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Massage for pregnant women is one form of care that exists in many Asian cultures and has made its way into our modern lives too. Prenatal massages are usually done for health purposes, and to relieve discomfort as the pregnancy progresses.
It’s usually viewed favourably by mothers as it offers a natural therapeutic approach for many of the side effects felt during pregnancy.
During the prenatal massage, especially from PNSG, trained therapists will be administering traditional Javanese massages that are known to help pregnant women in general. However, some of you will be wondering when the best and safest time to get your prenatal massage is.
Here, we will discuss when you should schedule your massage sessions, and the safety and common health precautions taken for prenatal massages. Before that, we should try and understand how prenatal massage is beneficial.
The Benefits of Prenatal Massage
1. Improves Blood Circulation
Massage for pregnant women is able to increase the flow of blood, especially to the areas that need healing thereby reducing muscle tension and pain. This boosts your lymphatic system to keep it working at peak efficiency while at the same time flushing out toxins from your body. The improved blood circulation will reduce your joint pains, backaches, and also cramps.This is important during pregnancy as many areas of the body, like the feet and back, are strained from the added weight of your child.
Apart from that, more efficient blood circulation also means that nutrients are able to reach the different areas of your body, for improved metabolism overall.
2. Reduces Swelling
Certain hormonal changes within a mother’s body mean that she develops water retention in certain parts of her body, particularly her feet. Not only this is very normal, but it will also go away on its own. Unfortunately, this may make it difficult to move around. Massages are able to reduce swelling and relieving carpal tunnel syndrome, which will reduce discomfort in your feet and calves, making you feel more energetic.
3. Reduces Hip and Back Pain
Having a massage in areas and joints that carry the added weight from your growing child will help to relieve pain in a natural and non-invasive manner. These include the lower back, hips and pelvic muscles. Helping the muscles relax is one of the main contributors to decreasing pain and discomfort.
4. Helps Improve Rest and Decrease Stress
It’s no secret that massage is able to relieve stress and tension, not just physically but mentally as well.
The soothing sensations of muscles being squeezed and released help bring about the release of hormones related to relaxation such as dopamine and serotonin. This will lead to better sleep too.
Apart from giving you ease of mind and reconnecting it with your body, this massage also encourages you to be more in touch with the baby you are carrying. You get to relax more and this will aid in treating insomnia if you are suffering from that as well.
5. Reduces Leg Cramps
Poor circulation can sometimes lead to leg cramps, as well as certain hormonal changes during pregnancy. Since massaging your legs helps with circulation, you can also look forward to fewer leg cramps with regular massages.
When is the Best Time for a Prenatal Massage?
Our experts at PNSG recommend that you start your prenatal massage at 28 weeks of pregnancy onwards, which is about your 7th month of pregnancy. Your final massage session should be about 2 weeks before your expected due date (EDD).
These times are recommended so as not to overstimulate your baby. If you would like to start your prenatal massage earlier from 16th to 27th week, you will have to obtain approval from your gynaecologist to ascertain if you and your baby are physically fit enough. Some mothers have begun prenatal massage sessions at their 16th week of pregnancy after a green light from their doctor.
We only recommend having one massage session a week, for the same reason mentioned above. Sessions can be booked on weekdays, 3-4 days in advance.
At PNSG, we provide specially trained massage female therapists who are well experienced. They will be able to perform your massage sessions in the comfort of your own home with each session lasting about 60 minutes.
Safety During Your Prenatal Massage
As always, your safety and the safety of your baby are of primary concern. This is why our professional therapists administering prenatal massages will avoid sensitive areas like the breasts and abdomen, so as not to cause any contractions.
Health experts have also assured mothers that massage does not and will not induce labor. This is a misconception and you should be safe as long as you keep to the recommended period for prenatal massages and stop 2 weeks before your due date.
If you are still unsure, you should speak to your specialist about it, in order to put your mind at rest and gain clearance regarding your physical condition. Also, do read on for everything you need to know about prenatal massage and specific steps on how to make sure you choose the right professional for the job.
Is There Anything I Need To Be Wary Of?
Getting a prenatal massage during the first trimester can contribute to morning sickness and trigger dizziness so you might want to put that plan off in your calendar. Not to mention, the first 12 weeks are deemed to be a critical time period where there is a risk for miscarriage. While miscarriage is hardly caused by massage, it is always best to stay away from possible harm. Therefore, wait until you are in your second trimester or after you have passed the first four months of pregnancy.
Plus, the second trimester is when you will start to notice visible changes on your body. This is a pretty good thing because that means you can see effective changes after you have completed your prenatal massage sessions. Your massage therapist will avoid tummy massage as it can make you uncomfortable and/or mess with your baby’s position. Do not lie on your back during the massage as well as the weight of your baby can compress blood vessels and reduce the placenta circulation which carries the oxygen to your fetus. You will normally be requested by the therapist to lie on your side.
Prenatal Massage Or Regular Massage?
Aside from the massage techniques and the body parts included or excluded, there is the technical procedure that distinguishes the two massages. When going for a prenatal massage, there will be a special cushioning system with holes that allow you to lie while facing down. When lying on the side, there will be pillows or cushions designed to support your body parts (mainly your baby bump) as well. If you opt for a regular massage, there won’t be such a system.
Due to the water weight you are gaining, it can be easy for you to get cramps if you remain in one position for a long time. Thus, you should spend half the time lying on your stomach with your face down and the other half facing up. Having supportive tools that hold up your body parts is important while you are in a particular position.
