You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
A prenatal massage is a unique and special form of massage that works to address discomfort and relax the body during pregnancy. This massage has been around for thousands of years but because of the sensitive nature of pregnancy, it has not been widely practiced back in the days. Today, however, prenatal massage is hugely accepted and is believed to bring a lot of benefits to a pregnant woman.
References about prenatal massage can be found in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine that has been introduced 3000 years ago. Oils are used to massage pregnant women before and after pregnancy. Other cultures also have different forms of pregnancy massage as they believe it will nurture the body of both the mother and the child in her womb.
The modern prenatal massage includes various techniques and is now one of the most popular types of massage in the world.
A prenatal massage session is similar to other forms of massage. A therapist would have to ask questions first about pregnancy conditions and individual preferences.
The pregnant woman is asked to lie down on one side during the duration of the massage. The therapist will apply gentle pressure on the back, hips, and neck. In the case of edema, it may be alleviated by kneading strokes in the arms and legs.
The modern prenatal massage has similar techniques to Swedish massage but it is done with less pressure on the body.
Prenatal massage can help pregnant women in a lot of ways. As pregnancy changes the hormones, having a massage can address discomforts and relax the body. Below are the other benefits of a prenatal massage:
- Promotes better sleep
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves blood circulation
- Help regulates hormones
- Reduces back pain
- Helps reduce swelling or edema
Training to become a prenatal massage therapist
Taking care of a pregnant woman requires special techniques and massage therapists need further training to practice this type of massage.
Special elective courses focusing on prenatal massage are provided in various massage schools. Having a certification in prenatal massage means a therapist underwent specific training on safety when performing a prenatal massage.
A prenatal massage specialist knows that prenatal massage is not given to just about any pregnant woman. Other issues such as bleeding, high blood pressure, and high-risk pregnancy should be evaluated first by a health care specialist before receiving a message. The massage is also not given during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy due to the possible risk of miscarriage.
Massage therapists and midwives can practice prenatal massage.
Other names for prenatal massage
- Pregnancy massage
- Maternity massage
- Mother massage