What is a pregnancy massage and what are the benefits?
A pregnancy massage is a specially adapted massage tailored specifically for the mother-to-be. Pregnancy massage benefits include easing aches and pains and providing relaxation.
What does a pregnancy massage consist of?
Pregnancy massage lasts either 60 or 90 minutes. Jennifer will listen to your particular concerns, helping you to enjoy your pregnancy and alleviate any unwanted symptoms.
Jennifer has a pregnancy massage table so it is comfortable to lie on your tummy especially at the early stages of pregnancy. She will also provide you with additional cushions or specially shaped bolsters, to make lying more comfortable. Later in pregnancy when your tummy gets bigger you will usually lie on your side as this is more comfortable.
Is pregnancy massage safe?
The NHS states that pregnancy massage is one of the safe complementary therapies you can use during pregnancy.
Generally it is advised to avoid pregnancy massage in your first 8-10 weeks.
If you’re in doubt about whether pregnancy massage is safe for you, speak to your midwife, GP or obstetrician.
What are the pregnancy massage benefits?
Pregnancy massage benefits are wide-ranging.
- Mind and body relaxation
If you’re a fan of massage before pregnancy, I am sure you’ll fall in love with receiving pregnancy massages for the same deep relaxation that you will receive.
- Pregnancy aches and pains
With increased weight, and your changing posture, pregnancy can trigger new aches and pains which range from nasty niggles to real discomfort. In pregnancy, you’re limited in terms of what pain medication you can take, and also how you can alleviate the pain. Pregnancy massage is one way to gently move the sore areas, and increase your range of movement carefully, helping to soothe the pain away.
- Reduction in anxiety
Whilst pregnancy is a wonderful time for many women, it can provoke anxiety in others. It’s a new chapter and your body is undergoing a huge change. Massage can be a way to connect with your body, learn to feel safe with the changes, and thus reduce the anxiety. Additionally, having the benefit of a skilled pregnancy massage therapist can help you understand that the changes to your body are normal and to be expected.
- Improved sleep
Sleep may be allusive in pregnancy. Right when you need a good night’s sleep for preparation for labour and a newborn, you may be tossing and turning all night. Massage can bring numerous sleep benefits.
- Bonding with baby
Many pregnant women find that their pregnancy can feel like a rollercoaster. Juggling work, and perhaps other family commitments, can end up feeling like the pregnancy is simply happening and it’s difficult to connect it to the real baby you’re soon to meet. Pregnancy massage is a time to slow down and focus on yourself and that growing bundle of joy inside, helping you to bond before the birth.
- First stage of labour
If you’re having a prolonged first stage, particularly likely with first babies, a pregnancy massage can help you to feel calmer, in control, and better able to cope with contractions.
- Sciatic and pelvic pain
The hormones of pregnancy, combined with the increasing weight of the baby in the pelvic space, can in some women, cause sciatic pain, or pelvic pain. This can be particularly distressing and difficult to manage. Jennifer can work carefully to ease the pains around your pelvic joints and into your buttocks and legs.
- Non-pregnancy problems
If you suffer with other conditions during pregnancy, you may be very limited in terms of what you can do to alleviate symptoms e.g. hay fever, headaches or sinus pain. Massage can bring relief when nothing else can.
- Reduce ankle and feet swelling
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to suffer with sore and swollen feet. The extra pressure from your uterus, plus increased blood, causes the swelling. Gentle upward massage strokes can alleviate this swelling.
Pregnancy massage should always focus on your comfort and the baby’s safety and wellbeing, as well as maximising the pregnancy massage benefits.
ONCE THE BABY ARRIVES
Massage is great to help sooth the new mother and help her to switch off and relax. Often neck and shoulder pain occurs due to carrying your new baby around. Massage is great for this!