Dad’s can sometimes feel left out during a pregnancy. Everyone asks how the mother-to-be is, but the father has a huge change to come too, both physically, in that the whole home routine will be disrupted, and emotionally, the family dynamics will change completely. He may feel like an onlooker, after all the pregnancy is happening to someone else, Dad has done his part, but the effects will affect him too! It is a good idea for both parents to get involved, this may reduce the pressure.
We can teach the mother a massage routine to carry out on herself, or that her partner can do for her. Communication is very important between partners at a time when major changes are going to happen within the relationship, “together time” will give them the opportunity to discuss fears and feelings as well as give the father a hands on experience of feeling the baby grow within his partner.
Massage also provides a pleasant way of keeping the skin moisturised and soft, thereby helping to avoid stretch marks.
Stretch marks are fine white lines across the skin, which are tiny scars in the underlying tissues. They occur most often on the stomach, thighs bottom and breasts. They are caused by sudden weight gain, where the skin has to stretch enormously to encompass the enlarged you. Once you have them they are difficult to get rid of, so during pregnancy, a preventative measure is important.
The areas most likely to benefit from massage are the lower back and the legs. The lower back, as the muscles in this region are used to counterbalance the extra load at the front. They are likely to be contracted and tense, giving rise to backache and soreness. This legs will ache more simply because of the extra weight and less effective lymph system. Massage helps to reduce muscle spasm and to lessen any congestion in the tissues.
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:
Reduce strain in lower back, abdomen and shoulders
Increases muscle tone of muscles weakened and strained in pregnancy
Encourages rest and relaxation
Stabilizes hormones, increases gland secretions
Reduces fluid levels by stimulating lymph
Soothes nerves and promotes relaxation