Pregnancy is often a time of emotional and physical transition. A woman’s body is not only shaped differently but her gait is affected and other movement patterns to accommodate her growing breasts and uterus. Massage therapy provides helpful home care suggestions, to educate the woman about the changes she’s experiencing, and to encourage the health and wellness of the expecting mother and her baby.
Pregnancy massage provides a means for the woman to attend to her physical self and provides an opportunity for relaxation, relief, and further body understanding. It also provides a unique bonding experience between the mom and baby and most importantly allows the woman time to relax and focus inwards on herself and her developing child.
**Note: Massage Therapy is not meant to replace appropriate medical prenatal care but to work in conjunction with the maternity healthcare provider.
Pregnancy Table & Positioning
For health and safety reasons I choose to treat pregnant women on a massage therapy table mostly using the sidelying or semireclining position. At all times the woman’s body is supported by pillows and bolsters and the treatment positions are chosen by which is most comfortable for the mother.
The sidelying position is the safest and usually the most comfortable for the mother. It prevents sinus congestion, strain on the uterine ligaments, strain on the pelvis and allows for maximum maternal cardiac function and fetal oxygenation.
- Relieve head/neck/backaches & sore feet, muscle cramps/spasms, sciatica & carpal tunnel pain
- Reduce stress on weight-bearing joints
- Increase flexibility/pliability of muscles & skin
- Improve digestion, relieving constipation & gas
- Strengthen immune system function
- Improve blood/lymph circulation, eliminating toxins
- Reduce swelling (edema) & varicose veins
- Reduce fatigue, stress, anxiety & depression
- Encourage deeper sleeps for longer periods
- Improve breathing patterns
- Stabilize hormone levels & stimulate the release of endorphins (which causes relaxation & a mild euphoric state)
- Develop the flexibility and the body awareness necessary to actively participate in the birthing process
- Improve the health & development of baby
- Help prepare a woman’s body & mind for childbirth
Emotionally Pregnancy Massage Therapy Can Provide:
- nurturing skilled touch
- individualized attention to needs
- emotional support with conjunction or absence of supportive family and friends
- attentive, non judgmental listening and emotional processing
- education and encouragement in stress reducing activities
- referrals to appropriate prenatal specialists