Pregnancy can be a joyous and life-affirming experience for many women. But it can also bring with it physical and emotional changes that mums-to-be may find challenging. Pregnancy massage aims to provide a relaxed, nurturing space in which to care for your own body as well as that of your unborn baby as you go through these immense changes together. Pregnancy massage is specifically designed to address the needs of expectant mothers, such as increased anxiety levels or difficulties with muscle or joint pain.
What are the potential benefits of pregnancy massage ?
For pregnant mums seeking to incorporate massage into their pre-natal care, massage can offer a number of benefits. These include: reduced stress and anxiety levels and improved mood regulation, reduction in muscle pain, particularly in the lumbar region and other areas of the body affected by postural changes during pregnancy, a reduction in edema (swelling around joints), around the feet, ankles, legs and hands, improvements in circulation, amelioration of sciatic pain caused by tightness in the legs and buttocks.
What massage techniques are used during a pregnancy massage?
The specific massage techniques used during your session will depend on your therapist. It’s quite common to incorporate approaches from Swedish massage, the overall aim of which is to reduce tension in the muscles and improve blood and lymphatic circulation. Techniques which your therapist may use include slow strokes and kneading movements, especially in areas which tend to become tense during pregnancy including the back, head and neck.
Who would benefit from a pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage can be beneficial for mums at any stage of pregnancy. However, due to the increased risks of miscarriage during the first trimester, some therapists advise that this type of massage is only suitable for women in their second or third trimester. If you are considering pregnancy massage, it’s always best to seek advice from your doctor or pre-natal care provider first. Pregnancy massage is particularly beneficial for women experiencing high levels of musculoskeletal pain associated with their pregnancy, as well as those who may be experiencing stress, anxiety or fatigue. Alongside its physical benefits, many women choose pregnancy massage as a way to improve their overall wellbeing and self-care during their pregnancy.
What can I expect during a pregnancy massage?
Before you start your treatment, your therapist will take some time to discuss your specific needs with you, including any problems or areas of pain or you may be experiencing. This is also your opportunity to learn more about your therapist’s training and approach, and to explore any worries or concerns that you may have. During the treatment itself, most therapists advise that you lie on your side, with a pillow for extra support if needed. This is to minimise the stress and pressure on your body that lying on your back may cause. It also ensures that your baby receives enough oxygen and blood flow by not compressing the umbilical cord. Generally, you’ll be invited to come to the treatment in loose, comfortable clothing and remain clothed throughout.
When is a pregnancy massage not appropriate?
Pregnancy massage may not be appropriate for you if you are in the early stages of pregnancy, have experienced pre-term contractions or bleeding, have been designated by your doctor as a high-risk pregnancy or experiencing hypertension/high blood pressure.
Our therapists can provide this treatment for you in Bristol, Bath, Newport and Cardiff