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  • Vicki Leigh

Massage In Pregnancy - What You Should Know

Updated: Oct 22


Pregnancy is often a beautiful time for many women, but it can also be a time of anxiety and stress along with all the physical, mental and emotional changes taking place.


And if you’re experiencing a painful back and a tight, heavy belly, you might be wondering if a massage in pregnancy is worth considering to relieve your discomfort.

Stay tuned for a rundown on what you should think about if you’re wanting some pampering during pregnancy.


What are the benefits of massage in pregnancy?


Massage in pregnancy is also known as pre-natal massage, and it can aid in promoting stress reduction and relaxation for mums-to-be as they are adapted to take into account your physical changes.


The effects of massage in pregnancy may include:


· Soothing of muscle tension and knots

· Relief from headaches and sinus pain

· Reduction of swelling in feet and ankles

· An improved sense of overall wellness

· Better-quality sleep

· Constipation relief


It may also help reduce the pain of contractions, lessening time spent in labour and pain management.


When can I have a massage during pregnancy?


Many therapists would advise against massage in the first trimester due to the higher risk of morning sickness and dizziness.


It may also be wise to seek medical advice before scheduling a massage if you suffer from conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.


Certain specific massage techniques and trigger points may also cause contractions, blood clots, and even premature labour, so be sure to discuss any risks with your therapist before any treatment.


What positions can I use?


As you approach the third trimester, lying flat on your back could be risky as the baby presses on major blood vessels, and you will obviously not be comfortable lying on your front.


Special cushions or wedges might be used so your belly and breasts are comfortable, and you might also lie on your side.


Sitting up or semi-reclining might also feature in your pampering session so that you and your baby are fully accommodated, avoiding any potential harm.


Be sure to let your therapist know you’re an expectant mother beforehand, and they will be able to adjust your treatment to your needs.


What about aromatherapy massage?


Aromatherapy essential oils can be wonderful and calming, and you can use them in the bath, with a diffuser, or as part of a massage to help avoid nausea and reduce anxiety.


They are highly concentrated oils made from all kinds of plants, and according to the NHS, they should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner in aromatherapy during pregnancy as they can be toxic.


Essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin - and eventually placenta - by both mother and baby, so only certain ones may be used, and your practitioner should be aware of these.


Ones to avoid include:


· Aniseed

· Basil

· Birch

· Camphor

· Mugwort

· Parsley

· Sage

· Tarragon

· Wormwood


If you are planning on an aromatherapy massage during pregnancy, it is important to let your therapist know, and they will be sure to assist.


Remember: essential oils should never be consumed orally.


And… relax!


So enjoy your massage, remember not to feel self-conscious, and stay hydrated both before and after your session.


And remember to always discuss any health issues during pregnancy with your doctor.


How do you like to unwind during pregnancy? Let us know in the comments.


To speak to us about your massage needs and to book an unforgettable relaxation session you won’t forget at Hot Stone Spa, click here.


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