There is no better time to be pampered than during pregnancy (I should know–I had 4 boys!) For nine months, your body is changing and growing, which can add some unexpected aches and pains. But many women donâ€™t realize that prenatal massage can be an effective way to reduce anxiety, stress, and the aches and pains caused by poor circulation during pregnancy.
Colleen Bryan, of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, has offered A Girl’s Gotta Spa! readers several pointers on what pregnant women should know concerning prenatal massage:
Wait until your second trimester. As a rule of thumb, you should wait until the first trimester is over before coming in for a massage. The second trimester is typically when the belly begins to grow and the body is changing, anyway, so thatâ€™s usually the time that women are experiencing stress or discomfort.
Itâ€™s more than just relaxation. Although relaxation is a large part of a prenatal massage, there are also many health benefits associated with the service. As a woman begins to carry excess weight, her posture changes and she can have back aches, headaches, shoulder aches and neck aches. A massage can decrease those pains, as well as pain in the pelvic and hip area. It also increases circulation, improves digestion and can reduce fatigue.
Massage therapists will adapt to your needs. Therapists trained in prenatal massage know how to accommodate the body of a pregnant woman. The entire massage is conducted in the face-up position, and the woman can be turned on to her side while propped up by pillows. A massage therapist trained in prenatal massage will work the entire body, just differently than how they would with another client.
More massage = better results. As with any form of massage, the effects are cumulative. With a pregnant woman, I would recommend receiving a massage once a month throughout the second and third trimesters. In addition to the health benefits, receiving regular massages helps a woman learn how to stay calm and focus on their breathing, which can in turn help them in the delivery room to stay relaxed.
Find a Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa near you at www.handandstone.com.