The changes that take place in the female body during pregnancy can often lead to muscle tension, heavy legs, fatigue, nausea and stress that just will not go away. Prenatal massage is one of the many ways of reducing stress while catering to those tense muscles carrying around baby every day. Prenatal massage often takes place on a massage table built with a supportive belly net so the pregnant woman can lie on her stomach. Traditional massage tables are also used with supportive pillows or side positioning. What is not as common is in-water massage or hydrotherapy. While hot water is off the plate for the duration of pregnancy, hydrotherapy may be just what mom-to-be ordered.
Jetted massage describes sitting in a large pool of water while jet streams of water are concentrated on tense muscles. Jetted tubs can be found in many homes, but pregnant women should consult with their physician before using a jetted tub. Generally, the jets are not an issue during pregnancy, but water temperature should be kept below 100-degrees. Higher water temperatures can affect fetal health.
Physical water massage is one of the least known types of in-water massage. The pregnant woman dons her bathing suit to float, with help, in a warm, chlorinated pool. Floats may be strapped to her legs to relieve all pressure and give her the feeling of floating in the water. With all pressure off the body, the massage therapist uses a combination of hand massage and water movements to ease stress and relieve tension.
Aqua Massage Table
The Aqua massage table can be found in large shopping malls across the United States. Aqua massage is also referred to as dry massage as a thin layer of plastic protects the patron’s clothes from getting wet when water jets start blasting warm water. The massage takes place with the patron lying on his or her back. Laying flat is safe during the first trimester of pregnancy, but pregnant women should avoid lying on their back during the second and third trimester when the weight of the uterus can reduce blood flow to the fetus. Aqua massage tables are not considered safe for pregnant women.
In-water massage is safe for women during pregnancy as long as the water temperature is set below 100 degrees and the water is free from bacteria. Home jetted tubs are generally considered safe with warm, not hot, water. Commercial water massage tables have not been proven safe for women during pregnancy.