Massage for Pregnant Men
Certainly, human males can’t get pregnant. (Not yet anyway.) But couples often 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, is a good massage. 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 consequences are more limber joints, muscles that are better prepared for labor, improved circulation and fewer headaches.
But 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.
But, particularly in the later stages, 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. They can stimulate contractions.
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. But 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.