With aches, pains, nausea, and an inability to find the right sleeping position, carrying a baby can be stressful. One of the best ways to relax your body and soothe your mind during this time is with a prenatal massage.
It’s important to note, however, that prenatal massage will be different from other massages you may have enjoyed. That’s why it’s essential to do your research before you go to the spa and let them know ahead of time that you’re pregnant.
If you want to ensure you’re in expert hands, type “best osteopath near me” into your preferred search engine to find an osteopath who specializes in manual therapy and massage during pregnancy.
Here’s Everything Else You Need to Know Before You Book
- Consult Your Doctor
If this is your first prenatal massage, it is vital that you get the go-ahead from your doctor. Usually, you want to avoid any massages during the first trimester as this may lead to vomiting and maybe even diarrhea.
Having massages after the first trimester is usually harmless, provided that the therapist or osteopath knows what they’re doing. However, you should steer clear of massages entirely if you are having pregnancy complications.
- Consider Your Current Trimester
Always think very carefully about whether you really need a massage before you book. If your legs are swollen or you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a massage will be helpful. If your body is hurting, alert the therapist as you don’t want to come home feeling all the more sensitive to aches and pains.
- Book a Therapist Who Knows the Anatomy of the Pregnant Body
There is no specialist degree for pregnancy massages, and that is why you need to ask for a therapist who is knowledgeable on how to perform massages on pregnant women. Certain osteopaths and masseuses only work on pregnant women, so if one of these experts is available in your area, they should be your first port of call.
- Don’t Expect a Tummy Massage or Deep Tissue Massage
A pregnancy massage is far gentler than any form of physical therapy you may have experienced before. Nevertheless, it’s important that you make it clear to the therapist that you don’t want them to massage your tummy during the session.
Even the slightest bit of pressure applied to your tummy can be uncomfortable. Deep tissue massage, especially on your leg area, can cause blood clots to become dislodged, which is an entirely painful experience on its own.
- Opt for Lighter Massage Styles
Head, face, neck, and shoulder massages – if done correctly – can ease all the tension in your body, take care of neck and back pain, alleviate swelling, and reduce any bone and joint pain you may have.
However, be wary of the position you are going to be placed in during your massage. Most of these messages call for you to sit upright during the process. Whatever you do, never go for a massage where you are meant to lay on your tummy or on your back if you are more than four months pregnant.
Like most decisions during pregnancy, deciding whether to have a massage or not is a
big one, so don’t rush it. Opt for a massage treatment at a place that has been recommended by other expecting mums or by mothers who have already given birth.
Do not trust just anyone to massage you. Find a therapist who knows exactly how to work on the body of a pregnant woman. While we recommend osteopaths, feel free to work with any therapist who has undergone specialized pregnancy massage training.