Regular prenatal massages can get expensive. Depending on where you live, an hour-long session can cost anywhere from $50-$110. If this doesn’t fit into your budget, consider having your partner give you a massage. Not only is this great relaxation for you, it can be a great way for your partner to feel more involved in your pregnancy, relax him or her at the same time, and can be a special bonding experience for both of you. Many hospitals and birth centers offer classes for partners to learn how to perform a safe and comfortable prenatal massage. Here are some massage tips for your partner to try:
- Have the mother-to-be straddle a chair, facing the back of the chair. Place a few pillows between her and the chair back, allowing her to lean forward and relax against the cushioning.
- Use an unscented massage oil or lotion to lubricate your hands. Pour a few drops onto the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to warm them. Cold oil and hands can be an uncomfortable shock to your partner, tense her muscles, and be counterproductive to the goal of the massage.
- Place your hands on her lower back, just below the waistline and slowly begin sliding your hands up her back on either side of her spine. Never massage directly on her backbone or over the spinal column.
- As you reach her shoulders, cross your hands slowly and gently across her upper back, and then continue down the opposite side of her spine back to the starting point.
- Continue this up and down massage for several minutes until the muscles are warm and relaxed.
- Now apply gentle pressure to any area of her back where she is feeling pain or tension. Use the heel of your hand or the pads of your fingers, bearing down slightly and continuing in a circular motion.
- Always remember to be gentle – this is not the time for an intense deep-tissue massage. Stop immediately if your partner expresses pain or discomfort.
- Finish the massage with several more minutes of the up and down massage. Then cover her with a warm blanket and let her rest there for five to ten minutes.
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