Pregnancy and Massage–Expectant mothers can receive a gentle relaxing massage that includes effleurage (gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading) and stretching of the muscles. The massage is administered the same way a regular massage would be conducted. It is recommended that the mother complete her first tri-semester prior to receiving a massage or obtain a physician’s authorization, depending upon the mother’s medical condition.
Expectant mothers can experience physical stress and fatigue as their body goes through the changes. A massage would be beneficial with blood circulation, relieving tight or sore muscles, helping the mother have a more restful sleep, and it can also increase her energy.
The massage begins with the mother lying in a reclining supine position (face up) or she may rotate to her side, whichever position is most comfortable. Some therapist have a body bolster that supports and conforms to the shape of the body. The therapist will use additional pillows for comfort as needed.
The abdomen can be included in the massage with the mother’s permission. The gliding strokes would flow in a clockwise direction. Therapist may use light effleurage and petrissage on the abdomen bilateral, finishing with a butterfly stroke in an upward motion to the lower edge of the sternum. Then re-draping the abdomen when complete.
Hands and feet can be included in the massage, but a very light touch should be applied. Deep pressure in these areas can affect other parts of the body and internal organs (according to Reflexology), so it is best to be safe and not press too deep.
Draping is used at all times. The massage therapist will only uncover the area she is massaging.
The above massage therapy for expectant mothers mentioned are just examples of some of the massage techniques that could be applied; however, many therapists have their own unique touch and methods of massage therapy for pregnancy massage.