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Apr 23, 2007

Benefits of Receiving Massages during Pregnancy

By Andrew Exon

Is it alright to receive a massage while being pregnant? What about the baby? What about laying on my stomach, is this ok? Are there any risks involved in being pregnant and receiving a massage? Can any pregnant woman receive a full body massage? Theses questions are important when a woman is pregnant desiring some form of relief from: headaches, lower back pain, irritation in the joints, and the swelling of hands and feet.

Yes, it is alright for a woman who is pregnant to receive a massage, though she should seek professional guidance before she receives a full body massage. There are reasons, which will be discussed later in the article, for a woman who is pregnant not to engage in massage therapy; however the benefits of receiving massages are:

1. Reduced depression
2. Decreases swelling of hands and feet
3. Sounder sleep because you feel more relaxed as muscles have been gently rubbed removing knots and soothing cramping
4. Reduction in cramping because the muscles are brought back into balance
5. Depending on who is providing the service: an increase in love and union between couples, which Kelly Lott a Certified Pregnancy Massage Therapist said, “Touch is vital to the mother's physical and emotional well-being as she adapts to her new body image.”
6. Muscles related to childbirth are relaxed and prepared more, thus increasing the likelihood of an easier delivery
7. Time, a good massage can be given in 10 minutes once or twice a week. It is a fallacy to think a good massage takes 30 minutes to an hour

A Pillow termed “Prego Pillows” have been introduced and developed for women who are pregnant. These pillows allow women to lay flat on their bellies without harming themselves or the baby, which keeps the mother’s back and body in perfect alignment enabling her to relax while she receives gentle touch. The word gentle is used purposely because it is suggested that if the muscles are rubbed to hard, than the massage will actually have an opposite affect annulling the reasons for receiving a massage in the first place.

Though any woman who is pregnant can receive a massage there are times when a massage therapist would recommend you receive a note from your doctor before receiving a massage: morning sickness, vomiting, contagious illness, heavy discharge (either water or blood), abdominal pain, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. Also should you have any skin rashes, open sores, bruises, inflammation, varicose veins, or any infections avoid massaging on or around these areas of your body. An article I read recently also suggested women who are in their first trimester should not seek a massage, because this is the time for her to be in harmony with the physical and emotional (hormonal) changes a woman goes through during this period of three months, or so.

Massage Therapy has its routes around 3000 B.C., however prenatal massages is just recently being discovered and researched. The University of Miami, School of Medicine is continuing to discover new benefits for prenatal massages. Women of all types are able to receive this comforting and relaxing method of therapeutic health. With new pillows “Prego Pillow” a woman is able to lye flat on her belly without disrupting the alignment of her back and injuring her baby. If you should have any symptoms mentioned above consult your doctor before engaging in a full body massage.

How Anyone Can Benefit from Massage Therapy.

Andrew is a Marriage, Family, and Human Development graduate who enjoys swing dancing, camping, fly-fishing, and other recreational sports which provide physical excercise and relaxation.

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