Pregnancy is probably the most aspirational time to be massaged and pampered. Prenatal massage has a thousand virtues that it would be wrong to deprive oneself of. Here are some expert tips to help you choose the right practitioner.
When can we get a massage?
Prenatal massage does not present any danger to pregnancy, however as a precautionary principle, it is better not to have a massage during the first trimester, because during the first three months, the risk of miscarriage is higher and fetal stabilization is not yet done. Most institutes also refuse to massage beyond the 8th month, as a precaution to avoid any contraction.
How to choose your practitioner?
There is no compulsory and official diploma for prenatal massage, but certifications are available as an option in wellness training schools. Thus, to ensure that your body (and belly) are entrusted to expert hands, you must first reassure yourself of the Institute’s reputation and secondly ensure that the practitioner has received specific training and knows the precautions to be taken.
Précautions to be taken
You should ask to see the products with which you will be massaged. They must be as neutral as possible and preferably organic. Sweet almond, avocado, sesame or apricot oil, shea butter. It is recommended to use only vegetable oils without chemicals.
There is no contraindication if the pregnancy is going well. In case of a high-risk pregnancy, it is preferable to seek the advice of the doctor or midwife who follows the pregnancy before getting a massage. They may be able to give recommendations on the massage pressure or position.
Products not recommended
Mineral oils (which are made from petroleum) and low-end oils should be avoided. Concerning essential oils, their use is not recommended because some can cause reactions, misused they can even represent a poison. As a precautionary principle, it is preferable either to do without it during pregnancy or to seek advice from a professional who is perfectly familiar with aromatherapy, the methods of administration and dosage. Finally, it is recommended to avoid heat sources such as hot water bottles, compresses and hot stones, which can cause muscle relaxation and dilation.
In what position?
To avoid lying on your stomach, prenatal massage is most often performed in a lateral position, as a “gun dog”, on one side and then on the other, or on a special chair that does not support the weight of the stomach. The practitioner must adapt to her patient and be attentive, because she knows which position is best for her.
What not to do
During a prenatal massage, we do not touch the pelvis, we caress it.
With a pregnant woman, we favour gentle gestures, we go less deeply, the massage must be progressive and never brutal. Some acupuncture points, such as malleoli or shoulders, should be avoided, as should pressure on the legs. All gestures must start from the bottom up, from the calves to the heart and not the other way around, as this encourages draining manoeuvres.
For what benefits?
Prenatal massage relieves tension in the lumbar and cervical areas, discomfort often due to poor posture, muscle and joint pain, heavy legs. We do not repair but we alleviate all the small pains associated with pregnancy. Massage also allows you to work on the mobility of the pelvis, which can facilitate the delivery and carrying of the baby after birth. Getting a massage is above all an opportunity to relax, to leave the pregnancy medical register to connect to your body and help your body to recover. It is often said that one hour of massage is equivalent to one night’s sleep.