we all know that human males can't get pregnant. (Well, not yet anyway.) But
couples sometimes say, "We are pregnant" when announcing their joyous
news to friends and loved ones. So, sometimes, it's helpful
for the man to consider himself as expecting also. One of the
things his mate may be expecting, besides a child, of course, is a good
So, in the interest of harmonious relations, it's a good idea to know
something about the subject...
Massage can relieve many of the common side effects of pregnancy.
Back and neck pain, just to name two, are frequent complaints
particularly in the later stages.
Massage not only reduces physical discomfort, but has the added value
of lowering stress,
both physical and emotional. Among the beneficial
consequences are more limber joints, muscles that are better prepared
for labor, improved circulation and fewer headaches.
The good things don't stop there.
Less sciatic pain, fewer calf cramps, reduced swelling in the hands and
feet and other benefits can also flow from a good, regular massage.
A good massage helps carry away lactic acid build-up in the
muscles. That makes massage more than just a pleasant
indulgence, but a real health issue.
Particularly in the later stages of pregnancy, lying on the stomach on
a standard table is out of the question. Lying flat on the
back, though possible, isn't advisable, either. After about
six months, lying flat on the back can cause excessive pressure on
blood vessels, reducing circulation to the growing baby.
Fortunately, resolving that problem is simple. Special tables
with cut-outs are available, or expectant mothers can be massaged while
lying on the side, properly propped up by pillows to provide support.
To begin, once the mom-to-be is made as comfortable as possible, a
scented oil may be desired. Always consult the recipient,
though. Hormonal changes during pregnancy produce altered
reactions to smells. Some that were once considered pleasant
are now perceived as vile. Some essential oils can actually be
harmful, such as those including basil or jasmine, as they can possibly
stimulate contractions in some women.
It's important to seek extra feedback from the recipient than might
normally be called for. Joints and tissues become more sensitive to
pressure during pregnancy, one of the results of hormonal changes and
carrying more weight. Deep tissue and similar techniques are generally
to be avoided during pregnancy. Keep it smooth, relaxing and gentle.
Save the vigorous sports massage for six months after delivery.
Sessions for pregnant women tend to be shorter, since staying in one
position for lengthy periods is more difficult. Bathroom
trips are more frequent. On the other hand, sessions should
be more frequent to combat the discomfort that accompanies pregnancy.
Consult the family physician before beginning any massage therapy.
He or she can provide more tips and precautions on how to
enjoy massage safely and effectively.