Pregnancy comes with aches, cramps, swollen feet and what not, leaving you and your body sore. Add to this the insomnia, anxiety and frequent morning sickness and you find yourself rolling from one discomfort to another. If you want relief, a gentle massage will be the perfect thing to soothe your body and help you calm and relax. Prenatal massages can be easily availed but are often expensive. However, you can still indulge in this relaxation technique by looping-in your spouse – yes, your partner can also give you a massage during pregnancy. A massage by your partner will not only ease the pregnancy sores, but also give you a nice couple-time to unwind and relax.
Position For Prenatal Massage
Because pregnancy makes it difficult to lie either on the back or on the stomach, most women take prenatal massages either lying sideways or in a kneeling position. Pillows can be placed at places where support is required. At home, a pregnant woman can kneel by the bed with pillows under the knees to keep the belly pressure free. The shoulders should be supported by the bed. However, always let the pregnant woman determine her level of comfort and unless she is not feeling comfortable enough, prenatal massages at home should not be done.
What Are The Right Techniques Of A Prenatal Massage?
Massaging his pregnant wife is the sweetest thing a man can do, and this will not only help the woman relax and calm, but will also assure her of his love and care. Plus, it will also strengthen your relationship. However, prenatal massages are slightly different than the sensual massages couples indulge in. Feedback is extremely important and so is altering the massage pressure and the pattern. Below we have listed the common sore areas that particularly get stressed during pregnancy:
- Back: An aching back is a common pregnancy complaint. Massaging your partner’s back should begin from the nape of her neck, down to the hips, and then the reverse. Skip the spine though. You can also use your knuckles running down the back, but not on the spine
- Buttocks: Pressing the the bone at the base of your spine between your hips with a gentle and soft fist will loosen the muscles supporting your hips. Make sure that the tailbone is not touched or pressed
- Legs: Gentle, loving strokes on the thighs and legs, sideways or in circular motions that start at the feet and go up to the buttocks could be helpful in reducing strain on the legs
- Hands and Feet: Swollen hands and feet are the result of fluid retention, and hence the massage should aim at increasing the blood circulation. End of the fingers and the toes can be gently massaged with thumbs working towards the center of the body
- Neck: Placing hands on the shoulders of your wife with thumbs on the back and then moving the thumbs in circular motions will help to ease out stress from the neck muscles
The therapeutic benefits of massages include relief from stress and possible relaxation. Though studies on the subject haven’t been conducted, yet massages can simply improve the blood circulation and relax the muscles making one feel calm.
10 Tips For A Great Prenatal Massage By The Husband
- Make sure the room is warm and quiet. Soft candlelight and slow, relaxing background music will help to set the right atmosphere
- Ask your partner to lie on a large bath towel in a comfort¬able position. When lying on her back, it helps to place cushions under her knees to reduce the curve of the lower back. By around the fifth month of pregnancy, it is best to lie sideways rather than on the back or front, or to sit in a reclining position. Cover her with another large towel. The London College of Massage recommends that, when per¬forming back massage, get her to sit forward over a straight-backed chair, leaning on a cushion. For head, neck or foot massage, it is advisable to use a bean bag or cushions with the legs and arms supported. These positions can also be used in labor, with lower back massage performed leaning on the bed while standing, squatting or supported by the wall
- If using an aromatherapy oil, make sure you have selected one that is safe to use in pregnancy and that it is diluted properly
- Warm the massage oil or lotion by placing the bottle in a bowl of comfortably hot water. Alternatively, rub some oil in your hands to warm it before using. If adding extra oil during the massage, warm it before it comes into contact with the recipient’s skin
- Move the covering towel to expose each area of the body as you start to work on it, then re-cover it before moving on to the next area
- It is important to use only gentle stroking movements, especially over the abdomen, and to avoid all percussion, heavy or deep pressure
- Use long, flowing, simple strokes that follow body con¬tours, and warm the skin. Keep movements flowing and rhythmic with one hand in contact with the body at all times. As a general rule, stroke towards the heart from whichever part of the body you are working on
- Don’t forget to massage the arms, hands and feet as well as the back, legs and abdomen
- Keep on taking feedback and alter the pressure accordingly. Never ever stretch the uttering ligaments
- Follow every massage with a huge glass of water
In many cultures, it is traditional for a woman to receive a daily full body massage, including deep massage of the abdomen, to help her body return to normal after birth. Deep abdominal massage should be avoided for at least a month after having a cesarean.