Pregnancy & Antenatal Massage
Abdominal & Full Body Treatments
Pregnancy & Antenatal massage and the power of touch can help relax, calm and comfort expectant mothers. Although pregnancy can be a wonderful experience, it is also a time of incredible change within the mother’s body. Carrying around a substantial weight in the form of your baby bump at the very least can lead to backache, especially around the sacrum and lower back, as your body tries to support you, or at the shoulders due to additional breast weight. It can cause you to change posture – sitting, standing, walking, lying and generally moving differently.
Many different hormones are released, in particular, Relaxin. As the name implies this hormone is released in preparation for childbirth – relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis, softening and widening the cervix, but also causing many of the tendons and ligaments to stretch.
All of these factors can combine to put strain and pressure on the joints, ligaments and organs, which may cause aches, discomfort and ailments from lower back pain to swollen ankles, which Pregnancy & Antenatal massage can help to alleviate.
Pregnancy & Antenatal massage can help with:
- Muscle tension: aches and pains
- Muscle spasms: cramping is a common issue
- Sciatic Pain: pregnancy can result in trapped nerves
- Swelling/Oedema: especially at wrists, hands, ankles and feet
- Backache: Back, neck and shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes
- Improve sleep
- Reduce headaches
- Relieve heartburn
- Balance mood-swings
- Support depression
Pregnancy Massage Positions
With Pregnancy & Antenatal Massage particular care for mother and baby’s comfort and safety is taken at all stages of pregnancy. There are a number of different options for treatment:
Prone-lying Pregnancy massage cushion: Heaven for those who miss laying on their front and would like a prone massage. The KIH Bed is a Multi-Award-Winning Pregnancy Cushion that allows a client to safely lay on her front throughout her pregnancy. It is used worldwide by Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Mums-to-be. It is also used post-partum for co-sleeping safely with your baby, so you may well choose to buy one yourself!
- For more information please click here: KIH Bed Pregnancy Pillow
- Side-lying: many opt to use a side-lying position on the treatment couch, with an array of pillow options for comfort between the knees, under the head, feet and baby bump. This is best when a full body massage is required and is especially good for deep relaxation.
- Seated: another option is to be seated using a face rest. This is best when a focussed treatment on the back, neck and shoulders is desired, and can be especially effective at relieving muscular aches and pains in these areas
Pregnancy Massage Treatments
- Soft Tissue & gentle Swedish techniques: using a combination of Swedish strokes and gentle but effective deeper pressures can be applied to relieve muscular tension
- Lymphatic drainage: can be used during Pregnancy & Antenatal massage to help relieve swollen wrists, hands, feet and ankles
- Deep Tissue massage: deeper pressures are avoided during pregnancy. However, in the last few weeks of the Third Trimester and with the agreement of the midwife deeper pressures can be used during Pregnancy & Antenatal massage to bring relief prior to labour and to prepare the body for birth
- Indian Head Massage & Champissage: always a favourite for pregnant clients as treatments can be limited to 30-45 minutes, are seated, require no oils/products and can be done through clothing
- Facial Rejuvenation & Facial Massage: this treatment can be adapted to a side-lying posture when pregnant and can be incredibly relaxing
Studies have shown that women who receive regular massages have fewer complications during their pregnancy and labour and that their babies are more settled and content, suffering fewer baby ailments
Aromatherapy and Massage can be of enormous benefit to both expectant mother and baby, helping to facilitate a connection and bonding between them. They can be used as separate treatments or combined to peaceful and soothing effect, calming and comforting.
In addition research also shows that the baby can greatly benefit from massage as endorphins (feel good chemicals) are released by the mother during treatment that are passed onto the baby. Quite often the therapist will feel the baby kick and move as it too responds to the massage treatment (taken from the Gateway Massage Course handout, 2014). Aromatherapy essential oils can also help immensely in all areas of pregnancy and I am usually asked about them more than massage!
At a time when many medications cannot be taken, essential oils can provide a safe & natural alternative for many pregnancy issues when advised by a fully qualified practitioner
I cannot stress the latter point enough – you do need to consult with a fully-qualified practitioner as there are oils which are unsafe to use during pregnancy. However, for a fully-qualified and trained Aromatherapist there are many perfectly safe alternatives which can bring excellent results for many common Pregnancy issues (see below). For advice or if in doubt seek out a professional Aromatherapist like myself – contact me to ask for an Aromatherapy Consultation or my advice.
Aromatherapy can help with:
- Muscular aches and pains
- Muscular cramps
- Morning sickness
- Time for self: helping you to have a calmer pregnancy
- Pre-Birth: stress/anxiety/tension
- Stretch marks
- Third trimester: help prepare the body for birth
- Labour: within the birthing room to make labour easier and blends can be supplied in aromasticks to sniff as required
- Post pregnancy: issues like sleep (for both you & baby!)
- Support antenatal & post-natal depression
Benefitting from Pregnancy Massage and Aromatherapy
Antenatal and Full Abdominal Treatments
I am fully-trained and insured to gently and safely massage the abdomen as well as the rest of the body – arms/hands, legs/feet, whole back/shoulder, face and scalp so I can focus on any of these areas or give a full body treatment if you would prefer. All can be provided with a tailor-made Pregnancy Aromatherapy blend to take home for massage, diffuser or portable devices such as rollerballs and aromasticks. I am also available to give advice on treatments.