During a Pregnancy Massage, the key factors are comfort and safety, writes Grant Bullion, Massage Therapist at Reflex Spinal Health. Making sure that mother and baby are always comfortable and safe should always be the priority of the massage therapist performing the treatment.
In order to keep mum & baby safe, alternative positioning is adopted during the treatment to avoid pressure to the mother’s abdomen. The therapist will assist you, if necessary, to lay on your side or your back. Here at Reflex Spinal Health, our team of chiropractors, osteopaths and massage therapist enjoy caring for our pregnant patients. Here is a link to a previous blog about chiropractic care while pregnant.
At Reflex we use a completely ergonomic pregnancy pillow, which allows you to lay comfortably on your front, putting you under no abdominal pressure which could injure or stress your baby. Although this pillow is ideal for latter stages of pregnancy, gentler pressure should still be applied by the therapist. Always making sure that your safety and comfort, at all times throughout your treatment.
During the treatment, the therapist will avoid using any oils which are contraindicative, as well as working on areas such as the abdomen.
Receiving Massage Treatments throughout your pregnancy can be hugely beneficial. Benefits which both Mother and Baby will get to experience.
Pregnancy Massage can be very useful in making you feel more comfortable. Massage can help reduce muscle and joint pain you may be experiencing during pregnancy. As massage soothes your muscles, it will add some flexibility to them. This will make moving around easier, especially during the latter stages of your pregnancy, as you’re likely to experience a little more soreness. By treating your muscles and adding that needed element of flexibility, this in turn will add a lot more comfort to your day.
By boosting your Lymphatic System, Massage is a great and natural way of reducing swelling throughout your body. This makes moving around easier and you feel generally more comfortable. It’s also a fantastic way of aiding the Lymph System to flush out Toxins.
Massage can really help to lower stress levels. Massage therapy increases temperature and blood circulation, helping to relax your muscles and soft tissues. Massage relaxes muscles by increasing body temperature from friction against the skin. It also increases circulation by delivering more blood to your muscles. Good blood flow helps to remove waste products and relieve tension. For a happy and healthy pregnancy, it’s preferable that stress levels are maintained at a low level. According to some studies, there is a risk to certain areas of childhood, such as;
By reducing your stress levels with massage during pregnancy can only help improve how you feel, and may well decrease any stress on your baby as well.
If you speak to most women during their pregnancy, they will tell you that sleep can be a huge issue for them. Not only due to their “bump” containing an ever more active baby, but also because of the associated stress, worries and general discomfort means that sleep is going to be affected. But, with pregnancy massage aiding your muscle condition and easing the physical aches & pains which in turn eases your mind, this can help you get a better night’s sleep. By getting that restful night’s sleep, you’re not only benefitting yourself, but also your baby.
Good circulation is essential in any pregnancy. Improving the blood flow will benefit both mother and baby. Increasing circulation means that essentials such as oxygen and other nutrients will freely get distributed where they need to be around the body. So, you and your baby are getting what you both need. For you to feel healthier and deal with the changes throughout your body during pregnancy, and for your baby and their development.
Sciatica and lower back pain are a common association with pregnancy. This is due to your centre of gravity moving as your baby grows. This can be alleviated by having a course of massage treatments. This will loosen the muscles within the lower back and also the surrounding muscles which impact on the sciatic nerve.
During your pregnancy, your hormones will go on a tangent which can cause an array of upsetting symptoms, with headaches commonly being one of them. Pregnancy massage can help to reduce the severity of headache and frequency. As long as you’re drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep too.
As explained in previous benefits of massage, looser muscles mean less discomfort. This also means that after you course of treatments, you’ll find it a lot easier to engage your core to maintain a good, strong posture. A healthy posture, and a good wellbeing are essential parts of a happy, easy pregnancy. As your baby grows, this may affect your balance due to the central point of gravity moving.
Endorphins are our own feel-good hormones. Receiving massage during pregnancy may help keep your hormones evenly balanced which will promote the release of endorphins.
As previously mentioned, increased blood circulation helps to distribute oxygen and nutrients to around your body more freely. Which your baby also benefits from, to help their overall development and health. By you enjoying a pregnancy massage to relax your muscles and improve your circulation, your baby can grow and develop.
Other Great Benefits of Pregnancy Massage can include –
As with every situation in life, there are certain elements of risks associated with massage. The key is to always be treated by an experienced massage therapist who does have experience in massaging pregnant ladies.
There is a thought that massage in early pregnancy could possibly be associated with miscarriage. The thought being that increased blood flow “could” increase the risk. However, there has not been enough specific research carried out to back up this theory. It is, however, recommended that you may wish to consult with your gynaecologist or obstetrician prior to having gentle massage to make sure that you and your baby are safe.
As with every positive comes it’s negative. Unfortunately, there are certain conditions which some Pregnant women suffer from, which would make them ineligible for massage. These contraindications are listed below –
**Once Treated, the person may then receive massage treatment.
All of these conditions aside, Yes – Massage is Safe when Pregnant. On your first treatment you should spend 55-85mins with your therapist to allow them to take a concise background on you, and your pregnancy history. Enabling them to prescribe an appropriate treatment to benefit both you and your baby!
If you have any further questions about massage therapy while pregnant please contact us at the clinic. As well as our massage therapists we have chiropractors at Reflex Spinal Health who have a particular interest in paediatric & obstetric chiropractic treatment, and they have completed further training in this exciting and specialised area of chiropractic care.
By Grant Bullion M.I.S.R.M, LSSM Dip
Clinical Soft Tissue Therapist
Reflex Spinal Health Clinic
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.