Massage and pregnancy - enjoying this special time
Having a baby can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You're bringing a new life into the world, you're growing your family, but huge changes occur in your body. Sometimes it's hard to make sense of it and you feel conflicted; you're excited about your baby but your body is doing things it hasn't done before.
Pregnancy massage can help you negotiate this changing period in your life, and bring comfort and joy during this special time.
What are the benefits of pregnancy massage?
Prenatal massage is beneficial to you and your baby, both emotionally and physically. Emotionally, it may help with relaxation and relief from the stresses that pregnancy can bring. Physically, it helps alleviate the aches and pains that are associated with pregnancy. Endorphins are released during the massage and this benefits both you and your baby. It's not unusual for a baby to kick in response to treatment!
While regular massage may help reduce anxiety, aches, and pains that come along with pregnancy, it will also help you with body awareness. Understanding your body better can increase your ability to relax during the early stages of labour, so it's great practice for the big day.
Further, research suggests that massage increases prolactin (a lactation hormone) while stimulating relaxation in the chest muscles, opening the shoulders, and potentially improving the production of milk, which fosters successful breastfeeding.
Tips for enjoying massage during pregnancy
Before your appointment, be sure to drink extra water. Massage can be dehydrating (and you already need extra fluids during pregnancy). Don't worry about asking your massage therapist to stop so that you can take a trip to the toilet if you need to. They won't mind pausing the treatment for you and it is better to make sure you are properly hydrated. You should continue hydrating after your massage, too.
Arrive five to 10 minutes early for your first appointment in order to fill out paperwork and so that the therapist can explain the pillows and supports to you.
Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in, and to take on and off. You can undress to your comfort level. Some people go fully nude, as you will be covered with a towel, but some people opt to leave their underwear on.
Most importantly, don't overthink it. This massage appointment is for you to relax and de-stress, so don't worry too much about what you need to do to prepare for your massage.
So, if you've been thinking of booking a pregnancy massage, stop thinking about it! Find a therapist who is qualified in pregnancy massage, so that you can take advantage of this wonderful treatment, which is beneficial for both you and your baby.
Please remember that spas and salons are often not qualified to deliver this particular type of treatment and you may find that they send you away. It's crucial that you find someone who is qualified in prenatal or pregnancy massage to get the most from your massage.
Properly trained pregnancy massage therapists will know which areas to avoid for your stage of pregnancy and condition.
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