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Information Sheet for Massage Therapy Clients and Their Prenatal Care Providers Benefits and Contraindications to Massage Therapy During Pregnancy Benefits.
There are several observed or identified benefits to massage during pregnancy. Massage can:
- Relieve muscular tension, especially in low back, upper back, shoulders and neck.
- Reduce stress on weight-bearing joints.
- Enhance body awareness-better posture-less discomfort. Assist with body mechanics
and movement during structural changes.
- Support birth process by relaxing muscles involved in labor and birth.
- Ease anxiety and stress during time of transition.
- Give emotional support and nurturance.
- Offer greater ease in ventilation due to relaxation of muscles of breathing.
- Improve sleep.
- Reduce stress hormones.
- Reduce back pain.
- Prevent labor complications and postnatal complications.
There are also contraindications to massage during pregnancy. These include the following:
COMPLICATIONS OF PREGNANCY
- Early labor/miscarriage threat/placental or cervical dysfunction
- Gestational Edema Proteinuria Hypertension (GEPH or Pre-eclampsia)
- Gestational Diabetes
Because Massage Therapy is contraindicated for the above complications, it is also contraindicated for women experiencing any of the following symptoms/signs related to the above complications:
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COMPLICATIONS
- Bloody discharge
- Continual abdominal pains
- Sudden gush of water or leakage of amniotic fluid
- Sudden, rapid weight gain
- Increased blood pressure
- Protein or sugar in urine
- Severe back pain that does not subside with changing of position
- Systemic edema, “pitting” edema
- Visual disturbances
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Excessive hunger and thirst
- Increased urination in the second trimester.
There are also additional conditions that contraindicate massage therapy, including any phlebitis, thrombosis or suspected clotting condition, any kidney, liver or spleen compromise, and infections. Local massage on areas with severe varicose veins and swelling are avoided due to clotting risk.
The following high-risk pregnancies must be closely monitored by the physician in order to determine the advisability throughout the pregnancy of general circulatory massage, pressure, and massage position options:
- Women under 20 or over 35 Rh or genetic problems
- Asthma Liver or renal condition
- Previous problem pregnancy Multiple births
- Diabetes Heart Disease
These situations must be monitored closely, and if complications arise, general circulatory massage, pressure, and some massage positions may be contraindicated.