4 Major Benefits of Massage During Pregnancy
The benefits, what to avoid and FAQ’s from our team at Body Sanctum
Massage During Pregnancy | the natural healer
Massage therapy has been used for many centuries as a form of healing, contributing to improvements in health, reducing stress and relieving muscle tension alongside many more. Many mums-to-be often have to go through periods of stress and pain without being able to take many forms of medication, fortunately, prenatal massage offers a natural method for easing some of those common pregnancy discomforts.
Our guests are always asking us questions surrounding massage throughout pregnancy, so we’ve put together some information and some key benefits of massage therapy for both mum and bump. As prenatal massage can be hugely beneficial in a woman’s prenatal care, our aim is to offer you as much advice as possible to help you feel confident and comfortable when coming into our Spa for your pregnancy massage.
Is it Safe? | things to avoid
Research and studies have given us a wealth of understanding into how massage can have huge benefits for both during pregnancy. Always discuss massage during pregnancy with your doctor or midwife before booking in with us!
Our massage therapists here at Body Sanctum are highly trained in prenatal massage; when booking in for treatments anywhere, always let the therapist know how far along you are in your pregnancy and any concerns you may have. While women can safely have massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy, many spas and clinics may not offer this within the first trimester due to the increased risk of miscarriage associated with the first 12-13 weeks.
Avoid Aromatherapy oils!
Some aromatherapy oils can affect pregnancy for a variety of reasons including prompting uterine contractions – oil such as oregano, peppermint, thyme, basil, sage and rosemary should be avoided and here a Body Sanctum, we don’t advise using any aromatherapy scents at all.
Avoid pressure points!
Certain pressure points in the ankles and wrists that are actively triggered in a variety of massage techniques can stimulate uterus contractions, we will definitely be avoiding those!
Give us a call to ask us any questions about the safety of massage during pregnancy
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4 Major Benefits of Pre-natal Massage
- Stress & Anxiety Reduction: Studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce stress both mentally and physically. Reducing anxiety and decreasing symptoms of depression alongside relieving muscle and joint aches can also improve labour outcomes as well as newborn health.
- Reduction of Swelling/Oedema: Swelling during pregnancy is the body’s normal response to increased pressure on the major blood vessels and reduced blood circulation by the heavy bub! Stimulating the soft tissue helps to reduce the collection of fluids in the joints and improves waste removal by the lymph system.
- Hormone Regulation: Research and studies have shown that stress hormone levels can be significantly decreased with massage therapy; improving cardiovascular health and helping with mood regulation. One study showed that women who had a fortnightly massage showed a reduction in hormone levels such as Cortisol and Norepinephrine (associated with stress) and an increase in Dopamine and Serotonin (the ‘happy’ hormones). It’s been shown that maintaining these hormones can lead to fewer complications during birth.
- Improving Nerve Pain: During the final trimester, pressure from the heavy uterus resting on the lower back and pelvic floor can cause swelling and pressure on nearby nerves. Sciatic nerve pain can become a common experience for many women during this later stage. By relieving the stress on those muscles, massage therapy can alleviate the pressure on the nerves and thus have a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain.
- Reduced back pain and leg pain
- Reduced joint pain in general
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced oedema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
- Some ‘me time’ to give yourself a break!
Give us a call to ask to talk through all the benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy with one of our experts.
We use a technique known as Swedish Massage to work on tight muscles and areas of increased swelling. The long gentle, kneading strokes aim to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation. It’s the recommended method for massage during pregnancy, addressing many of the common issues.
Pregnancy Massage FAQ’s
- How often should I have a massage during pregnancy: We recommendreceiving consistent massages throughout your pregnancy in order to gain the most benefit. Try scheduling a massage once every two weeks up to your third trimester and every week from there. We offer massage concession bundles at the Spa to take you through your entire pregnancy!
- Body position during the massage: While it is completely up to you and however you feel comfortable, we offer a specially designed and manufactured pregnancy massage cushion to provide support for your belly all round when lying on your front. Another common position is to lie on your side with pillows and towels padded around you to make you feel cosy.
- Finding the right therapist for you: We have a team of trained therapists, but will always pair you with the most appropriate therapist for your treatment. You can ask us as many questions as you like so that you feel 100% confident and comfortable. Always make sure that your therapist is trained, wherever you go. Training in pregnancy massage is essential, not only for safety, but they are aware of how to position you safely and comfortably without strain or damage to your uterine ligaments as well as being able to watch for symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins.
- Can Massage Induce Labour? There are, as mentioned earlier, certain pressure points on the body that are associated with childbirth in acupressure massage such as Shiatsu, Tui Na and Qigong traditions such as the back of the ankle. Our massage therapists will avoid these sensitive areas during your massage (unless you’re full term and wanting labour as a result!!)
- Pre-existing Conditions: Prior to booking in with us, make sure you’ve had a chat with your midwife or doctor about massage during pregnancy. If you’ve experienced any issues or have been classified as a high-risk pregnancy, you must let us know. Here is a quick list of conditions that you should ask about prior to receiving massage therapy:
- High Risk Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
- Previous pre-term labour
- Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure or other severe symptoms
We can provide a pregnancy massage alongside any of the treatments in our full menu, so just give us a call and let us know what you fancy!