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Pregnancy Massage
By Danielle D. Thomas, Massage Therapist L.M.T., PA., WV.

Pregnancy massage is not like receiving a Swedish or deep tissue massage. Careful consideration are taken at every stage of the pregnancy whether you are in your first trimester or your third trimester. If you are having issues with lower back pain, edema, headaches, thoracic outlet syndrome all call be address with a pregnancy massage. As you go through the different stages the body has dramatic changes such as more stress begins on pelvis, back and pectoral girdle, skin stretching, muscle cramping and varicose veins may appears. With the pregnancy massage it is able to aid in alleviating some of the ailments. Most high risk pregnancy can get massage and those with serious medical problems will need a clearance from their OB-GYN.

Pregnancy massage not only supports the physical changes it also aid in the emotional and mental stresses. Several studies have been published on the effect of massage during and after pregnancy. It improves labor outcomes, relieves muscle spasm, myofascial pain, increases blood and lymph circulation, lowers anxiety, depression and promotes postpartum restoration of abdomen.

When you come in for your massage a full history is taken so proper precautions are taken for comfort and safety of the mother and fetus.

Depending on what stage you are and any contraindication to consider in the massage will dictate how the massage is approached. We never place any pregnant women in prone position after the 13 weeks due to the fact that it may cause undue strain and complications for the mother and fetus. Techniques used in a pregnancy massage are lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, deep tissue, some zone therapy, Swedish, strain/counter strain and stretches. We will also go over exercises, breathing techniques and pelvic tilt education that you can do at home.

As for massage postpartum we can address muscle strain/fatigue, pelvic floor dysfunction, facilitate restoration of pre-pregnancy physiology, promote structural realignment of pelvis facilitate healing, provide education and support. With profound effects of massage on the body systems and techniques used to address specific issues while observing contraindications will benefit the pregnant women and future family.

When looking for a therapist they should be certified with a practical and written test.

For more information on pain management with massage, call Danielle Thomas at (412) 519-4566, visit ddtmassage.com or amtamassage.org or stop by 850 Boyce Rd. Suite 10, Bridgeville Pa 15017.

Information taken from Kate Jordan, CMT, NCTMB, JSCC Bodywork for the Childbearing Year

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