Treating for two now - Pregnancy Massage
Massage during pregnancy is a time for rest, peace, and calm. At a time when everything, everyone and every activity – even sleep - is changed in some way by this unique, but normal situation. Great expectations are held by the pregnant mother herself, partners, family and friends, most of the time excitement and optimism about the new baby. Maybe this is a shock; timing seems bad, circumstances ‘wrong’. Throughout pregnancy, massage therapy can help with your feelings, and physical needs. What helps you helps your baby too.
Sometimes, those closest to us underestimate our sensitivities during this time!
Things to consider before having massage therapy:
You need to be at 14 weeks and over and under the care and monitoring of a midwife with a healthy pregnancy i.e. without complication or special care.
Any pre-existing medical conditions to managed by medication or your doctor. A therapist will ask you for a doctor or midwife’s letter of permission for you to undertake treatments.
Massage therapists are trained in the effects of pregnancy on the body, and the way to massage as you grow and develop. They may recognise some signs of abnormality, but cannot ‘diagnose’ as they are not midwives.
It's all about you - your massage.
The positions adopted for massage change from lying on your front and back, to alternate side lying, through sitting up with back support, only left side lying after 22 weeks. For those with pregnancies within the third Trimester, more time is built in to allow for shifting position, toilet visits etc.
Almond is a popular base oil, nurturing your skin. Your sense of smell can be highly sensitive, making fragrance undesirable; essential oils are generally contra-indicated. The depth of strokes is lighter as pregnancy progresses as you carry 50% more fluid. Treatment times may be adapted to your needs.
Pregnancy massage therapists are aware of where not to massage and where to go gently - points that stimulate the uterus for instance. They do not attempt to hasten labour if requested, taking the view that your body has its own innate timing.
Some of the positive effects of pregnancy massage:
- Both you and your baby experience relaxation.
- Hormonal changes can be supported and emotional fluctuations may be levelled.
- Stretch marks can be tight and cause discomfort; massage can help maintain skin elasticity.
- Massage triggers the release of natural pain relieving hormones.
- Sleep loss is common, for many reasons, but is entirely acceptable during treatment.
- Studies suggest that women who undergo massage and complementary therapies during pregnancy experience labour positively, confidently and more easily.
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