Massage And Pregnancy

Although pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life, the experience can be incredibly taxing on your body.

Along with all the usual symptoms and discomfort of pregnancy, your body can be left achy and sore as a result of carrying all of that extra weight as well as all of those hormonal changes!

A pregnancy massage can feel absolutely fantastic during this time. Not only does it feel amazing, according to massage therapist Vesna Dolic, it brings with it a host of other benefits as well.

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

  • Increased relaxation and reduced anxiety
  • Improved sleep pattern
  • Increased mother and baby connection
  • Reduction of oedema
  • Eases back, shoulder, neck pain and all joint muscular condition, common in pregnancy
  • Stabilises hormonal changes and blood pressure
  • Improved proprioception to support body changes
  • Maintaining skin elasticity easing stretch marks and uncomfortable tightness
  • Reduces anxiety and stress by sedating the nervous system and stimulating the release of endorphins.
  • Alleviate fluid retention

“A recent clinical trial from UK has found that regular massage with relaxation technique in late pregnancy to birth is effective as coping strategy for pain relief,” says Vesna.

“Common sacroiliac joint dysfunction can often cause substantial pelvic pain and can be relieved with proper massage technique.”

Choosing a therapist

It’s crucial to visit a massage therapist who is qualified and experienced in pregnancy massage. Many practitioners choose not to perform massage during the first trimester to avoid any increased risk of miscarriage.

“Massage therapists treating pregnant women must know about the changes in a woman’s body as the baby grows,” says Vesna.

“Pregnancy massage has to be performed with caution and expertise and the massage practitioner must be sure nothing is done to potentially harm the mother or the baby.”

During a pregnancy massage you will usually be positioned on your side. Some therapists use a purpose built pregnancy massage table with a supported space in the centre for your belly, enabling you to lie face down.

Positioning of the client is important, says Vesna, as this will enhance comfort and reduce any strain or tension in a muscles as well as ensuring that circulation is unhindered.

When to avoid pregnancy massage

Although pregnancy massage is generally considered safe, with very few adverse effects reported in studies, there are some circumstances where it should be avoided or medical advice sought prior to.

These include:

  • Complications such as anaemia, high blood pressure and malposition of the foetus
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVD)
  • Kidney and bladder disease
  • Infections disease
  • Heart disease (especially in the third trimester)

 

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