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Pwede Bang Magpamasahe Ang Buntis? These Ob-Gyns Say It's Perfectly Okay
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  • As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, you may feel some aches and pains in your back, abdomen, and thigh area.

    This is why some soon-to-be moms ask if it's okay to get a massage while they're pregnant. The answer, according to experts, is yes.

    You can reclaim your favorite me-time and get some body love while your little one grows inside your tummy.

    "Studies have shown that massage therapy including aromatherapy and chiropractic care are highly safe and effective for pregnant women, especially those who experience lower back and pelvic pain," says Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Ame Lopez.

    This is echoed by Dr. Carolyn Perez-Par, also an obstetrician-gynecologist who, citing studies, says that "massage is physically safe for mother and child during pregnancy if administered by a trained staff."

    Dr. Perez-Par is the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center

    How do I make sure my baby is safe while I get a massage?

    The best way to keep you and your baby safe while getting a massage is by making sure you know your body well and the massage is done by a licensed professional.

    Every trimester the body will go through big changes, preparing the way for the arrival of the baby. These same changes are what contributes to pain in your lower back, pelvic area, legs, thighs, and buttocks.

    According to WebMD some of these changes may include some, if not all of the following:

    • weight gain, where women typically gain between 25-35 poundsposture changes as the pregnancy shifts your center of gravity
    • separation of the muscles that run from the ribcage to the pubic bone

    You may also experience hormonal changes, specifically the production of relaxin that allows ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to relax and loosen in preparation for the birth.

    There is also the emotional stress that comes with the spasms and tightening in the shoulder. What are the benefits of getting a massage?

    Not only are massages while pregnant calming but they are also beneficial as the body adjusts to all the physical and emotional changes that come with pregnancy.

    Most women commonly seek a massage to ease the pain in their back, hip, shoulder, and neck, according to Dr. Perez-Paz.

    She adds that some researches have even shown that "women receiving massages produced fewer complications and decrease prematurity rate."

    Drs. Lopez and Perez-Par enumerate the more specific benefits of massage:

    • Eases pelvic pain, neck pain, and mechanical pain in the lower back. According to Physiopedia, mechanical pain refers to joints, muscles, and ligaments that affect the stability of the spine and leads to lower back pain.
    • As 'complementary medicines,' massage and aromatherapy help lessen the stress that comes with pregnancy as well as pre-natal depression
    • Decreases heart rate, improves anxiety and enhances immune function
    • Decreases pain while increasing range of motion and improvement in sleep
    • Decreases the stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol which are related to stress

    What are the areas that shouldn't be massaged?

    According to Dr. Perez-Paz, a trained professional would know to avoid these areas:

    • abdomino-pelvic area or right where the stomach and other internal organs are locatedbreast area
    • Areas like the neck, shoulders, and lower back are okay.
    • Women with accompanying medical conditions such as hypertension, pre-eclampsia, high-risk pregnancy, and the like should also first seek their doctor's advice before proceeding with a massage.
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    Why should I look for a trained professional?

    A simple Google search of "prenatal massage-Philippines" will lead you to a list of masseuse and licensed therapists in the area who specialize in prenatal, postnatal, and even lactation massages.

    Many offer home service, which is more ideal in this new normal. Never compromise your safety and choose certified or licensed prenatal therapists who would know which areas to work on and avoid whether you are in your first, second, or third trimester.

    There may be some who may refuse giving a massage on the first trimester as this is the period with the highest risk of miscarriage but according to Dr. Lopez, "there are no reviews that have reported adverse events in any trimester due to a massage."

    Should you go for light, medium, or hard massage?

    There are hardly any studies that recommend the kind of pressure that is applicable for pregnant women, says Dr. Lopez but it is always best to be on the side of caution and avoid deep massages or strong pressure.

    If you feel a bit 'bitin,' another extra 30-minutes should do the trick.

    What other parents are reading

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