Pregnancy massage has become very popular in recent years, with doctors, ob/gyns and mid-wives prescribing massage for their pregnant patients.
There are many benefits to getting massage while pregnant. These benefits include:
- reduced strain & pain
- reduced potential negative effects of changes to the circulatory system including edema, varicose veins and increased blood pressure
- contributes to flexibility & kinesthetic awareness (necessary for active participation in the birth process)
- facilitates hormonal and other physiological processes during pregnancyreduces stress, promotes relaxation and gives the mother-to-be emotional support through physical nurturing.
I often get requests for specialty massage tables or body cushions where the mother can lie face down for their pregnancy massage. These cushions have oval cut-outs for the belly. Using this type of equipment is not recommended because it can cause further stress to already strained ligaments of the uterus.
Side-lying massage offers maximum safety and comfort through-out the pregnancy.
This position helps ensure placental and fetal circulation. Pregnancy massage can be done most safely with the expectant mother nestled comfortably on her side. Pillows and bolsters are used to help ensure comfort during the massage in the side-lying position.
Even in the first 13 weeks of her pregnancy (if she has her doctor’s consent to receive a massage during this time), it is still safest to do the massage in the side-lying position. This position prevents increased pressure on the uterus early in the pregnancy.