10 tips for getting a massage during and after pregnancy
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Crying all night. Poopie diapers. Spit-up. Feeding time…AGAIN. A stress level that is higher after the baby comes than it was before, coupled with exhaustion. These are just some of the many ways new parents are “initiated” into their new roles. With all these new chores that come along with the joy of a new baby, it’s challenging for Mom and Dad to indulge in much-needed “me” time, even though research has shown there are clear benefits to parents taking a little time out. But there is something you can do: treat yourself (or for you Dads out there, your wife) to a postnatal massage. More than just an indulgence—although it’s certainly that too—postnatal massage is a powerful healing tool. Its many benefits include:
- Helping getting the new mom’s body back into pre-pregnancy state by focusing on toning and reducing fluid tension (Hello, bikini season!).
- Helps eliminate pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders.
- Assists to re-establish pelvis structural integrity, healthy lactation (happy baby=happy mommy), toning muscles, decreasing overall stress, and even aiding in weight loss!
- Assists with reducing possible depression
- Decreases weakness and fatigue
The same thing goes if you’re still pregnant. Massage is a wonderful way to reduce stress, relieve aches and pains, and improve your health. Whether you’re interested in pre- or postnatal massage, here are a few tips to make it a positive and healing experience:
- Do check with your physician on appropriate timing for a postnatal massage. Having a natural birth versus a C-section could change things.
- Do ensure you tell the massage studio or spa that you are pregnant when making the appointment as well as how far along you are.
- Don’t use any bleaches or depilatory chemicals for hair removal. Waxing is still safe but may be more painful.
- Do enjoy pregnancy massages after your first trimester. Pillows and a table with a hole in it will be used for maximum comfort.
- Don’t assume you can’t have any spa treatments during your first trimester. For the first 12 weeks you should avoid massages but facials, manicure and pedicures are totally safe.
- Do check if you are having a pedicure especially one that involves a lower leg and foot massage. There’s certain reflexology points which are believed to trigger pre-term labor or contractions.
- Don’t have any spa treatments that include anything with heat: saunas, hot tubs, body wraps, mud baths, mineral baths or anything which increases normal body temperature should be avoided
- Do check to make sure any oils or lotions used during a massage or spa treatment are pregnancy safe.
- Do communicate and tell your therapist if you are uncomfortable, feel pain or need to share any other preference or feedback.
- Most important of all DO relax and enjoy being pampered and DON’T stress!
I’m not sure if it can still be considered a postnatal massage for me (18 months postpartum), but I definitely could use a good one! My chiropractor even recommended it, so I have been dropping the hint to my husband for a good birthday/Valentine’s Day gift idea for me! 🙂