Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things that a woman can go through. It leaves you glowing and happy to see what the future holds. Many moms are not always as upfront about some of the symptoms they experience though. They prefer to focus on the positive things and ignore the negative things. As an expectant mother, seeing a chiropractor can help you better cope with those symptoms and provide some benefits for both you and your baby.

What is Prenatal Massage?

The chances are good that the biggest question on your mind is what this type of massage entails. Prenatal massage is a type of massage designed to help you relax. When you feel relaxed, your baby feels relaxed, too. Though it’s similar to the same massages you had before you were pregnant, the professional will focus on the areas where you feel some discomfort and ignore any spots that might harm your baby. Pregnant women often carry a lot of stress on their backs, necks, and upper bodies.

Massage Benefits

There are quite a few benefits of prenatal massage such as helping your body regulate your hormone production. The type and number of hormones your body puts out will change during pregnancy. While some make you feel happy and joyful, others make you feel sad or even angry. With regular massages, you produce more of the healthy hormones your baby and body need.

Another benefit is that it can reduce your nerve pain. While some people associate nerve pain with diabetes and similar conditions, it’s a common symptom among pregnant women. Your little bundle of joy puts a lot of pressure on your lower body, which can make your legs tense up. The baby can also restrict blood flow to those areas, which leads to numbness and tingling. If you feel a pins and needles sensation in your legs, hips, and/or back, prenatal massage helps treat those symptoms. Other benefits you can look forward to after your massage include:

  • Reduce inflammation around your body
  • Cut back on joint and/or muscle pain
  • Limit your stress
  • Help with anxiety
  • Improve your circulation
  • Assist with your sleep patterns

Are Massages Safe for Babies?

When you learn you’re pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend things you can do at home. You should also receive a list of things you should not do. Many women stop dyeing their hair and eating certain foods. You do not need to give up your massages though, but you will want to look for someone experienced in working with pregnant women. As long as you choose a licensed professional, you can relax and enjoy your prenatal massage.

When to Get a Prenatal Massage

Many women worry that prenatal massages are dangerous. You might hear that it’s not safe during your later trimesters, but it’s generally safe for all women. If you have any concerns, simply address them before your appointment. Also, make sure that you schedule a prenatal massage to let the professional know that you’re pregnant. You will find that some professionals recommend women only schedule their appointments after they safely complete their first trimesters. There is a slight risk of miscarriage during the first trimester, which they want to avoid.

What to Expect

Your appointment will usually start with the intake process. This is when the chiropractor asks about your medical history and gets an idea of what you want from your massage. Make sure that you address any pregnancy issues or complications you had in the past such as a history of miscarriages, gestational diabetes, and other conditions, and any prenatal issues you might have. The chiropractor may want to know whether you had massages in the past and if you take any medications or have prior trauma to your body. You may also need to bring a release form from your doctor that shows they approved your massages.

Possible Side Effects

While there are some side effects that can happen during or after prenatal massages, your chiropractor will take steps to prevent them from happening. Some women experience morning sickness or worsening bouts of morning sickness during and after their appointments. Moving you into an elevated position can help. Other women suffer from either varicose veins or heartburn. Keeping your head up during the massage prevents heartburn, while massaging down your legs and toward your ankles can keep blood from pooling and causing varicose veins.

Prenatal vs. Standard Massages

Even after learning more about prenatal massages, you probably wonder how they’re different from standard massages. The biggest change is that the chiropractor takes steps to ensure the safety of your growing baby. During a standard massage, the professional will use a downward motion on your lower legs. This can lead to varicose veins in pregnant women, which is why chiropractors use a different motion and focus more on your upper body. Another change is that the chiropractor looks for ways to reduce your discomfort and any other symptoms you have. They can pull away the tension you carry in your back and shoulders and make you feel rested and relaxed after a single session.

Pro Performance Chiropractic Can Help

You don’t need to spend a lot of time getting ready for your prenatal massage. Make sure you have the signed release form from your doctor if the chiropractor asks for one. You can wear any clothing that makes you feel comfortable such as leggings and a tee. Though you may feel some general discomfort, this usually goes away as the stress leaves your body. Once you give birth, feel free to schedule your next appointment as soon as you want. If you have a C-section, wait until your scar heals before your next massage. Contact the team at Pro Performance Chiropractic today to schedule your first prenatal massage.