What is Pregnancy Massage?
Pregnancy can be a time of intense emotion both positive and negative. Often pregnancy can induce feelings of increased stress and the changes that occur to a woman's pregnant body can cause musculoskeletal strain and pain.
Learning how to relax during pregnancy is an important part of all childbirth education programmes, as relaxation has been shown to have positive results for both mother and baby and increases the chance of a positive birth experience.
Pre-natal specialists Nancy and Mike Samuels recommend women practise deep sustained levels of relaxation for 45-60 minutes, without falling asleep, especially in the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. This just happens to be the exact length of most massage sessions!
Pregnancy massage requires specialist training and your therapist has been trained in common problems and pathologies experienced during pregnancy, the best positions to adopt for each trimester of your pregnancy and the structural, emotional and physical challenges that can accompany each stage of pregnancy.
As well as relaxation and all the benefits that can bring to you and your baby, pregnancy massage can also:
provide emotional support
benefit the circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary systems
reduce musculoskeletal strain and pain including back and pelvic pain, headaches, cramps, rib cage pain etc
What can I expect from a treatment?
Your treatment will start with a health consultation with additional questions specifically about your current and any previous pregnancies.
You will then be given the privacy to undress, position yourself comfortably side lying, covered with a blanket with support from pillows and bolsters. Your therapist will start with some gentle craniosacral techniques and palming over the blanket to aid relaxation.
Your therapist will then address any areas of pain or concern using techniques that may include hot or cold stones, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, acupressure points and stretching techniques. As well as your areas of concern, your therapist will aim to treat your neck, shoulders, back, hips, legs and arms.
The massage can also include a gentle abdominal massage which can be very relaxing for the baby. This is optional and your therapist will always ask if you want this area to be massaged before they start treatment. If time permits your therapist will finish your treatment with head and facial techniques in a reclining position.
Your therapist will check in during the treatment about their touch and pressure to ensure that pain levels are kept to a minimum.