Pregnancy is a part of normal life and is a beautiful thing. However, many pregnant women know that it can feel like an eternity. In the beginning, you may experience morning sickness and then when that finally resolves(if it does) you start to get uncomfortable. As the months move on, it becomes more and more difficult to deal with the discomfort. That's where massage can come in. Although, it is not usually recommended until an expecting mother has reached her second trimester, it can be a great help once that mile marker is reached. It can greatly help aches and pains and also reduce stress during this time where your body is not itself. Some women experience more inflammation which can lead to some conditions that you may have never experienced before. I know personally, I started experiencing numbness and tingling in my arm at night that I had never ever felt before. I also was very unlucky and suffered from hyperemius gravidarum, which caused me to be nauseous for my entire pregnancy. Massage was a saving grace for me. On days where I felt like I couldn't survive another day of sickness, massage gave me a small bit of peace and lessened my severe discomfort.
Prenatal massage is very similar to a regular massage. The biggest difference is the positioning. Since women aren't able to lay on their stomachs, we use pillows to create a safe angle for women to lay when they are face up along with sidelying positions to access the back area. It's important to communicate any pertinent information regarding your pregnancy especially if you have increased risk for things like Deep Vein Thrombosis or miscarriage, but otherwise a prenatal massage is just like any other massage. It can ease muscle tension and the pain caused by joint laxity due to increased progesterone. Along with relieving mental and physical fatigue, it can improve sleep and lift your mood. It assists in remedying many other common discomforts such as lower-back pain, upper-back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, interscapular pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and even constipation. It can also lessen anxiety and depression and lessen the load on the heart. So if you are thinking about whether or not you need a prenatal massage, the answer is probably yes!