Pregnancy Massage Benefits
Finding out you are expecting is one of those moments in life that transcends words. Suddenly your body is no longer quite your own. As it begins to change week by week, this feels more and more true.
As your baby grows, your organs shift around to make room. Your pelvis expands, often causing lower back aches. Your stomach and intestines move upwards to push up against your diaphragm and lungs, causing shortness of breath and abdominal aches and pains. And don't even talk about the constant need to visit the ladies room!
So here, it just makes sense that a pampering massage would feel pretty good at just about any point during this nine month period! In fact, while your growing, changing body will definitely benefit from a soothing massage, you may find your emotions and mental state will benefit even more so. After all, massage releases feel-good endorphins, which are both natural analgesics (pain killers) and mood-boosters.
But how can you enjoy a massage with this huge tummy sticking out right in the middle of your body? Now there is a way to safely enjoy the full benefits of pregnancy massage by using the Cozy Bump.
Pregnancy Massage Pillow
The Cozy Bump is the first massage pillow created specifically for women who are pregnant. Approved by ob-gyns nationwide and enthusiastically endorsed by pregnant patients, the Cozy Bump is actually a fully multi-purpose pregnancy mattress that can be used for seating, napping, sleeping, chiropractic care and massage.
Measuring six feet long, 26 inches wide, you will find this pregnancy pillow to be roomy enough even if you are quite tall. The height is 7.5 inches at the foot and 10 inches at the bump/head, so you will have plenty of padding to sit or lay down comfortably.
The Cozy Bump is an pregnancy pillow that is inflated with an air pump so it will fully support you in every way, and it even has a cut-out for your belly if you want to lay on your stomach with full support and safety. You can learn more about appearance, dimensions and safe pregnancy seating and laying options in this video.
Pregnancy Massages Safe
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), it is safe and beneficial to begin receiving prenatal massage at any point after you conceive.
As cited by the APA, some of the many benefits of prenatal massage include these:
- Improve overall health.
- Reduce stress.
- Ease muscle aches, pains and tension.
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
- Relieve joint aches.
- Improve blood and lymphatic system circulation.
- Help regulate hormones.
- Easier labor and delivery with fewer complications.
- Reduction of edema (swelling).
- Reduce back, leg and sciatic nerve pain.
- Fewer headaches.
- Better sleep.
One of the most important safety considerations when having prenatal massage is the position of the abdomen. Specifically, the APA states that it is critical never to let the abdomen hang down freely with the risk of uterine stretching. For this reason, the Cozy Bump is the pregnancy pillow of choice for both side-lying and downward-facing prenatal massage positions, since it fully supports your abdomen with its unique shape and size.
WebMD recommends the following types of massage approaches for use during pregnancy:
- Deep tissue massage. The firm, targeted pressure of this massage technique eases tension in muscles and soft tissues while improving circulation and reducing pain.
- Swedish massage. The long stroking motions of this massage technique ease joint stress and improve mobility and mood.
- Shiatsu massage. Shiatsu massage is a form of acupressure-based massage that uses pressure points to relieve stress and tension and boost energy levels.
Regardless of which massage approach you decide to pursue (you can even try all three to see which one you find is most beneficial), it is also very important to seek out a massage therapist that has experience with pregnancy and prenatal massage.
This is because the body's specific needs change as you progress in your pregnancy, and only a massage therapist with specific training in pregnancy massage will know how to adjust for your safety and comfort.
Specifically, only light pressure should be applied in the areas of the abdomen (if any at all - ask your ob-gyn about this) and lower extremities. All long strokes should be done from feet towards the heart. As well, care should be taken to avoid any type of massage that produces a feeling of pain. You should only feel a comforting light pressure that eases pain while you lay on the pregnancy pillow.
Pregnancy Massages At Home
You and your partner can also receive training from your ob-gyn to do pregnancy massage at home as needed. This is also the best approach if you have a high-risk pregnancy or are experiencing a lot of pregnancy-related side effects such as morning sickness.
You can use the Cozy Bump pregnancy pillow at home to lay down safely on your side or on your front as your ob-gyn recommends. Your partner can then focus on the area(s) where you feel pain by offering a light kneading or pressure point massage in those areas.
Often areas in need of some gentle at-home massage, especially at the end of the day when gravity has taken its toll, are your lower back, your mid back, your shoulders, your neck and your hands and feet. Here again, pressure should be very light and any long strokes should always move towards the heart (away from extremities) for safely.
You may want to take a short walk after massage to further improve lymphatic and blood circulation and ease swelling. If you are feeling nausea or dizziness, just laying on your pregnancy pillow for some time first can help you feel better enough to receive pregnancy massage. You may even want to sleep on the Cozy Bump afterward!