I have always been a massage junkie. When I became pregnant I depended on a regular pregnancy massage to help me through my pregnancy, mentally and physically. It gave me something to look forward to, some much needed relaxation and chance to ease my aches and pains. A good oiling also helped to keep stretch marks at bay!
More and more health care professionals are beginning to realise the health benefits of receiving a regular massage. Research shows that having a regular massage during pregnancy can be hugely beneficial. During this special time the body goes through some dramatic changes and can cause a whole host of discomfort and various health issues. Pregnancy massage is non-intrusive, hands on, holistic therapy and can help alleviate symptoms commonly caused or worsened by pregnancy. Benefits include:
- Improved circulation
- Assists with lymphatic drainage
- Relieves aches, pains and muscular tension
- Improves constipation/sluggish bowel movements
- Helps to avoid varicose veins from developing
- Helps with deep relaxation
- Reduces emotional stress
- Helps to balance blood pressure
- Provides relief from morning sickness
- Helps to reduce oedema and swelling
Massage during pregnancy really can make a difference to your comfort levels and help you to feel ready to take on the role of becoming a mum. Babies often enjoy the experience as well and can be felt wiggling around in response to this lovely sensation!
When receiving a pregnancy massage, most massage therapists will ask you to lie on the massage couch on your side. You will be made comfortable with pillows to support your knees, ankles and baby bump. It is not advised that you receive the whole treatment on your back due to the pressure placed on your abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava. This pressure can interfere with blood flow to the heart and lungs causing low blood pressure and restrict circulation to the placenta.
When looking for a massage therapist to treat you during pregnancy it is important that they are qualified in pregnancy massage. There are areas of the body that should be avoided when using massage in pregnancy. Too much stimulation on these areas can can encourage the cervix to dilate too early which may result in potential miscarriage or an early birth. If you are unsure if your therapist holds the relevant qualifications don’t be afraid to ask to see their certification! Massage during pregnancy is not advised during the first trimester, as soon as you hit that second trimester though…get yourself booked in!