Be sure to tell your therapist if any of these disturb your senses. Sometimes there might be music or smells that don’t quite agree with you and they are easily changed.