Pregnancy can trigger various complaints that are not pleasant for pregnant women. Massage for pregnant women can be done as a way to relieve discomfort and make pregnant women feel relaxed.
When a woman is pregnant, there will be some pressure that can be felt, especially in the muscles of the abdomen, neck, back, and shoulders. Not only that, weight gain is increasing, making many pregnant women complain of pain in the lower back and posture changes occur because the pelvic position is more advanced.
Based on Scientific Evidence
In general, research shows the benefits of massage for people in general, including relieving pain and possibly increasing the performance of the immune system. Other studies have found the possibility of massage is useful to reduce back pain, headaches, reduce stress, and help relaxation.
Meanwhile, research aimed specifically at finding out the benefits of massage for pregnant women is still very limited. However, a study says that massage for pregnant women may have a variety of positive benefits including reducing tension and stress hormone levels, relieving back and leg pain, improving mood while increasing happiness, and making sleep more soundly.
It’s just that, when you want to do a massage pregnant women should pay attention to gestational age first. For pregnant women who still experience nausea and vomiting, you should avoid this treatment first.
It is recommended that massage for pregnant women begin after 12 weeks of pregnancy or enter the second trimester. Then, avoid back massage for pregnant women when gestational age is getting closer to the time of delivery, which is 32 weeks and over. This is because massage might speed up the delivery process.
Appropriate Massage Techniques
Generally, massage for pregnant women will last for approximately one hour. Some spas or special massage centers for pregnant women have special chairs or beds. Because, massage for pregnant women will usually be done in various positions, such as sitting, half lying down, or lying on the side.
Pregnant masseurs are usually trained to understand which parts of the body are often uncomfortable. However, if a pregnant woman feels uncomfortable or feels certain body parts need extra massage, it is recommended to immediately notify the masseuse.
There are various types of massage for pregnant women, such as traditional massages that press deep into the muscles, or Swedish massages with long enough pressure towards active muscles and joints. In addition, a pregnancy massage technique that is also commonly found is Shiatsu, with emphasis and massage on acupressure points to stimulate natural energy.
These techniques are intended to improve the condition of pregnant women, such as preventing blood clots in the legs due to increased blood flow experienced by pregnant women. Some massagers, will only touch the abdomen very lightly or not at all.
Although classified as safe, there are a few things to keep in mind when pregnant women massage:
- Pregnant women need to immediately inform the masseuse if feeling pain or discomfort. Extra pillows may be able to help the position of pregnant women to be more comfortable.
- Pay attention to essential oils or aromatherapy used during massage. Choose according to taste and ask again about the safety of essential oils used.
- As far as possible avoid treatment that utilizes heat, such as saunas, hot tubs, or steam baths. If you still want to, make sure the water or room temperature is not more than 32 degrees Celsius to avoid overheating.
Pay attention to gestational age before doing massage for pregnant women. Then, choose a location and a competent and experienced masseuse. If you have a special medical condition during pregnancy, you should consult your obstetrician first.