The most important key is to maintain constant and respectful communication with your massage therapist. Always let them know how you are feeling; whether you are enjoying any particular thing they do or if the pressure is causing you pain.
How Much Does Pregnancy Massage Cost?
The rate is around $60 to $100 for a single 30 to 60 minutes massage session. Of course, this depends on your location and facilities provided by the massage therapist or their agency.
If you don’t give it a try, you’d never know what it can do for you! From tackling body aches to giving you a better night’s sleep, the advantages of getting a prenatal massage are endless! If you still have other questions or concerns regarding pregnancy massage, just ring us at PNSG for a more personal and private one-to-one talk!
5 Prenatal Massage Misconceptions To Know
When people give you advice, they normally only want what’s best for you. They mean well and they certainly do not wish any harm upon you.
The elder folks, especially, hold on to various beliefs and ‘rules’ that the younger generation does not necessarily agree with. Ironically, these preventions can hinder you from getting what’s good for you.
On that note, here are completely false myths that should not be holding you back from treating yourself to the health benefits of a prenatal massage!
Prenatal massage can induce labour
The reality is, if you wish to induce labour naturally, you could opt for a labour massage.
The pregnancy massage, while often closely associated with labour, will not get you into labour. That said, it is important to ensure that your massage therapist is one that is certified to perform pregnancy massages. Even if your regular massage therapist is skilled enough, they may need to be more well informed about the proper techniques and body parts involved in prenatal massage.
This misconception stems from the belief that our body has certain pressure points which, if triggered, can affect the body’s overall well-being.
Many moms are afraid that the massage therapist would trigger these points and would induce labour for them.
This is mainly untrue because there is no scientific evidence showing that those pressure points can be stimulated to get you into delivery as these may contain body parts where your sensitivity is higher.
Prenatal massage is painful
No, a massage is supposed to pamper you and make you feel relaxed and not the opposite. It will not make you scream in agony.
Regardless, you may feel a bit of pressure on some body parts. If you have been straining your neck, it would take more work to relax the tense muscles there.
Likewise, if you are standing a lot when your baby bump is already heavy, your legs may require more attention.
Of course, if you have a low tolerance towards pain, it may not be as gentle as you would like it to be, considering that your body has been through a lot throughout your pregnancy.
This is one of the reasons why you should always communicate your feelings to your masseuse. If you feel like the pressure is too much, let your massage therapist know and ask them to do it gently.
Oftentimes, your therapist would be more than happy to hear your comment so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.
Prenatal massage can cause a miscarriage
This huge accusation is a rather unpopular myth that has been long debunked, but it is also one that still scares many moms away.
This massage cannot cause miscarriages, but massage therapists will normally reject cases of first-trimester mummies in order to avoid complications.
The truth is, almost all expectant moms in their first trimester face higher risks of experiencing a miscarriage. That is simply how it is.
During the first trimester, there can be many reasons for miscarriages, but it is often not because of something you do or do not do. This is why there are many cases where the pregnant mom miscarried before they realise they are pregnant.
Due to this, many massage therapists request for a doctor’s letter from moms who are still in the first trimester due to the fear of being accused of causing any complications.
Prenatal massage can suffocate your baby
The baby is pretty much ‘swimming’ and ‘floating’ inside your womb, so their physical state can adjust well to how your body is resting.
The important thing is, this massage will not require you, at any time, to lie on your belly. You will mostly be lying on your side while your body’s discomforts are being massaged away.
Hence, do not worry about this thing. You can always ask your massage therapist about these things before engaging in their service. This possibly comes from the notion that massage can rotate your baby’s position.
In actuality, it is outside the scope of a massage therapist to try and rotate a baby that is breech. But this also works in reverse, you don’t need to worry about your masseuse turning your baby the wrong way either.
If your baby is breech, there are specialists that you can look into to help you turn your baby but it should always be done with doctors’ advice and consent.
Prenatal massage does not have any effect
This is untrue in so many ways. The effects extend to the point it can significantly boost your mood afterwards. It relaxes your muscles, which is extremely important during pregnancy.
If you have to stand a lot or you often walk everywhere, a good leg massage can instantly make your feet feel lighter. You would then have a much easier time walking.
While they are not harming anyone firsthand, these sorts of myths or misconceptions have held back many moms from treating themselves to a good massage. In a way, it can prevent you from feeling and getting better.
You do not have to endure months of backaches simply because of these misconceptions. Of course, whatever worries you have, they are justified.
Feel free to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about the benefits of getting a massage while pregnant.
Plan Your Prenatal Massage Sessions Early
So, is it OK to get a massage when pregnant? Yes, of course! You just have to keep in mind your body’s condition and find a skilled prenatal massage therapist…or, you could just look through our prenatal spa packages. You might be asking “Is there a pregnancy massage therapy near me?”
Massage therapists from PNSG will be able to provide services in the comfort and safety of your own home so that you don’t need to travel out in your condition.
Planning your prenatal massage sessions is easy, as you can arrange for a massage session only 3-4 days in advance. The end of your second trimester and the entirety of your third trimester is when physical strain starts to take a toll on your body. You can minimize this and alleviate discomfort easily, with your very own personal massage session. In addition to prenatal massage, PNSG also offers massage after childbirth, to help in your healing and recovery.