A first-time pregnancy is hugely exciting, but also a daunting thing. You will want to ensure that you are looking after and nurturing your body in the best way possible, because taking care of yourself means taking care of your unborn child.
If you regularly enjoy massage therapy as a way of making your body feel relaxed, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy all the benefits of massage while your child is growing inside of you. The answer is yes, but there are some things you ought to know before booking your massage.
- Many massage therapists will use essential oils as a way of inducing certain effects in the client, such as relaxation or energy, but there are some essential oils that absolutely shouldn't be used in pregnancy because they either have a stimulating effect on the uterus or can affect the hormones. Scents to avoid are geranium, lavender, roman chamomile, and rose. But err on the side of caution and ask for a scentless massage.
- There are many women who will avoid massages in their first trimester because of morning sickness. It may simply be the case that you don't want to be touched when you are feeling so nauseous, but actually, massage therapy could help to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness. When your muscles are stimulated, circulation is improved, and this allows hormones to travel more freely through the body, which in turn alleviates morning sickness.
- Another reason why women will avoid massage in their first trimester is they because they think massaging the abdomen could dislodge the embryo and cause a miscarriage. While you should let your massage therapist know that you are pregnant and to take care with your abdomen, it's extremely unlikely that a massage would lead to a miscarriage. The majority of miscarriages are a result of chromosomal abnormalities and uterine abnormalities. In these cases, the embryo will always miscarry and a massage will play no part in that.
- There are certain trigger points on the body that should not be massaged during pregnancy as they could cause the pelvis and uterus to contract, potentially leading to a dangerous preterm labour. These trigger points are the ankles, the point between the forefinger and the thumb, and the wrist. Ensure that your massage therapist is trained in massaging pregnant women so they avoid these pressure points. Also, be alert during a massage to make sure these pressure points are left alone.