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April 21, 2014 06:19 PM

Safe Massages During Pregnancy

With back pain and pressure, massages can be extremely beneficial during pregnancy.  But if not done properly, massages could do more harm than good for an expectant mother and her baby.

A massage is relaxing for almost anyone.  Jessica Page says it's been extremely beneficial for her while she's expecting twins.

"There's a lot more pressure. My lower back hurts basically all the time," Page said.

Research shows that massage therapy could be helpful in many ways, not just relieving back pain.

"Inflammation, swelling," Sanford Certified Licensed Massage Therapist Koni Sims said.

Sims says working the correct muscles can also help with circulation, sleeping and lowering anxiety.

"It releases a lot of the sciatic pain. A lot of women get sciatic issues going down their legs," Sims said.

While a massage can be beneficial during pregnancy, if not done properly, it could actually induce labor.

"There are pressure points on your ankles and hands, so you always want to avoid those areas until the very end. If someone wants to help induce labor, you can work those areas. I have done that in the past," Sims said.

Sims says you also want to watch what type of massage you do during pregnancy. She mainly does Swedish massages on expectant mothers.

"You don't want to do a lot of deep tissue. You want to watch for the blood clots," Sims said.

"Your husband can only help so much. They don't know exactly which muscles they are. There are muscles that are sore that you don't even know about until you are pregnant," Page said.

But Page says after a few minutes with a massage therapist, she feels rejuvenated.

"It just relieves some of the pressure on your hips. It puts things back in place," Page said.

Sanford offers massages particularly for expectant mothers at its Center for Health and Well-being inside the Heart Hospital.

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