What is a Pregnancy Massage?
If there is ever a time when a woman needs and craves massage the most, it is during pregnancy. This is a time of major physical change, usually accompanied by a myriad of unwanted aches and pains.
Prenatal massage is similar to regular massage, in that it aims to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and make you feel good. However, prenatal massage is also customised to the specific needs of pregnant women and their ever-changing bodies.
Carrying a baby changes your centre of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, making your pelvic joints less stable and changing your posture. Add to all of this, the extra weight you're carrying and you have the perfect recipe for an aching lower back.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
In the UK most massage therapists will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased risk of miscarriage associated with massage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
How is prenatal massage different from regular massage?
After the first trimester massage is no longer performed in the prone or face down position, to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the abdomen and stress on the uterine ligaments.
A large part of the massage will take place in the side-lying-position propped up with many soft pillows for maximum safety and comfort. Also, during pregnancy and depending upon what week you are in, we will work with you lying on your back or in a semi-reclined position. This is to avoid compression of the vena cava, which can cause low maternal blood pressure and decreased circulation to mother and baby.
There are also a few pressure points we will avoid applying deep or pointed pressure to, as they often promote uterine contraction. The abdomen, however, can be massaged in a gentle manner which can be of great benefit to mother and baby.