Massage During Pregnancy

Almost all mothers face aches and pains, stiffness and tension during pregnancy. Gentle massage often help to relieve problems such as backache, sleeplessness, edema, headaches and other minor complaints.

Back pain is very common in pregnancy as well as during breastfeeding or having to carry small children. This can be relieved by massaging the whole of the back area, neck, legs and feet. 

Poor circulation affects many pregnant women and can be helped by a general body massage which stimulates and improves the blood flow throughout the body. Leg massage done from the ankles up toward the thighs help to relax the body, relieve pain and reduce swelling in the legs. For women who face sleeping problems, massage gives soothing effects and helps to relax and calm. Some pregnant women feel light massaging the abdomen helps the fetus to sleep.

First trimester: 1-13 weeks
The pregnant woman feels tired, emotional, anxious, short of breath and nauseous due to hormonal changes taking place in the body.  Massage in the first trimester is gentle, slow and relaxing with a focus on shiatsu pressure points, energy, breathing and visualization exercises. It helps to:

Reduce anxiety and promote relaxation
Reduce nausea
Reduce breathlessness
Boost energy levels
Relieve muscular tension
Relieve headaches
Provide nurturing and emotional support

Second trimester: 14-27 weeks
The pregnant woman feels the strain of the increasing weight of the baby and limbs and joints start to feel swollen and achy. Massage in the second trimester includes deeper work as well as lymphatic drainage techniques where necessary and can helps to:

Relieve muscular aches and pains
Promote better sleep
Prevent oedema or swelling of joints and limbs
Reduce varicose veins
Prevent stretch marks
Encourage the baby into the correct fetal position 
Emotionally prepare you for childbirth
Ensure postural awareness and correct poor posture
Involve your partner through demonstrating massage techniques

Third trimester: 28-40 weeks
Massage in the third trimester is focused on preparing for childbirth through massage techniques, stretching and breathing exercises, helping to:
Relieve muscular aches and pains
Relieve 'restless limbs'
Reduce tiredness and promote sleep
Alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints
Reduce oedema or swelling of joints and limbs
Encourage the baby into the correct fetal position
Emotionally and physically prepare you for childbirth

Some massage therapists use aromatherapy oils during a massage session. There are some essential oils that are beneficial during pregnancy.  They tend to relieve anxiety and tension while still others are useful for relieving bloating and headaches.  There are  some essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy for their contraction stimulating properties.

Oils For Use During Pregnancy Are: Oils Which Are Not Suitable For Use In Pregnancy Are:
1.Mandarin 1.Aniseed
2.Neroli 2.Arnica
3.Petitgrain 3.Basil
4.Tangerine 4.Clary sage
5.Ylang-ylang 5.Cypress
6.Geranium 6.Fennel
7.Lemon 7.Jasmine
Sandalwood 8.Juniper
Tea Tree 9.Marjoram

This list is not a comprehensive one. Always be sure to consult a qualified therapist.