Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling).
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nerve tension — which aids in better sleep — and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
What is pregnancy massage?
Mums to be benefit from different techniques from your standard massage styles (such as remedial, deep tissue and sports massage) and are used to help nurture mum and help with aches and pains that present as the baby grows.
Pregnancy massage is usually performed after the first trimester to help with a range of problems from sore muscles of the back and hips, cramping of the legs, fluid retention, sore joints, trouble sleeping and can help ease anxieties and induce relaxation.
This specialised massage will increase circulation of the blood and lymph, which in turn will reduce swelling. Reduction of stress on weight- bearing joints, improves the outcome of labor and eases labor pain, enhances pliability of skin and underlying tissues and provides support for the new mum with physical and emotional strains of mothering.
How is pregnancy massage conducted?
Different positions are used pending on the stage of your pregnancy.
Side lying- just like how you sleep at night is a regular position used fro pregnancy massage. At Health plus Chiropractic at Parramatta, we also have a ‘belly pillow’ which is a special pillow used so you can lay on your tummy and be totally supported. Sitting and semi-reclined postures are also used to put you in a comfortable position and keep the baby safe.
We have lots of pillows and extra padding to keep you comfortable and let you deeply relax during your treatment.
The level of clothing removed is up to you, some like to undress to their underclothes, others leave some clothing and gowns can be provided. You are completely covered at all times with only the area being massaged exposed.
At Health plus Chiropractic, our massage therapists are trained and experienced to take extra care to ensure our pregnancy massage clients are comfortable. Our massage therapists have between them over 30 years experience and have cared for more pregnant women then they can remember. Our patients are always very, very happy and satisfied with their massage therapy session. Positioning with supportive, soft pillows or cushions are used to alleviate the extra strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the pressure of massage techniques are applied. Extra strain in these areas can cause unnecessary back or abdominal pain, so naturally we want to avoid any potential discomfort.
Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, your therapist may utilise such massage techniques as relaxation massage, or Swedish massage or certain techniques that address your specific requests and needs.
Is pregnancy massage safe?
Massage is not recommended in the first trimester, especially in cases of a history of miscarriage, and if pregnancy is via IVF. Other signs when massage is not recommended is pre-eclampsia- which is bleeding and cramping, very high blood pressure. For varicose veins- massage is only contraindicated for the legs in this case as is a thrombosis (blood clot). You will have a detailed health history taken and a detail record of your pregnancy will also be recorded for your file.
Our Massage Therapists at Health plus Chiropractic take great care in looking after your health and the wellbeing of your baby, they are highly experienced and receive numerous referrals from midwives and obstetricians at the local hospitals.
Relief for everyday, pregnancy symptoms:
Massage for pregnant women offers a number of benefits, and it is always best to discuss with your massage therapist any everyday symptoms you would like to see relieved. Those might include:
- Headaches can be relieved by massage focusing on the head, neck and shoulders. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of stress relief through massage reduces the chances of migraines or tension headaches by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
- Muscle tension created by carrying the extra weight of a baby can be relieved by encouraging blood flow to the afflicted areas. This provides more nutrient-rich oxygen and also increases the flow of lymphatic fluid, which sweeps away toxins and metabolic waste.
- Fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling/oedema can all be relieved through various types of massage for pregnant women.
- The ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy are countered by the release of serotonin, your body’s natural anti-pain chemical, which is stimulated by massage.
While a massage can’t promise that your newborn will sleep through the night, it can provide you with a better night’s sleep both during pregnancy and afterwards. Regular massage therapy not only helps diminish anxiety and discomfort but boosts relaxation as well. This ultimately can lead to improved sleep patterns.