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The Safe and Effective Practice of Pregnancy Massage

Written By: Angela Bras, BS, LMT

Pregnancy is a wonderful time when your body works magic growing a brand new life inside you.  There are all sorts of reasons why women turn to massage during pregnancy.  Below are a few of the benefits of pregnancy massage:

  • Improved sleep
  • Less anxiety
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduction of edema (swelling)
  • Relieving leg cramps and muscle spasms
  • Alleviates stress on joints

While every pregnancy is unique, a woman’s body changes as the baby grows.  As the abdomen grows outward and your body’s center of gravity shifts, your posture changes to realign your center of gravity.  For most women, the stress on the muscles and joints result in shoulder, low back, pelvic, and sciatic pain.  More specifically pelvic pain is due to the “round ligaments” in your pelvis that relax and stretch to accommodate the growing baby.

Swelling or edema is also normal during pregnancy, this can be more pronounced in your legs, ankles, hands and feet.  Massage can help to reduce that fluid buildup, and assist in the return of blood to the heart and increase blood flow to the uterus and placenta.

As mentioned above, pregnancy massage is used to boost mood, improve sleep and enhance over health and well-being.  Moms-to-be are usually positioned lying on their side rather than on their stomach or back.  Pillows, bolsters, and or padding may be used to support your back, knees, and feet during a treatment. The most common technique during pregnancy massage is effleurage, a long, gliding stroke used in Swedish massage.  Deeper pressure in certain areas can be used, like your neck and shoulders.

Properly trained massage therapists will have continuing education specific to pregnancy massage.  I have had the honor of continuing my education with Carol Osborne, educator, Pre-and Perinatal Massage Therapist.  A 32-hour hands-on pre-natal massage course that allowed me to fine tune my skill set in order to offer a safe and effective pre-natal massage. It is important to note, the massage should be tailored to your health concerns.  If you decide to get a pregnancy massage, it’s important to communicate your needs to your massage therapist. Always consult with your healthcare provider if you have concerns if you should be able to receive a pregnancy massage.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments regarding pregnancy massage.  You can reach me via email or phone.

Be well.

Angie Bras, BS, LMT

Angielmt5@gamil.com      774-377-5130