Do your feet hurt? Are your ankles swollen? Is your partner grumpy all the time? Does your partner always complain that he/she isn’t doing enough to help but doesn’t know how to give you a prenatal massage? Well then show him/her this! I’ve come up with five different ways of “how to prenatal message” that you and your partner can do at home. As we all know pregnancy isn’t as easy as everyone makes it out to be, and for the sake of your sanity, you need to release the weight of the household to make your pregnancy a much more comfortable one! and this is how you do so…
Take the weight off your Shoulders
The shoulders of pregnant women hold a lot of weight between carrying her bag full of essentials to holding up the 15kgs-plus on the front with that new baby inside her tummy, eventually, it all adds up, and can lead to massive amounts of stress, anguish and a dire need of a break! This all needs to be released for the sake of the baby and mum’s health. So, to do so you will need a nice massage oil or body butter of your choice, a nice comfortable chair and a partner or friend to help with the massage.
Firstly get your partner or friend to stand behind you and their hands on your shoulders (with oil or body butter to your liking) and gently squeeze the trap muscle (trapezius muscle) in a circular motion for about 60 secs, than get them to slowly work their thumbs into your upper shoulder blades remembering to keep it light and gentle. If they find any hard spots or tight areas let them know to work on it for a moment more. This will help take the weight off your shoulders!
Clear the Forehead of those stress lines
As a pregnant woman, you find yourself thinking about everything a lot more then you should, is the room set up right? Is the house clean enough? Did I buy the right nappies? Did I buy enough nappies? With all this going through your head you’re bound to get stress lines and headaches which you don’t need more pain you’ve got enough already!
Get your partner to continue to stand behind you for this one, they should start in the center of the forehead and slowly slide their fingers gently towards your ears and across your temples, do this four to five times, than with clean oil-free hands start in the center of the forehead again and glide their finger towards the back of the skull going straight over the top and down to the top of the neck, and than press in on the top of the neck, this will help relieve the pressure built up in the head.
Relieve the Upper-back of all that tension
With all that baby on the front, you build up tension and knots on the upper back around the shoulder blades and deep in the neck, now as far as I know when you’re pregnant you can’t have a deep tissue massage because this can cause labour to come on early(now as much as you want that baby out its not a good idea to be too early!), so we will focus on areas with light and gentle massages that will help relieve the tension without causing early labour sound good? Here goes…
Start in the same position as the shoulder technique, but this time when they move down to get them to move their fingers around the shoulder blade and into the armpit. By doing this you will ease the shoulders and the upper back of the weight of your arms and allow more muscles to help support your belly. (Avoid the lower back, I’ll explain at the end)
Soften and Smooth out those Feet
Standing on your feet all day with all the extra blood in your circulatory system you begin to feel pressure and swelling of the ankles. Now the professionals always tell pregnant women to only stand for intervals of 20mins and sit for an equal amount of time, now you can’t always just sit down, especially when there isn’t always a chair ready for you, so you’re forced to stand and by the end of the day your feet are so sore and swollen that you might as well have two basketballs for feet well, here is a solution for your beautiful feet so you can get some decent rest at night. What’s required is a pair of socks, a good body butter or body cream, a lovely partner to do the hard work and I recommend getting it done at the end of the day just before bed for the best results!
Foot Massage Technique
Get in a comfy position where you can still get up after the massage (we don’t want you to get stuck, I have seen it happen!) have your socks next to you ready to go, now get your partner to sit in front of you on a chair and you’ll need to put your first foot on his/her lap. Get them to start at the ball of your foot and with both hands pressing the thumb into the top of the foot as the fingers massage the bottom to create light pressure, or switch them over with the thumb on the underside of the foot and fingers on the top, whichever is more comfortable. This will help the excess blood travel away from the foot and relieve the swelling. Continue to use the same technique as they move their hand to the outside staying away from the arch of the foot(I’ll explain later) keeping that light pressure and gently squeezing the foot, then get them to move down to the heel and press firmly in the centre of the heel pushing ‘up’ at the same time squeeze the outside of the heel (don’t go anywhere near the ankle), they should follow this rotation and repeat it for roughly 10mins per foot. Then place the socks on to keep those feet nice and smooth and reduce the risk of slipping over.
Areas to avoid or induce labour
Okay, as you receive each of these massages make sure that if you feel any pain or discomfort get your partner to stop immediately! There should be no pain in these massages as they are only to be light, gentle and to relieve stress, they are most definitely not deep tissue massages. If you’re looking for a deep tissue massage or something similar I highly recommend seeking a professional who is qualified to do so. now the pressure applied is completely up to you so keep that in mind also.
Number 1: The arch of the foot
The arch of the foot can be a very sensitive area as it doesn’t tend to touch the ground as you walk, so applying pressure there can cause pain and discomfort that may not appear for a couple of hours or even days later (well that’s what my partner went through), it can also cause damage to the nerves and muscles in the foot.
Number 2: The ankle
If your ankle is sore you can massage it but no more then thirty seconds at a time as massaging the ankles is one of the pressure points to relax the muscles around the groin and pelvis which in turn will bring on early labour and we don’t want that!
Number 3: The toes
Similar to the ankles, the toes have many different pressure points for different parts of the body and of course, while you’re pregnant these areas can become more sensitive to touch so its best to avoid the toes altogether.
Number 4: The first trimester
This isn’t so much a body part but still just as important, you should avoid any sort of massage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because of the high risk of miscarriage.
Number 5: The Hands
Just like the toes and the ankles the hands have many pressure points, almost more then the ankles and toes put together, so it is also best to avoid any massaging of the hands unless recommended by a professional.
Number 6: The lower back
As the lower back is connected to all the muscles and ligaments holding that baby in your tummy, massaging them to relax them is a bad idea because as you relax the lower back one of two things could happen, you get the wrong area massaged and cause another area to do double time and you end up pulling a muscle and causing more pain or you might hit a pressure point(yes those things are everywhere!) and relax the whole area which will then bring on early labour, and that is where I say that is I highly recommended to avoid, the baby will come when he or she is ready!
With all that said…
I’d like to take a moment to say this is only a suggestion, not a recommendation as I am not a qualified masseuse, and I would highly advise you that if you feel any unnecessary pain or discomfort please, Stop the massage immediately and go seek professional advice. On a lighter note please feel free to comment down below with any advice you’d like to share or any good or bad experiences you’ve had.
Thank you for reading and happy Massaging!