Pregnancy massage can be a great way to treat pain, enhance relaxation, and bond with your partner. However, there are certain circumstance when pregnancy massage should be avoided, and there are certain symptoms you should be on the look out for.
If you are already practicing pregnancy massage, or want to start, then these are the warning signs you should watch for:
§ Preterm rupture of the amniotic sac. If you are practicing pregnancy massage, and you experience 'wetness' similar to your water breaking, it may be a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical attention.
§ Early onset of contractions. In some rare cases, improper stimulation due to pressure on the abdomen may cause premature contractions. If you experience this, at any stage between 20 and 37 weeks, seek immediate medical attention.
§ Excessive swelling. Pregnancy massage can be used to treat normal swelling associated with pregnancy, but excessive swelling can also be caused by a condition known as pre-eclampsia, which is potentially lethal. Make sure that any excessive swelling is checked by a doctor, and do not rely on massage to make it go away!
§ Bleeding. Whether you practice pregnancy massage or not, any bleeding during pregnancy is a cause for concern, and should be reported to your doctor.
§ Severe nausea or vomiting, particularly during the second or third trimester.
§ Severe headaches, fainting or dizziness, which could indicate a drop in blood pressure.
§ Sharp or burning abdominal pain.
Many of these pregnancy warning signs can occur in women who do not practice pregnancy massage at any stage during their pregnancy, but if you are practicing massage, and you experience any of these symptoms, it's always best to seek emergency medical care.
It is also a good idea to learn how to practice pregnancy massage safely if you plan to do it at home, as there are certain pressure points, and areas on the body, that should be avoided.
The good news is that pregnancy massage, and similar therapies, can actually help to make you more aware of the changes taking place in your body. That, in turn, can make you, and your partner, more likely to pick up on any potential problems earlier, and in the vast majority of cases, the earlier any complications are discovered, the easier, and more successfully they can be treated.
As with anything associated with pregnancy, the key to successful massage during pregnancy is to understand how it works, exercise caution, remain relaxed and calm, and avoid harmful substances or circumstances. Make sure that you get some form of training, or do some research about pregnancy massage before you get started, and you should find that it is the perfect way to treat many of the complaints experienced during pregnancy.
When practiced correctly, this type of massage is completely safe, and beneficial, so if you are thinking about making massage a part of your pregnancy, go for it!