Massage during and after pregnancy is quite popular with us at Top Notch Massage Therapy, this due to the growing evidence towards the mental and physical rewards it provides.
We do get a lot of questions by a lot of mum's, including their husbands, partners, friends and family uncertain if pregnancy massage is beneficial and how it may help, especially if they are someone who does not receive regular massage therapy.
Some people can be nervous about getting massages, especially when we are pregnant. So I am here to alleviate some of those concerns.
I’m going to talk through a few questions that we often get.
The first one is how safe are pregnancy massages?
We have a lot of women seeking massage and asking this question because they are unsure whether they should have a massage in pregnancy. At Top Notch Massage, all of the team who deliver pregnancy massage have been professionally trained in New Zealand to a high standard, by a pregnancy massage specialist to deliver pregnancy massages. Here at Top Notch, we have therapists who can treat from conception right through to birth.
Our therapists frequently see a lot of women coming in presenting with various discomforts in pregnancy, and it is so important that you are getting someone who is specialised in supporting you through that process, and that you are in safe, nurturing hands to get the most benefit out of your treatment - which is very very important for our mum's.
For example, if you are or have experienced terrible lower back pain, you will know especially as you get closer and closer to your due date, it can become very sore and you probably would not want anyone to come near you.
So why would pregnancy massage help you?
With the discomfort of the lower back scenario, you would have seen your LMC and discussed this with them, and then be coming into us knowing confidently that if there is any changes in your pregnancy that we understand the language that is used in pregnancy and we know how to treat you.
This is due to our therapists scope of professionalism and training which really helps. We are guided by what you need and what you have told us. We are here to really support you, so you no longer have to be in pain in your pregnancy.
Is movement important during pregnancy?
We do advocate remaining active during pregnancy - so if you caught our post about maintaining activity during pregnancy there are many benefits such as
I’ve discussed pain and discomfort, but you don’t have to be experiencing pain or discomfort to get a pregnancy massage either.
If you think about the stresses and anxiety that pregnancy can bring on for some mums, so they can feel that they need just some "time out". Almost like ‘mindfulness massage’ - just that "mum time", time for her to just re-energise, be more in tune and in connection with her baby and your pregnancy.
So if you have friends or family who would benefit from a pregnancy massage please tag them in or share this with them.
If you would like to contact us with more information please send us a message! We are only too happy to help!
A lot of people ask what is pregnancy massage and how is it different from a regular massage. The most difficult thing about this question is where we should start!
Pregnancy has many physiological and psychological changes which a women will journey through. The physical changes can cause stress and or discomfort to the mother, and massage is a wonderful way to help alleviate many of these discomforts, as well as promotes a sense of well-being.
What is pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage is beneficial throughout the entire nine months of the pregnancy; however, if you are having a high risk pregnancy it is best to discuss your condition with your midwife or physician before seeking a therapist. After doing so you may be able to receive massage work with a written release.
At Top Notch Massage and Health we use the side lying positioning which nicely supports your whole body. Side lying is one of the highly recommended positions to use after 22 weeks. It alleviates the compression placed on the major vessels which lying on your back will cause, resulting in decreased circulation; vital to you and your baby. We use highly recommended support bolsters to ensure maximum comfort, and you will be draped in soft fleece to keep you nice and warm in the winter, and nice cool sheets in the summer months.
All our therapists are certified in pregnancy massage which is important in not only supporting, nurturing and providing you with time out, but we also know and understand what is and what is not safe for you and your baby. Our knowledge spans across all trimesters and bodily changes you will undergo. There are many hormones which influence your ligaments during your pregnancy which bring laxity, especially around your back, hips and legs. This is where massage is key to alleviate the tension now placed on your surrounding muscles. We avoid certain areas during your pregnancy such as the area between your heal and ankle which relates to the uterus, it has been documented that deep pressure to this trigger point may cause early labour.
What to expect
Our pregnancy massage is 60 – 70 minutes. For your first visit we will ask you about how you are and how your pregnancy is developing. We will ask that you seek permission from your LMC if you do have a high risk pregnancy. We will do a quick postural analysis of how you are standing to gain a better understanding of how you go about your daily activities and advise any homework if needed! During the massage you will be supported with bolsters as you lie on your side. In the winter we drape you from top to toe with nice warm fleece blankets, or in the summer in soft cool sheets. We will only expose the area being worked. The room is heated or cooled to suit dependent on the season, and we like to play quiet and relaxing music in the background. We do encourage to avoid eating a large meal before the massage or drinking large amounts of liquids.
Benefits that a mother may experience:
· Reduces swelling in hands, feet and ankles
· Lessens sciatic pain
· Eases muscular discomforts in areas like the low back & neck, calf cramps, it also helps with
tension and tightening that can be experienced throughout the body
· Tones lose muscles relaxes tense muscles and can help increase flexibility.
· Helps with relaxation which in turn can decrease insomnia
· Increases blood and lymph flow which can help increase the elimination of toxins through the
circulatory and lymphatic systems, this can also help with fatigue.
· Increases oxygen in the blood, sometimes on up to 10-15% after a massage.
· Strengthens the immune system
· Stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous
· Helps relieve anxiety or depression
· Helps increase blood circulation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the mother
· Can be used during the birth as well as after making both experiences easier and more comfortable
· Eases stress mothers often feel after the birth
There are many more benefits! We hope this list of how beneficial massage can be during pregnancy is useful.
Our therapists are Anj Young, Annette Johnson and Jacqui Smith who are all licensed massage therapists.