Now that you’re (hopefully) over the worst of the morning sickness and fatigue, you’re probably starting to feel the aches and pains of pregnancy. Prenatal massage can be a great way to relax and unwind, while letting a professional work out the kinks. Here’s what to know.
Are massages safe during pregnancy?Now that you’re into your second trimester, the answer is yes, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Just be sure and let your massage therapist know that you’re pregnant, and make sure that they have some experience with prenatal massage.
Are any areas off-limits?
For the most part, whatever you’re comfortable with is okay for the baby. You’ll likely want to avoid any massage of your abdomen, which can be uncomfortable, and you shouldn’t lie flat on your back once you get into the second half of your pregnancy.
What are the benefits of prenatal massage?
Massage brings a number of benefits that can be extra wonderful when you’re pregnant, such as:
- Reduction in stress hormones
- Increased blood flow
- Improved lymphatic drainage (flushing out toxins)
- Relaxation and feelings of well-being
- Reduced muscle tension
- Better sleep
- Less joint and muscle pain
- Reduced swelling
- Relief from headache and sinus congestion
What if I can’t afford a professional massage?
Don’t worry! Here are some tips to help your partner give you a soothing massage at home:
- For a heavenly foot rub, use lotion and rub the top of the foot in small circles with gentle pressure. Then, use the thumbs to make circles on the bottom of the foot starting near the toes and working toward the heel.
- For the back and shoulders, use lotion and move both hands up and down the back, focusing on the muscles on each side of the spine. Use the palms and fingertips to rub the side of the neck from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulder.
Learn more about BayCare's Maternity and Motherhood Wellness Program.