Studies have indicated that a pregnancy massage performed during pregnancy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and help improve labour outcomes and newborn health.
Carrying a baby inside you changes your centre of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, shoulder and abdominal muscles. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, so that your pelvic joints are less stable and changes your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add that to the extra weight you’re carrying and you may find you’ve got an aching lower back.
Sciatic nerve pain is often commonly experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Pregnancy Massage therapy may help address the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.
Benefits of pregnancy massage may
• Help reduce physical discomforts, e.g. muscle spasm, cramp, tired legs, tension, back ache, etc.
• Help to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints(oedema), which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.
• Help with emotional problems, e.g. anxiety, depression, fear, restless, insomnia
• Reduce stress and promote relaxation
• Ease digestive problems
• Be beneficial in labour and post-natal care
Please note that as maternity reflexology and pregnancy massage complements the skilled work of the midwife, it is important that you inform your GP/midwife’s before booking a treatment.
What to expect with a Pregnancy Massage
For your first treatment of a pregnancy massage, a full consultation will take place, where your needs and preferences will be taken into consideration, as well as taking a full medical case history. A typical pregnancy massage session takes at least 60 minutes and can go on up to 90 minutes.
The mother will be supported with pillows as she lies on her side. She will be draped with a sheet and only the body part that is being worked will be exposed. Or if you prefer, I can use a chair to perform the neck, back and shoulder massage. It is best to avoid eating a large meal before the massage or drinking large amounts of liquids.
Most women find it uncomfortable to lie face down right from the start of pregnancy because of their tender, swollen breast, you also cannot lay face down on a traditional massage table once your belly has started to grow. It is inadvisable for you to lay flat on your back either, particularly once you are past mid-pregnancy, because of the weight of your uterus puts too much pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart.
As a trained Pregnancy Massage Therapist, great care is taken with comfort and positioning when offering a pregnancy massage.
Research on the effects and benefits of Pregnancy Massage