Obviously, everybody love massage and pregnant women even more! But how?
As an expecting woman, between your job, organizing everything for the baby, taking care of your older kids, it is a challenge to find time to take of yourself!
However, in various cultures, massage is an important part of birth preparation, as much as an echography or a midwife visit.
Massage is a great way to relieve low back pain, sciatic pain or muscles spasms. It also improves blood circulation decreasing swelling and heavy legs. Massage also prevents stretch mark as relax the skin and help it to be stretch without breaking.
But mainly, it relaxes and relieves stress and anxiety!
Pregnancy and post-partum is a beautiful moment of life but also very stressful. Massage is good way to manage this stress by taking time for you.
Similarly, medical appointments are often quick and stressful, sometimes not giving you the time to ask your questions. Massage creates a moment where you can speak more in depth of your pregnancy with your women’s health physiotherapist.
If you are lucky, your partner will be kind enough to be your personal massage therapist, always the best! Otherwise, you can find a massage therapist of a physiotherapist. Just be careful to choose a therapist experience in pre and post-natal care. There aren’t really dangerous techniques for pregnant women but always better to be in good hands… and it can be the opportunity to have advises and support!
Here some tips for your partner (we also have a video on the topic here).
How to adopt a good position?
First position: comfortably sit on a gym ball in front of a table with a pillow on it. Rest your head and arms on the pillow.
Second position: simply lie down on your left side.
In both cases, your partner will be behind you.
How to massage?
The best is to use sweet almond and to perform long effleurage with the palm of your hands (finger are less comfortable).
Neck and lower back are often the sorer area for expecting women, so don’t hesitate to spend longer on it.
Similarly, in pregnancy it is very common for low back pain to arise from gluteal muscles spasm (bottom muscles), also an import area to massage!
No worries, there is no particular risk for you or your baby. But mention any pain or excessive pressure.
On your own, do not hesitate to massage superficially your belly with sweet almond or Shea butter to prevent stretch mark! It also works for stretch mark on your thighs and lower back.
For heavy legs and varicose, you can again require your partner help! A simple massage of your legs starting from your foot to your thigh with a gentle pressure all the way will help blood return and lymphatic drainage. Mustela do a really good light leg massage cream perfectly adapted for expecting women.
In case your legs start to swell speak about it with your midwife or gynaecologist. To decrease it you can ask to your women physiotherapist for drainage massage. For swelling legs, be extra careful by avoiding cheap massage centre and prefer a women health physiotherapist as a bad drainage may create skin lesions or worsen varicose…