What is prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage is massage for women who are currently pregnant. While a woman is pregnant, her body is rapidly changing to provide and nurture her unborn baby. This causes many issues that are unique to pregnancy. Thebabycenter.com explains that the point of prenatal massage is to customize the massage to a woman's changing body and the needs that come along with that.
Another difference of prenatal massage is the positioning during the massage. During the first trimester of a woman's pregnancy, she is generally able to lay face down the same way she would if she were not pregnant. During the second and third trimesters the positioning can change a bit. The massage will be given in a sidelying and semi-reclining position. It may sounds uncomfortable, but through the use of many pillows or special cushions, both of these positions are very comfortable to most pregnant women. You can read more about these two positions or why pregnant women cannot be massaged on their back or stomach, please feel free to click here.
Benefits of prenatal massage.
Although the list of benefits of prenatal massage is extensive, here is a list of common problems that prenatal massage can help with as described by motherandbaby.
- Stabilizing hormones
- Improving mood and lowering stress levels
- Reducing prenatal anxiety or depression
- Reducing swelling and edema
- Reducing heartburn and indegestion
- Reducing pain, especially in the lower back
- Decreasing headaches and migraines
- Helping to reduce the appearance and amount of stretchmarks
What is postpartum massage?
Postpartum massage is massage that is tailored for a woman who just had her baby. The postpartum time is from the birth of the baby to about 6 weeks after. Although prenatal massage is extremely important, postpartum massage is just as important and beneficial for the new mom. Just like during pregnancy, the mother's body is rapidly changing and adjusting, so postpartum massage can help with those changes. American Pregnancy explains that one of the biggest reasons why women receive postpartum massage, is to help restore the body to its pre-pregnancy condition
Benefits of postpartum massage.
Although some benefits of postpartum massage are similar to the benefits of prenatal massage, here are some unique benefits of postpartum massage, according to The Baby Center.
- Reduce pain and muscle tension, especially in the areas strained due to childbirth (abdomen, lower back, and hips)
- Increasing relaxation, which helps with relaxing and calming the newborn
- Increasing oxytocin release, which helps open up any blocked ducts, loosen clumps or hardened areas, and reduce the chance of mastitis
- Improving recovery of cesarean section or perineal tears.
- Stimulating lymph flow, which will increase immunity for mom and baby
- Helping cope with postpartum anxiety and depression
The process of creating, delivering, and caring for a newborn is a lot for even the toughest of supermoms. Prenatal and postpartum massage are specialized to help ease a woman through those processes. If you or anyone woman you know is going through the amazing process of pregnancy and postpartum adjustments, treat yourself the way you deserve to the healing benefits of massage.
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