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What Is The Optimal Time To Get A Prenatal Massage?

A prenatal massage is a special type of massage for expectant mothers that provides significant benefits on the anatomical changes they go through during pregnancy. It is quite different from the regular massage where you spend most of the time lying on your stomach facing down. This is not possible with a baby belly because it exerts a lot of pressure on the major blood vessels that supply blood to the fetus. A trained massage therapist takes your shape and posture changes into account with supportive cushions and pillows. This article discusses the optimal time for one to get a prenatal massage, its benefits, and frequency of treatment.

The Best Time to Get a Prenatal Massage – Third Trimester

Young pregnant woman having abdominal massage

The third trimester marks the last phase of pregnancy and is often counted from months 7,8 and 9. This is the stage where the baby continues to develop and starts to shift position in readiness for birth. This is one of the most challenging stages of pregnancy where you feel very uncomfortable. The extra weight of the baby pulls the hips into a different alignment, altering your posture and causing massive changes to the rest of your body. A prenatal massage during the third trimester can help ease muscle aches and pain. In most cases, your physical therapist focuses their professional skills and massage techniques on the hips, lower back, and glutes.

It increases blood circulation around the body to reduce swelling and boosts your lymphatic system to help flush out toxins. Prenatal massage is often recommended once a month during the first trimester and twice a month during the second trimester. However, once you reach the third trimester, you need to schedule weekly appointments with your doctor or physician until you give birth. Labor stimulation can also be worked into the massage at 39 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. Keeping your body in proper physical and mental alignment during pregnancy can help you through important milestones. One of the best outcomes of prenatal massage is that most women sleep great for a while after the session.

Benefits of Having a Prenatal Massage During The Third Trimester

  • Eases Nerve Pain

Most women experience sciatic nerve pain during late pregnancy because the muscles of the lower back and the pelvic floor support the uterus. The extra weight from the uterus spreads tension to the upper and lower leg muscles. This causes your legs to swell and exerts pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain. A prenatal massage releases tension on the nearby muscles to free up the inflamed nerves thus reducing sciatic nerve pain.

  • Reduces Inflammation

Swell of the joints during pregnancy, also known as edema is a common symptom for expectant mothers in the third trimester. The increased pressure from the heavy uterus reduces blood circulation and puts a lot of stress on the major blood vessels around the body leading causing the swelling of the joints. A prenatal massage helps to reduce the collection of fluids around your swollen joints by stimulating soft tissues. This also boosts the body’s lymphatic system to help get rid of tissue waste.

  • Hormone Regulation

A prenatal massage alters the level of hormones associated with stress and relaxation, which leads to improved cardiovascular health and mood regulation. The positive changes in hormone levels caused by prenatal massage can lead to fewer complications during birth and instances of low birth weight. Therapeutic massage that is incorporated in prenatal care provides both maternal and newborn health benefits.

Is Massage Safe During Pregnancy?

Massage therapy during pregnancy can provide significant benefits to the mother and her unborn baby. It improves relaxation, sleep, and overall sense of wellness that is necessary for expectant women. However, not all techniques used in prenatal massage are safe because they can also trigger contractions as well as premature labor. Most health experts and medical professionals recommend visiting your doctor before scheduling a prenatal massage to follow specific guidelines that will protect you and your baby. Massage therapists who practice prenatal massage receive advanced education where they learn safe techniques for providing massage to expectant women during every stage of their pregnancy.

Although you can have a massage at every stage of your pregnancy, the optimal time to get a prenatal massage is during the third trimester because major changes happen during that time. You will be starting your countdown to delivery once you hit the third trimester and with all the swelling, backaches, and inconsistent sleep patterns, a prenatal massage could be useful in improving your overall health and wellbeing of the unborn baby.