Pregnancy Massage: Part 1 - Benefits and Contraindications.
When I first considered writing a blog on massage during pregnancy, I soon realised that the subject was vast and that I would need perhaps two blogs go cover the subject adequately. I ended up with three! I hope that you will find these blogs both interesting and informative.
Pregnancy can be a special and precious time in a woman’s life, a time of bonding between mother and baby. However, pregnancy can sometimes bring discomfort for the mother to be, along with all the joy.
Massage during pregnancy is a very effective and soothing way of easing any stress or strain, and of course, lower back pain as the pregnancy advances. It is an ideal way to care for, and pamper, your pregnant client. The relaxing and soothing sensations experienced during massage will also be transferred to the developing baby.
As with all massage, the benefits of pregnancy massage are numerous. Because of the many changes that can occur during pregnancy, it cannot be emphasised enough how effective massage is for easing any discomfort that may be experienced.
Massage during pregnancy can provide great support for the mother-to-be and other benefits include:
Reduced stress hormones and anxiety
Relief from joint and sciatic nerve pain,
Improved sleep quality and general mood enhancement
Enhanced pliability of skin and underlying tissue.
Relief from muscle cramp, spasms, myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hip and legs.
Relief from the everyday discomforts during pregnancy, such as heaviness in pelvic area, fluid retention and oedema.
As with any massage treatment, the therapist must ensure that her pregnant client is not contraindicated, in any way. However, there are some extra precautions that must be considered.
If the doctor or midwife advise against it.
If the client is experiencing any vaginal discharge or bleeding
If the client is suffering from nausea or vomiting
If the client has eaten within the last 2 hours
If the client has pregnancy-induced Hypertension or severe headache.
If the client has pre-eclampsia or sudden swelling with fluid retention.
In the event of the client noticing a decrease in foetal movement lasting longer than 24 hour
Extra special client care during pregnancy massage is really important as the client needs to feel safe, secure, relaxed and comfortable. Some suggestions to ensure all of this is to:
Allow an extra 30 minutes for a pregnancy massage
Always help the client on and off the plinth
Offer a bathroom break half-way through the treatment
Offer a glass of water after the treatment
Allow extra time for dressing and recovery, especially as the pregnancy progresses.
Pregnancy massage has gained popularity in recent years and is usually encouraged by midwifes because of all the benefits associated with this natural healing form.
In my second blog later this week, I will discuss the physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy.
Mary – always here to help!