During pregnancy the mother’s body grows and her posture adapts to the growth of the baby. These changes can often cause stress and discomfort, as well as sleepless nights. This article discusses how pregnancy massage can help relieve these problems.
The major postural changes we see, other than the growing bump, are hunched shoulders and a forward pelvic tilt. Other common symptoms include swelling of the hands, legs and feet, as well as sciatic pain.
As the breasts increase in size, which can happen rapidly for some women, the shoulders start to hunch forward causing the head to protrude. This then causes the muscles between the shoulder blades to weaken and the chest muscles to tighten, which can lead to tension headaches.
As the baby grows the mother’s pelvis starts to tilt forward. This causes the lower back and buttock muscles to shorten and become tight, whilst the abdominal muscles lengthen and become weak. These changes can lead to low back pain, which often worsens as the size and weight of the baby increase. Additionally, the tightening of the buttock muscles may put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can result in radiating pain down the affected leg.
Swelling of the hands, legs and feet are normal in pregnancy due to the increase of blood and fluid to support the growing baby.
Pregnancy massage is a combination of relaxation and deep tissue massage to the back of the body. The Mum-to-be lays on her stomach in a specifically designed setup that takes pressure off the chest, stomach and lower back. The massage therapist then adapts their techniques to address any changes, pain or to provide relaxation.
Pregnancy massage can reduce tension headaches, loosen the low back and hips, decrease sciatic symptoms, and promote blood flow to reduce swelling in the limbs. Pregnancy massage is just as important for the mother as it is for the baby, as a relaxed happy mum means a relaxed happy baby.
When can you start pregnancy massage?
As long as the therapist knows you are pregnant, you can start having pregnancy massages as soon as you would like. This enables the therapist to adapt their techniques to suit you and your growing baby.
How often can you get pregnancy massages?
Since no pregnancy is the same, everyone’s needs may be different. It is recommended a regular monthly pregnancy massage works best, as it is consistent with the growing baby’s major growth cycle changes.
If you have any questions or would like to book in to see Phillipa for a pregnancy massage please contact Physiotas on 03 6424 7511.
About the Author:
Phillipa completed a Diploma of Remedial massage at Swinburne University, Melbourne, in 2012 and has been massaging since then. Phillipa continued her professional learning by completing a Bachelor of Health Science at UTAS in 2016. She has since done courses in dry needling and Matwork Pilates.
For the last five years Phillipa has provided massage services to various local football clubs, as well as the Brisbane Lions AFL team when they visit Tasmania.
Phillipa’s professional interests include pregnancy massage, dry needling and sporting injuries. Outside of work Phillipa enjoys strength training, snow boarding and camping.