As a massage therapist, I have always enjoyed working with women before, during, and after the birth of their babies and I am always interested in learning more and more about the many benefits and science behind perinatal massage. Last week I attended a great talk by Leslie Stager, one of the foremost authorities on pregnancy massage.
The talk was entitled "Myths and
Realities" and here are a few of the tidbits that I took away:
* Massage in the first trimester is fine and wonderfully helpful!
* Because miscarriage rates in the first trimester are so common (22-24%), there
had been a perception that there was an association between the two. The
truth is that a healthy pregnancy is very difficult to dislodge. If it
were otherwise, there wouldn't be demand for abortive technologies.
of the ankles during pregnancy is commonly thought to be something to
be avoided because of acupuncture points associated with the uterus.
Receiving massage of the ankles is NOT a concern if just a couple of
specific acupressure points are avoided. Acupressure stimulates specific
and intentional points that can help support labor labor if it has
already begun or is ready to start.
* Reflexology also supports pregnancy and labor and not miscarriage.
* The biggest concern with massage during pregnancy is due to increased blood
volume and the possibility of blood clots. During a pregnancy massage
care is taken to not work deeply in the thigh and calf areas for this
reason. Lighter, flowing massage strokes are safe and soothing.
* Massage during the perinatal period is overwhelmingly supportive to the well being of Mama and Baby!