Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy is a life changing experience, emotionally and physically, and every pregnancy is a totally individual and unique experience. Some mothers breeze through the whole experience beautifully, but the vast majority experience some level of physical or emotional ups and downs before, during and after pregnancy.

What are the Benefits?
Pregnancy massage can be used to help relieve back pain, leg cramps, sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome. It stimulates the blood and lymphatic system, increasing immunity and the removal of toxins, and encourages relaxation (aiding in any sleeping difficulties), stabilizes hormones and plays an important role in stress reduction and relaxation. It also adds tone and flexibility to muscles – all of which enhances the health of you and your baby. By the 9th month of pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume will have increased by as much as 50 per cent, the lymphatic system works to remove excess fluid from the body, and increasing lymphatic circulation is what helps diminish swelling in the legs. Research proves the enormous benefits to both the mother and the developing foetus of massage and excercise in preparing the woman’s body for labour; muscle and joint flexibility may allow more birth choices and encourage a natural birth. To give ourselves the best chance of an easy labour, we need to be able to listen to our bodies needs.
Does my baby feel the massage?
Studies have shown that stressed mothers produce stressed babies and calm mothers produce calm babies. Every emotion has a biochemical component to it. When you feel anxious, for instance, you secrete stress hormones, such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Conversely, when you are relaxed, from a massage let’s say, you secrete beta-endorphins which make you feel calm, relaxed and at ease. Since you share a circulatory system with your baby while you are pregnant, it makes sense that whatever you feel is also experienced by the developing foetus.
What Does a Session Involve?
A detailed medical history is taken which enables an appropriate treatment plan to be created. A side-lying position enables the massage to be carried out on the couch or on a futon on the floor; pillows and cushions ensure that you are fully supported and comfortable at all times. Regular massage can improve posture, muscle tone and flexibility, all of which help prepare the body for labour. By helping the body cope with all of the imminent changes, regular bodywork can encourage you to have a more positive pregnancy and labour experience, for example:

 

By aiding circulation, massage eases the load on the heart, keeping her blood pressure under control and minimising varicosities.

Muscular discomforts, such as cramping, tightening, stiffness, sciatica tension and knots are typical during pregnancy.

Massage has been proven to reduce stress hormone levels, which can relieve stress, depression or anxiety

Perhaps due to the increased blood flow to mucus membranes that occurs with pregnancy, many expectant mothers experience headaches and sinus congestion.

Quite commonly expectant women experience swollen ankles and some swelling. By stimulating lymphatic drainage, massage can help the body accommodate and process the excessive water.

Through massage function to increase systemic blood circulation, an increase in oxygen and nutrients can reach the foetal cells. This results in better nourishment and a greater index of health for the unborn baby.

While pregnancy hormones relax tendons and ligaments to accommodate a growing belly, the addition of massage can relax the accompanying muscles. Muscle relaxation has many benefits to an expectant mother, including a decrease in muscular cramps and increased flexibility to help with the birth process.