Pregnancy Massage Near Me Now

Pregnancy Massage Near Me Now

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What could be nicer than a relaxing beauty treatment when you’re pregnant? We provide the lowdown on treating yourself to spa days, massages and facials when you have a bump.

When you’re growing a baby, you definitely deserve a treat or two. It might be an indulgent bath and a face pack at home, or you may be lucky enough to be going to a spa. Whichever it is, the good news is that you can still have pretty much all of the pampering treatments you had before you were pregnant.

Of course, there are a few things to be mindful of, so here we help you work out what to indulge in and what to avoid. Then all you need to do is relax, unwind and enjoy.

Most of us lead busy lives, so it’s great to give yourself time out to unwind and focus on yourself and your growing baby. Plus, if you’re suffering from aches, pains and exhaustion during pregnancy, a soothing treatment can work wonders.

Having a treatment like a massage can help raise your endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine levels. These neurochemicals affect your happiness levels and make you feel good. Massage can also reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And, obviously, feeling happy and de-stressed can only be beneficial for you and your baby.

Are pregnancy massages safe?

A massage can be relaxing, especially if you’re suffering with pregnancy-related aches and pains.

Pregnancy massage is a catch-all term for any hands-on massage during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal massage).

A pregnancy massage typically lasts an hour. Some practitioners use a pregnancy massage table. That’s a table designed to accommodate a woman’s pregnant belly. Others use specially designed pillows called bolsters to position a woman comfortably on their side. This helps especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Lying on your side is often the most comfortable position.

Possible Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Only a handful of small studies have focused on massage in pregnancy. No definite benefits have been established. But one study at the University of Miami School of Medicine suggests that massage therapy might have multiple positive effects, including:

  • Lowered anxiety
  • Decreased back and leg pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine

In another study of pregnancy massage in depressed women, researchers found:

  • Increased levels of the “feel-good” hormones serotonin and dopamine
  • Decreased levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress
  • An overall improvement in mood

Research has shown that, for the general population, massage has other potential benefits. It may relieve pain, or it may boost the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and tumors.

Safe Techniques for Pregnancy Massage

There are more than 80 types of massage taught in roughly 1,300 massage therapy programs in the U.S. Examples of common types of massage include:

  • Deep-tissue massage, with firm strokes pressing deep into muscles
  • Swedish massage, with long strokes to muscles and attention to joint mobility
  • Shiatsu, with pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy (called qi)

From a scientific standpoint, the mechanisms that make massage therapy work are still largely unknown. More research is needed to understand how applying different types of manual pressure to the body can:

  • Relieve pain
  • Stimulate the release of certain hormones like serotonin
  • Improve sleep
  • Promote the physiological response of relaxation

Prenatal massages are adapted for the anatomical changes you go through during pregnancy. In a traditional massage, you might spend half the time lying face-down on your stomach (which is not possible with a baby belly) and half the time facing up (a position that puts pressure on a major blood vessel that can disrupt blood flow to your baby and leave you feeling nauseous).

But as your shape and posture changes, a trained massage therapist will make accommodations with special cushioning systems or holes that allow you to lie face down safely, while providing room for your growing belly and breasts. Or you might lie on your side with the support of pillows and cushions.

Prenatal massages are generally considered safe after the first trimester, as long as you get the green light from your practitioner and you let your massage therapist know you’re pregnant. But you’ll want to avoid massage during the first three months of pregnancy as it may trigger dizziness and add to morning sickness.

Despite myths you might have heard, there’s is no magic eject button that will accidentally disrupt your pregnancy, and there isn’t much solid scientific proof that specific types of massage can have an effect one way or the other. Some massage therapists avoid certain pressure points, including the one between the anklebone and heel, because of concern that it may trigger contractions, but the evidence on whether massage actually can kickstart labor is inconclusive (to nonexistent).

It is a good idea to avoid having your tummy massaged, since pressure on that area when you’re pregnant can make you uncomfortable.

If you are in the second half of your pregnancy (after the fourth month), don’t lie on your back during your massage; the weight of your baby and uterus can compress blood vessels and reduce circulation to your placenta, creating more problems than any massage can cure.

And don’t expect deep tissue work on your legs during a prenatal massage. While gentle pressure is safe (and can feel heavenly!), pregnant women are particularly susceptible to blood clots, which deep massage work can dislodge. That, in turn, can be risky. On other body parts, the pressure can be firm and as deep or as gentle as you’d like. Always communicate with your therapist about what feels good — and if something starts to hurt.

Another thing to keep in mind: While any massage therapist can, theoretically, work on pregnant women, it’s best to go to a specialist who has a minimum of 16 hours of advanced training in maternal massage. (There’s no specific certification, so you should ask when you make your appointment.) This way, you can rest assured you’re in the hands of someone who knows exactly how to relieve any pain and pressure related to your changing anatomy.

Finally, always check with your practitioner before receiving a prenatal massage — particularly if you have diabetes, morning sickness, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, fever, a contagious virus, abdominal pain or bleeding — they’re complications that could make massage during pregnancy risky.

How to give a prenatal massage at home

Ask your partner or a friend to use these tips for an at-home maternal massage:

  • Gentle foot rub. Using lotion for smoother strokes, your partner can start by rubbing the top of the foot with gentle pressure, working from the toes towards the ankle and making small circles around the ankle. Then, have them use both thumbs to make small circles on the sole of the foot right beneath the toes. On the heel, they can move one thumb down as the other thumb moves up, and continue to alternate. They can also gently tug on each toe and use the index finger or thumb to rub between them. It’s probably a good idea to avoid the pressure point between the anklebone and heel just in case.
  • Back rub. Sitting up or lying on your side, have your partner use both hands to stroke up and down the back, using lotion to help their hands glide. They should focus on the muscles on either side of the spine and can transition to kneading the muscles with their thumbs or base of the hand, moving up and down.
  • Shoulder rub. With the base of the hand or the pads of the fingertips, apply gentle pressure on one side of the neck and glide between the top of the shoulder and base of the skull. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Scalp massage. Moving from the base of the skull to the hairline, use both hands and spread fingers to apply gentle pressure to the scalp, circling hands together or apart. Add gentle stroking of the face, which can be amazingly relaxing.
  • Belly. Don’t massage it! Instead, gently rub it with vitamin E oil for a soothing effect that can also help prevent stretch marks.

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