Pregnancy Massage

 

A relaxed mother has a relaxed baby!

This is the best reason for massaging a pregnant mum and an activity to be encouraged throughout and, indeed, carried on post-natally. Various studies have indicated the beneficial effects of massage on the expectant mother and these benefits have a knock on effect to the baby.

Massage benefits

Positive touch is vital for our wellbeing – we need touch to survive. Some of the benefits of massage include:

  • Reducing stress hormones in the body
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Reducing pain levels
  • Increasing self esteem
  • Relaxation
  • Improving circulation
  • Reducing fluid retention
  • Calming body systems and functions
  • Promoting a general feeling of wellbeing and provides emotional support

Massage during pregnancy is therapeutic and focuses on the needs of the mum-to-be as the body goes through the changes that pregnancy brings.

The baby also responds well to a massage; from 5 weeks a baby is responsive to touch and from 7 weeks it can hear sounds. As the baby grows it will often settle itself into the ‘best’ position for massage, later returning to its original position.

Pregnancy massage can be carried out in a couple of ways – lying on the massage couch on your side for your back and neck, then lying on your back (in a slight sitting position) for arms, legs and bump. Alternatively, sitting on a supportive chair allowing full access to the whole back and neck. Both positions can be used in the same session if that’s best for the mum. You are fully supported by pillows, cushions, blankets, whatever is required to make you comfortable and relaxed!

Is it safe? Are there any precautions?

In virtually every case it is perfectly safe for the mum to receive a massage from the very beginning, including during the first trimester, right up to and during labour, assuming there are no underlying conditions.

If in any doubt speak to your midwife/G.P. or give me a call.

You may have heard about acupressure points. There are certain points that should not be ‘worked’ during pregnancy; in order to ‘activate’ a pressure point it needs to be worked on in a specific way, which I will not do and is not done under normal circumstances.

Other things to consider are common sense, for example avoid massage if mum is feeling unwell, after a meal etc.

If there are any concerns about mum or the baby then contact your midwife/GP.

Partner Massage

Having the partner carry out some simple massage stokes benefits all three – mum, partner and baby. It allows mum to relax, as well as the partner, and for them both to connect and communicate with the baby.

Partner massage is something that is encouraged from the earliest days of pregnancy right through to labour.

Massage during labour is extremely beneficial, especially during the early stages. It involves the partner and helps keeps mum relaxed. The sense of touch at this time creates positive feelings of love, support and reassurance as well as stimulating endorphin production. In addition it aids recovery between contractions and brings some relief from pain and intensity.

Workshops for Partner Massage

I teach partners how to give a relaxing massage, so that you can develop the connection in your own home, and to be ready and know what works for both of you when labour starts.

Partners can be anyone who has a strong connection with the mum-to-be, so that can also include birthing partners, you don’t have to be romantically engaged, although the benefits for those who are can be significant!

You will be taught safe and easy methods and techniques that will relax both the mum-to-be, the baby and you. The methods taught can be applied through light clothing or onto skin using a small amount of oil. The oil should be unscented and cause no irritation to the skin. There are many maternity lotions and oils that can be purchased, or you can use a favourite body lotion.