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Prenatal Massage London

post natal massage londonPregnancy is a beautiful stage in a woman’s life, where the connection between the mind and the body is heightened due to the life force growing inside. The prenatal period can be often tense and uncertain, which is why at Bodywork Massage London, we have tailored our services to meet these needs.

Our prenatal massage treatments at Bodywork Massage London is performed by our trained, licensed professionals who can give full-body massages that accommodate the health and safety of a pregnant woman and her baby.

This technique has been used around the world for centuries. It is designed to provide the most relief for body aches and pains brought on by pregnancy.

Difference Between Prenatal and Regular Massage

The main modifications made to differentiate between regular full-body massages and prenatal massages are the positions in which the client is in while it takes place. Most traditional massages take place while the client is lying on their stomach. To keep pressure from being placed on sensitive areas, pregnant women lie either on their stomach or flat on their backs.

They are instead either on their side using a body pillow or are reclined using cushions to ease tension. Also, several areas are entirely avoided, including the stomach and specific pressure points that can also encourage contractions.

What Happens During a Prenatal Massage?

It is useful to let the masseuse know if you have places on your body that are particularly tense or painful so that they can be sure to focus on those areas to give you some relief. Most prenatal massages will follow some variation of the following format.

  1. The starting position will be semi-reclined. Deep tissue massage is not recommended for pregnant women, so this will be gentle, light massaging over the neck, shoulders, and top of legs
  2. The second position is on your side with a body pillow. Your neck, shoulders, back, legs, and feet will be massaged
  3. Most prenatal massages take an hour to an hour and thirty minutes to complete

Benefits of a Prenatal Massage

A study by the Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences of the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan showed that “ aromatherapy massage could significantly decrease stress and enhance immune function in pregnant women.”

Here are a few other ways it can be beneficial:

  • Regulation of hormones
  • Can assist in reducing swelling
  • Relief for nerve pain
  • Contribute towards quality sleep
  • Relief for back pain
  • Relaxation
  • Enhances senses which contributes to mental wellbeing
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

What Other Conditions Can Prenatal Massage Help?

The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School found that “leg pain, back pain, depression, anxiety, and anger decreased more for the massaged pregnant women.” A few other areas that can be improved are circulation, reduced swelling, better sleep, and reduction of muscle tension leading to tension headaches.

What to Expect From a Prenatal Massage

There are many different prenatal massage formats and techniques that can be used depending on what your masseuse and yourself prefer. There are several options for where the massage will take place, including the following.

  • Traditional spa massage tables are special pregnancy tables with sections cut out for the chest and stomach area – though these are not recommended for later stages of pregnancy
  • Massage cushions which have areas cut out for the stomach and chest to help facilitate comfort. These can either be used while on a table or kneeling on the floor
  • Floor mattresses are sometimes used for massaging

The techniques can include either long, gentle stroking motions or focus on pressure points. Some masseuses use a balance of the two.

Is a Prenatal Massage Safe?

Prenatal massage, when done by a licensed technician, is perfectly safe during pregnancy. Due to aromatherapy being used by a lot of practicing masseuse, it is essential to disclose if you have any allergies that might create an adverse reaction to certain oils they may otherwise want to use.

When Can I Not Get a Prenatal Massage?

Some masseuses will not provide services during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, as there is an increased risk of having a miscarriage during the first trimester. After that time, the risk reduces significantly, and massages are considered perfectly safe when done by a certified prenatal massage therapist. Always let them know how far along you are in your pregnancy.

If you experience the following symptoms, consult with your doctor before booking a massage:

  • Severe nausea, diarrhoea, or vomiting
  • Your doctor has said you are at high risk for miscarriage or you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Breathing problems or sudden swelling

Things to Avoid During Prenatal Massage

Below we have listed some general aspects that our trained masseuses will avoid during a prenatal massage. This is to ensure the safety of your baby, and to maintain a sense of relaxation and calm throughout your treatment:

  • Heated spa areas like hot baths, steam rooms, and saunas. Also, avoid contrast hydrotherapy, which involves going between hot and cold pools. Heat can decrease oxygen to the baby.
  • For the same reason avoid body wraps that raise the temperature.
  • Detoxifying body scrubs can release toxins into the bloodstream and should be avoided throughout the pregnancy.
  • Essential oils should not be used at all during the first trimester. Second trimester twice diluted forms of certain oils are okay, including rose, chamomile, and lavender. Peppermint, sage, rosemary, and jasmine should never be used because they may cause a miscarriage.

How to Give a Prenatal Massage at Home

Prenatal massages can be conducted at home, providing you follow similar safety measures as mentioned above.

Do not massage the stomach – though it is safe to rub vitamin E oil over the area softly. All massaging should be done with gentle strokes and not deep massaging.

Foot, back, shoulder, and scalp massages are the areas you should stick with at home. Be very gentle and, when possible, take a class from a trained prenatal massage therapist.

FAQ’S About Prenatal Massage

1. Does my abdomen get massaged?

The abdomen is not massaged. Any contact directly with the baby bump is avoided at all times. The aim of the treatment is to enhance the relaxation and wellbeing of the mother.

2. What position will I be in?

This will depend on what makes you most comfortable, but usually semi-reclined, and on your side are the two positions used.

3. What oils are used?

Various essential oils, including lavender, rose, and chamomile is safe for prenatal massage. During the second trimester, they will need to be twice diluted before being used.

Grapeseed oil is also recommended. No oils should be used during the first trimester.

4. How often should I get massaged when I’m pregnant?

Up to once a week, depending on how much relief it gives and how often you want to get massaged.

5. Are there any parts of my body that shouldn’t be massaged?

The ankles, stomach, and other sensitive areas. A trained prenatal massage therapist will know which areas to avoid.

Further Reading

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28783372

[2] https://repositorium.sdum.uminho.pt/bitstream/1822/41554/1/2008%20Massage%20therapy%20reduce%20pain%20in%20pregnant%20women.pdf

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870995/