Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life, however often it is accompanied by many physical issues such as back pain, sore joints, pelvic pain, and leg cramps. A survey conducted by the American Pregnancy Association showed that between 60-70% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy, many experience these issues in their second and third trimester which can also continue on post-pregnancy. Another challenge is that pregnant women have limited options in terms of pain relief medication, as a result pregnancy massage for pain issues can be a great way to help manage back pain and other aches and pains.
Pain During Pregnancy?
There can be many reasons for aches and pains during pregnancy, here are some of the most common causes:
- Postural changes
- Hormonal changes
- Stress and Depression
- Weight gain
- Muscle separation
Does Pregnancy Massage Work For Pain Relief?
Pregnancy massage can support a pregnant women to remain active during and after pregnancy which is vital to maintaining physical health and wellbeing. In addition massage can relieve the aches and pains, help improve/maintain mood, improve quality of sleep, reduce swelling in legs and hands, reduce oedema, and relieve nerve pain.
Your remedial massage therapist may use the following massage techniques to relieve pain and alleviate your other symptoms:
- Swedish Massage – the most common and the safest type of massage for pregnant women as it is done with soft to medium pressure using long strokes.
- Deep Tissue Massage – uses firm strokes to push deep into the muscles.
Depending on your physical condition, and you comfort level your massage therapist may use one of both of the above-mentioned massage techniques.
So, how can you can benefit from a pregnancy massage:
- When offered by an experienced massage therapist, pregnancy massage can greatly reduce the level of stress hormones present within a pregnant woman’s body, leading to a reduction in anxiety and depression.
- It can alleviate everyday discomfort associated with pregnancy such as swelling of ankle and feet, heaviness in pelvic bones, leg cramps, aching neck, and joint pain.
- Pregnancy massage increases blood circulation and improves digestion.
- It can also improve the progression of labour.
- Pregnancy massage also helps with energy levels in a pregnant women’s body as it offers them an opportunity to completely relax.
Is Pregnancy Massage For Pain Safe?
Pregnancy massage has been proven to be safe through numerous studies, however it’s important to make sure your massage therapist is properly qualified. The therapist should avoid certain trigger points and should only use gentle movements on your stomach.Heated table and electric blankets are not recommended in pregnancy. You also need to make sure you get on and off the table safely.
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the safety of Pregnancy Massage. Massage is a very safe and effective complimentary treatment to have during all stages of pregnancy and can often be recommended for many conditions. In some pregnancies, there are conditions that affect multiple body systems and are considered high-risk, especially if poorly managed. In these instances pregnancy massage is contraindicated. However, some mothers who are considered as having a high risk pregnancy may still be able to receive pregnancy massage if medical clearance is provided by their prenatal health care provider.
For the optimum position and safety of mother and baby, pregnancy massage in our Melbourne clinics is performed in a side-lying position from approximately 14 weeks gestation. Whilst you may have heard about massage tables that allow mothers to lie face down well into their 3rd trimester, we find most mothers prefer the side lying position for comfort.
First Trimester Pregnancy Massage For Pain
Trimester One is an exciting time which sees the beginning of a new life. The greatest changes occurring to mothers during this time will be on a physiological level, as the endocrine system synthesises complex pregnancy hormones that play a vital role in the development of the baby. Whilst these hormones are necessary they can affect mood, energy and overall wellbeing. The therapists at Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies in Melbourne can provide a safe and highly effective pregnancy massage to help ease mothers into their pregnancy, reduce anxiety and help the body prepare for change and growth going forth into Trimester Two and Three.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Massage
For many women, trimester two is the most exciting and comfortable time of their pregnancy. Mothers may start to feel reduced breast tenderness, less nauseous, less fatigued and more energy, pregnancy hormones are naturally at work to help combat stress and help mothers feel more relaxed. Pregnancy massage received during this time not only helps to maintain general well-being, it most importantly helps to further balance these pregnancy hormones.
Over the next three months mothers can expect to see great changes to their growing baby and experience more pronounced changes in their physical appearance. Receiving pregnancy massage during Trimester Two can be highly beneficial, assisting an easier transition to the structural changes in the body that accommodates the growth of the baby. As the body adapts to the increase in weight and changes to the centre gravity, good posture can become undermined and have the potential to cause pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints.
The third trimester – weeks 29 to 40+ – signals to a mother the need to prepare to meet her baby. By week 28, the pregnancy is placing considerable demands on the mother’s body and body systems. The third trimester marks the time when a pregnant woman needs to slow down and rest more. Ideally, she should seek to achieve an improved sleep pattern in recognition of the reality that her body and mind need to prepare for labour. This period can be fraught with contradictory emotions; an underlying anxiety as well as an overwhelming feeling of excitement.
The most common symptoms during this period are anxiety and stress, leg cramps, oedema and dyspnea.
Although it is not a requirement, if you know that your remedial massage therapist possesses a diploma or advanced diploma of remedial massage, you will feel much more secure and relaxed. Pregnancy massage is a bit more complicated than standard massage and demands more care and attention to the woman’s positioning during treatment. A massage therapist specialising in pregnancy knows all the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy massage positioning.
If you would like to chat to one of our therapists about your symptoms feel free to give us a call. 03 9645 9923.
Please consult your doctor before booking for pregnancy massage.
Melbourne Natural Therapies
Pregnancy Massage Melbourne