Prenatal massages help to soothe and ease muscular pain and discomfort that can happen while growing a baby inside you. Learning how to give a great massage is something that over 4500 people google per month!
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A great massage can help provide relief for pregnancy discomforts, but also helps you to understand how your partner’s body is changing and adapting with the pregnancy. It can also help you to build a connection and awareness of your unborn child. Massage therapist Rachel Beider says that;
“Couples can experience so many benefits from giving and receiving massages at home, including forming deeper connections both physically and emotionally,”
Some people say that it’s never too early to start getting prenatal massages, so long as it doesn’t involve vigorous abdominal pressure. However, some people experience dizziness which could add to morning sickness.
Benefits of prenatal massages
The benefits of prenatal massages not only include releasing tension from joint pain and general discomfort, but can also reduce stress hormones. It helps to improve blood flow, which is so important when you are pregnant.
Other benefits may include
- Easing insomnia
- Neck and back pain
- Leg cramping
- Headaches and sinus congestion
- Swelling in your hands and feet, which isn’t releated to preeclampsia
- Carpal tunnel discomfort
Setting the Mood
The first thing when giving a massage is to make sure your partner is relaxed. Don’t overthink it. The only equipment you need is your hands, your elbows, and your forearms.
Prenatal massage therapist and doula Sara Lyon explains;
‘Just apply pressure on yummy, juicy locations on her body. Your hands will apply the least amount of pressure.
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Your forearms will be medium and your elbows will be acute pressure.’
If oils are getting you daunted, then you can skip them as well as the lotion. However, these oils and lotions help to lubricate your hands and let them glide over your partner’s skin. If you are looking at getting some massage therapy oils, lavender cannot be beaten with its calming effects helping everyone to relax more.
This massage will also help you learn about your partner’s body, so don’t be scared! This doesn’t mean dive in straight away! Start off soft and gentle, listening to her about what she likes and dislikes. You need to be able to adapt quickly to her feedback, which will help your messages get better.
Foot rubs are a good place to start when it comes to massages. Using lotion for a smoother motion, start by rubbing the top of the foot with gentle pressure, making small circles down to the heel. On the heel you can move your thumbs up and down, alternating the movements so as one goes up the other goes down. You can also tug gently on the toes using your thumb and index finger to rub them. Avoid the pressure point on the anklebone and the heel, and your partner will love it.
This calls for applied pressure based on the hips. Your partner either stands up or sits on an exercise ball, leaning forward with the weight of her upper body supported on a counter, table, or bed. You will come behind her placing your hands on her hips, pressing inwards, and squeezing the hips together.
Get your partner in either a seated position or have her lying on her side. Use both your hands to stroke up and down the back, letting your hands glide over her. Focus your hands on the muscles along the spine, alternating between kneading with the base of your hand and thumbs, and moving up and down.
Get your partner on an exercise ball supporting her upper body on a counter or table. Drag your hands down her mid to low spine all the way down to her tailbone.
Form a ‘C’ shape with your hands, and drape them over your partner’s shoulders, so that your fingers drape downwards over the collarbones and the thumbs on her back. Apply gentle pressure and move your hangs up and down towards her neck and back. Try to use your arms for motion as this will help your hands from getting tired.
As stated earlier, don’t apply pressure to the stomach as this isn’t good for the baby. Instead, use a blend of oils, vitamin E is particularly good, and gently rub this into the skin which will have a soothing effect and help to aid in reducing stretch marks.