Pregnancy Massage explained by Remedial Massage specialist Amanda Suppes
The benefits of pregnancy massage
Every woman’s pregnancy is different, experiencing changes on a daily basis. For many, it can be stressful, uncomfortable, or painful at times. Pregnancy massage by an experienced professional has many benefits both physically and psychologically, which we will explain in this blog post.
Most importantly, is pregnancy massage safe?
In most cases, massage is safe and beneficial for both the mother and baby. However, if you have any questions or concerns as to whether massage would be safe and appropriate for you, please ask your healthcare provider. Deep massage to the belly area is not recommended, and the most important part of the treatment is to ensure total comfort for the woman. The treatments at Total Health are performed on a special pregnancy bed that allows the woman to lay face down (which is safe for a short period of time), or in side lying position if that is more comfortable. Some contraindications to massage include existing blood clots, flu-like symptoms, hypertension, placenta previa, severe abdominal pain, and migraine headaches.
Is massage safe in the first trimester?
Some practitioners will not perform massage during the first trimester due to the risk of being associated with a miscarriage, however, there is no scientific evidence to support that massage can cause miscarriage. The main limiting factor in the first trimester is that the woman may be experiencing nausea or vomiting, in which case the massage cannot be performed.
Pregnancy massage has many benefits.
Just like normal massage, pregnancy massage can bring the woman a sense of deep relaxation. It taps into the part of the brain that releases endorphins, which lower the body’s responses to stress. Even if you are not under stress, this release also encourages a better immune response.
The physical benefits of pregnancy massage are decreased pain, increased flexibility, improved circulation and improved tissue health. Below are a few common symptoms that can be helped by pregnancy massage.
Pregnancy massage can help relieve the following symptoms;
Women can experience symptoms of sciatica due to the pressure put on the lower body later in pregnancy. Sciatica related pain can be relieved through stretching, movement/exercise, and release of the lower back and gluteus muscles.
Pregnancy massage can assist in moving fluid from the extremities to help relieve pressure in feet, legs, and hands. A gentle pressure can be very effective and also very relaxing. As the pregnancy progresses, it can become very difficult to reach the toes, so getting a professional (or someone close to you) to massage those areas will bring great relief.
The chest is getting heavier, the core muscles become less effective, and the baby begins to pull everything forward. Often, by the end of the second trimester a woman will begin to experience 0ccasional back pain somewhere along her spine, and sometimes around the ribs. Pregnancy massage can refresh those long and painful muscles and increase circulation to them, ensuring the tissues remain healthy. Many women find relief in a pregnancy massage just from lying face down on the bed for an hour, which can take the pressure off the back.
Left Shoulder Pain
Later in pregnancy, it is recommended that the woman lay only on her left side while sleeping as to not restrict blood flow to the baby. This can take it’s toll over a few weeks and the left neck and shoulder can become locked up. It is important to maintain balance in the body so you don’t end up with one shoulder higher, and a firm pregnancy massage can help break up those knotted muscle fibres.
In summary, pregnancy massage is a wonderful gift that you can give yourself or someone else! There are so many benefits, and every woman should savour the few moments she can have just to herself before welcoming the baby into the world.
We offer a special of $20 off a one-hour massage treatment, for your first pregnancy massage with us.
Just mention “first time offer” when booking and state how many weeks you will be at the time of treatment.