Regular massage during your entire pregnancy can not only help relieve your physical symptoms, but it can also help you cope with stress (because let’s face it bringing a child into the world can defiantly be stressful, especially when you add it to work, running a house, life, etc...and not just from mom). Massage therapy will help you relax, increase your energy and relieve any discomforts that you are feeling. It helps to ease aches and pains caused by supporting extra weight and decrease muscle tension caused by the physical changes during pregnancy as well as from stress. I know that you will all love to hear this benefit ... massage can help you sleep better ... although it won’t stop your bladder from waking you during the night, what sleep you do get will be better quality sleep. Massage therapy during your pregnancy also has the benefit of helping to prepare your body for labour by helping to release chronic tension for minimal resistance during labour, increasing your awareness of the tension in your body and teaches you how to release it, and it will help you learn good breathing that can be used during labour.
What can you expect during a Pregnancy Massage Treatment? In the early stages of pregnancy the only difference from your normal massage treatment will be pillowing, extra pillows will be placed under your hips and torso to take any pressure off your belly and sensitive bust. Later in pregnancy you will move to a side lying position where you will be fully supported with pillows and can relax comfortably (most women don’t want to get off my table after). Make sure to let your therapist know if an position or technique make you feel uncomfortable, increase or cause nausea, or cause a hot flash. These are a couple of ways that your baby and body tell you they don't like what is happening.
Massage treatments during pregnancy are totally geared to what you are experiencing at that particular moment, although there are some areas that moms-to-be typically get sore. So make sure to tell your massage therapist what is going on and how you are feeling, no matter how insignificant it may seem. You may feel like you always end up complaining when you come for a massage even though on the whole your pregnancy is going well, but you aren’t! I need accurate info in order to best decide what needs to be worked on during that treatment (this goes for massage during all stages of your life not just when you are pregnant). I never believe it when a client comes in saying they are fine, there is always something that is bothering them.
One of the most common questions I hear is “when should I start massage therapy during my pregnancy?” My reply is always, if you aren’t already doing massage when you get pregnant, start now! Starting early in your pregnancy can help to stop aches and pains before they start. And book regular massage treatments during your entire pregnancy, even if that means booking a massage appointment after your due date ;) I have several women whom I have treated in the week or so that they were overdue.
My final suggestion is to find a Massage Therapist who, like myself, has additional training in pregnancy massage. There are so many tips, tricks, and treatment specifics that you learn during pregnancy massage therapy training that far exceeds the basics you learn in college. I am amazed at the knowledge I have gained through training, practice and experience. After 11 years of treating pregnant clients, and 2 pregnancies myself, I have a far better an understanding of what is happening at any given point during pregnancy, why, and how best to help. And just so you know, help could come in the form of massaging your hips and low back to ease pain, a hug and a sympathetic ear, or teaching your birth partner some simple massage techniques to use as comfort measures during labour.
Take the time to book a massage for you! Before and after your baby is born. You will thank me, I guarantee !