Pregnancy can sometimes be overwhelming and you just desire that massage to relieve you of the stress on your feet. There’s nothing as soothing as a foot massage during pregnancy. However, it is important to do it right and firstly seek your doctor’s consent. It’s advisable to also get a well-trained professional to massage your feet, however, if it is a home massage, then you need to follow crucial tips for a foot massage.
Foot massage is undoubtedly beneficial to a pregnant woman. Ranging from reducing stress, depression and anxiety, to lowering cortisol levels, which is your body’s stress hormones, to shortened labour as research has proven that women who were massaged during pregnancy, laboured three (3) fewer hours and required less medication in comparison to those who were not massaged during pregnancy, to inducing a calm and peaceful feeling, improving blood and oxygen circulation, restoring mental balance, improving mood and restoring mental balance. Furthermore, the benefits of foot massage therapy during pregnancy also extends to the postpartum stage as it reduces postpartum depression and it aids the delivery of a healthy baby.
There are areas of the foot that should be avoided when massaging a pregnant women and they include; the Reflexology areas which are directly connected to the ovaries and uterus, situated inside and outside of both ankles in the hollow areas; the SP6 Acupressure Point (the inner ankle area), the Urinary Bladder 60 (behind the ankle bone on the outside, between the Achilles tendon and the main bone), and the Urinary Bladder 67 (located on the baby’s toe corner, near the toenail).
There are also risks that are associated with foot massage namely; Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pitting Oedema. That is why it is important to get your foot massage from a certified massage therapist or reflexologist with adequate training in that regard, and with your doctor’s recommendation.
Check out these tested tips for giving a perfect foot massage during pregnancy;
Apply a Massage Oil or Lotion to Avoid Friction
When doing a foot massage during pregnancy, it is important to apply a sizeable amount of massage oil or lotion on the feet in order to avoid friction which can cause pain, discomfort and even worse conditions. When you apply the massage oil or lotion, gently rub the feet to give the pregnant woman that soothing feeling.
Loosen the Ankle
When giving a foot massage, you should loosen the ankle gently from side to side to strengthen and give it flexibility.
Rub the Top and Ball of the Foot
You then proceed to holding the foot with both hands and rubbing the top of the foot with firm upward strokes. Then, gently rub the ball of each foot, which is the padded portion of the sole between the toes and the arch, underneath the heads of the metatarsal bones.
Gently Massage the Toes
The toes of a pregnant woman are sometimes swollen, so it is important to gently massage as a treatment method.
Squeeze the Heels
The heel is the prominence at the posterior end of the foot. Heel pain may occur during pregnancy, that is why it is pertinent to massage the heel by gently squeezing it.
Rub the Bottom of the Foot
Massage the bottom of each foot by mildly rubbing it. This helps the pregnant woman relax and reduces ache. It also activates the nervous system, increasing feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins.
Massage the Flesh Pad of the Toe
Gently rub the flesh pad of each toe to reduce the swelling and pain.
Massage the Under Part of the Ankle
Massage the under part of the ankle by rubbing back and forth with both hands.
There are various types of foot massage that can be given during pregnancy;
- Massage from the Massage Therapist or Reflexologist: This is the perfect choice of foot massage for pregnant women. It is recommended to get a foot massage from a trained massage therapist or reflexologist with ample knowledge and experience.
- Home Massage: This can be done by your partner or an elderly person who has experience in massaging. It’s important for the person to follow these aforementioned tips for foot massage during pregnancy so as to get and do it right.
Pregnancy can undoubtedly be strenuous and nerve-racking, however, the experience can also be soothing with a good massage, based on your doctor’s recommendation.