A prenatal massage is a certain form of therapeutic massage specifically aimed at pregnant women. The massage therapist must work carefully in order to avoid applying pressure to any part of the body that may negatively impact the growing fetus. Likewise, there are pressure points located throughout the body that can be stimulated to bring on uterine contractions, which can be helpful in cases of delayed labor. Prenatal massages are beneficial in that they provide women with an opportunity to relax during a time when they may be quite uncomfortably physically.
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Prenatal massage is specifically geared towards addressing an expecting mother’s needs, while postnatal massage is focused upon the new mother and any health concerns she may be experiencing.
In the months before a baby is born, the expectant mother’s body changes in a wide variety of ways. Not only does her abdomen and pelvic region expand in preparation for delivery, she may also experience swelling in the feet and ankles as well as tenderness in the breast region. After a baby is born, the new mother may experience what is called post-partum depression, a disorder that is characterized by feelings of depression and anxiety that can even cross over into suicidal or homicidal thoughts if not properly addressed.
While it is absolutely necessary for expectant and new mothers to be followed closely by a licensed medical doctor, there are a number of treatments that may prove to be beneficial for alleviating physical discomfort as well as mental stress and anxiety. Prenatal and postnatal massage therapy is one of the best examples of this alternative treatment.
Prenatal massage patients can expect to have more support offered to them during the massage session. As it may be nearly impossible to lie comfortably upon the stomach, the massage therapist often incorporates special pads or cushions which enable the client to lie on their side without adding any unnecessary strain to the abdominal region.
The initial period following the delivery of a child can be quite stressful. Even in patients who do not experience post-partum depression, it may be very difficult for a new mother to get even ten minutes to herself to relax and gather her thoughts. This is one of the benefits of post-natal massage, is that it allows the client an environment in which she needs only to de-stress and allow the benefits of massage therapy to work their magic.