Massage during pregnancy can be of huge benefit not only to the mother but also to the unborn baby. It supports the woman emotionally and physiologically during the time when her body is going through lots of changes which can put pressure on her joints, ligaments and organs. This sometimes causes discomfort and pain.
Receiving a massage can help alleviate aches and pains, as well as helping with reducing general stress. Research shows that the baby can also benefit greatly from massage as 'feel good' endorphins released by the mother are passed onto the baby.
Circulation - Essential nutrients and fluid are distributed to all vital organs, especially the placenta.
Lymphatic drainage - Toxins are eliminated from the cells and blood, helping reduce oedema which can in itself, also contribute to problems such as carpal tunnel and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Digestive problems - Pregnancy can cause problems with constipation and haemorrhoids which are aided by massage.
Muscular tension - Muscles in the upper back, shoulders, lower back and hips can become tense. Postural change and hormone release can all cause muscular tension. These are all helped by massage.
Varicose veins - Massage can help avoid these from developing.
What you can expect from the treatment:
The massage is carried out with the client lying on her side, supported by pillows and cocooned in towels and a blanket. I then massage the back, the arms and, very gently, the abdomen, then the legs and finally the face. There are other massage stokes and techniques which can also be added, to help more specific problems, including oedema, morning sickness, shortness of breath, lower back pain and leg cramps.
Massage during pregnancy is safe if carried out by a therapist who has had specialist training and caution is observed. The same pressure will not be exerted as during a sports massage for instance. A medical assessment will be carried out before a treatment and as long as there is no previous history of miscarriage or unstable pregnancies, it is usually perfectly safe to massage. There are a number of medical issues which would require referral to your health care provider to seek their confirmation that it is safe to massage. Usually no massage will be given during the first three months, mainly because the is a greater natural risk of miscarriage at that stage. However, many women do not even know they are pregnant during this stage and go about their normal lives with all the normal risks and have no ill affects on the unborn child.