Prenatal massage (from 12 weeks until full term) shares many of the goals of regular massage ¬– to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots and improve mobility. During pregnancy the body goes through a number of changes that can cause stress to the body due to the postural and hormonal changes taking place. Aches, pains and swelling are well known accompaniments to pregnancy especially in the latter stages.
There are numerous benefits of having a massage during pregnancy. Pregnancy massage can help to improve sleep, aid in relaxation and general well-being during pregnancy. Pregnancy massage can also help with the following:
Due to postural changes as your baby grows, there is a lot of pressure placed upon the back which means lower back pain is very common. Massage can help relieve tension within the muscles by loosening the back muscles.
SPD or PGP
Ligaments and joints are softened by the over production of the hormone, relaxin. This can lead to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Massage can help release oxytocin and endorphins, which help relieve the discomfort and pain.
The sciatic nerve can become compressed by the growing baby and expanding uterus which rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back causing pain down the leg. A gentle pregnancy massage can help to release the nerve bringing relief to the expectant mother.
Headaches can be caused by hormonal changes, by stress or tension around the head, neck and shoulder areas as a result of poor posture. Massage can help relieve tension to these areas and improve blood circulation.
Circulation becomes difficult during pregnancy so leg cramps, oedema (swelling in the ankles and hands) can be a common symptoms of pregnancy. Massage can be very helpful in helping to boost circulation and encouraging lymph to move around the body, helping to remove toxins and reduce swelling.
During your pregnancy massage the therapist will make you feel as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. A side lying position is adopted with pillows placed between the legs, under the abdomen and breasts and under the head for full support and comfort.
Before you book a pregnancy massage you might wish to check in with your primary healthcare provider to be sure your midwife/doctor approves massage during your pregnancy.