Maternity massage is a great practice to help you unwind and de-stress physically and mentally. As the maternity process can take quite a toll on almost all aspects of your health, the maternity massage was designed to combat the stresses and toll your body goes through.
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The maternity massage has always been questioned in terms of effectiveness and safety. In this article, we’ll go through what the maternity massage really entails, how safe it is, and the things to look out for before trying it.
Benefits of Maternity Massage
Research has shown that when done correctly, massage can loosen your joints, muscles and get them into a relaxed state. It will also reduce the stress hormones in your body and increase blood flow and is essential for women to cope with pregnancy symptoms.
Massage can also keep your lymphatic system working seamlessly and flush out toxins from your body. During pregnancy, you will experience a lot of uncomfortable but normal symptoms. Maternity massages can help to alleviate them, including:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Swelling in hands and feet
- Carpal tunnel pain
The Difference with Regular Massage
Maternity massages are closely linked with regular massages and draw lots of similarities. However, it’s important to note that they still are two very different things.
Maternity massage practices are adapted based on the anatomical changes in pregnant women. Traditional massages entail you to lay down on the stomach, which wouldn’t be good for pregnant women. Maternity massage practices and maternity massage therapists will accommodate for that by having extra cushioning or hole systems on their beds to help you feel comfortable.
The main difference between a maternity massage and regular massage is that instead of going deep into your tissue, maternity massages are gentle and low enough in pressure to be considered safe.
The key to maternity massages is to alleviate as much stress as possible and making the experience pleasurable for the body by relieving joint and muscle tension.
Are Massages During Pregnancy Safe?
Maternity massages are recommended only after the first trimester of pregnancy as it may trigger and worsen the symptoms of morning sickness, nausea, and dizziness. After the first trimester of pregnancy, the maternity massage is considered safe.
Do keep in mind that this does heavily depend on finding the right practice that is professional, experienced, and reputable. And most importantly, your doctor will have to give you the green light as your personal health condition will heavily determine whether it’s suitable for you or not.
Maternity Massages to Try At Home
Maternity massages can also be done at home if it’s more convenient for you. At home, maternity massages do not have to be as precise or to the same extent of doing it with a therapist.
However, it can be quite effective as well as providing you with the short term benefits of a maternity massage. If you have someone at home who can help you with a basic maternity massage, you can consider these at-home massages:
1. Foot Rub
Using a lotion for smooth and easy gliding strokes, you can rub the foot from the toes and down towards the ankle. Doing this gently not only relieves the pressure points between the ankles but can also help with feet swelling as well as helping you de-stress.
By sitting up laying on your side, ask your partner to stroke up and down the back, and with lotion if it helps. They can focus on gently applying pressure to your muscles, joints, pressure points as well as your spine. Be sure to be as gentle as anything too intense can cause you to discomfort afterwards.
3. Shoulder Rub
While in a seated position, get your partner to give your shoulder blades a good rub and to apply gentle pressure on the joints between your shoulder and arms, and your neck. Also, applying pressure on the back of your neck and up to the base of your skull can help with alleviating tension and with relaxation.
4. Scalp Massage
This you can do on your own in the shower as well if you like. Using the tips of your fingers, gently caress the scalp. This will help increase blood flow and even benefit hair growth. This practice is mainly for relaxation.
Keep in Mind
The quality, effectiveness, and safety of the maternity massage really depends on how you do it, and who you do it with. With maternity massages being widely available in the UAE, be careful with the practices that you visit. Search online or ask your doctor to recommend a place that is safe and professional.
When doing it at home with the help of your partner, make sure it’s done properly and doesn’t become blurred with regular massages as intense and aggressive massage can be harmful to you and your baby’s health.
To find out more about prenatal massages and whether it’s appropriate for you based on your personal health, speak with your doctor. Maternity can be a very unique and testing time for you, so staying in contact with your doctor regularly is important.
Maternity massages are a great option to help you feel better mentally and physically; however, your personal health and physical condition may favourably suit other methods of relaxation.
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