Once you have reached the 12th week of your pregnancy you can enjoy relaxing treatments from Inner Wellness Massage. As you develop through the trimesters, your body and will experience many significant changes. Not only does pregnancy have a physical impact on your body, but it also has an effect on your emotional wellbeing. Below are some of the main physical and emotional changes you will go through during your pregnancy and the benefits that massage can provide.
Musculoskeletal The average woman puts on 30-40lbs during her pregnancy. As the pregnancy develops, this weight gain can take its toll on the woman’s posture, joints, muscles and nerves. With the majority of weight gain centralised around the abdominal area, your centre of gravity shifts forward. This puts additional strain on all of your back muscles and it is common for women to notice lower back pain/discomfort.
Massage benefit: Massage can be adapted to your changing body shape so you get the full benefit of your treatment. Gentle Swedish massage can help soothe strained muscles from your head to your toes, including key trouble areas such as the shoulders and lower back. Side-lying techniques are used to ensure your comfort and safety during the treatment.
Endocrine system Hormonal changes cause your muscles and bones to ‘soften’ in preparation for labour. As a result, in addition to postural discomfort it is common for women to experience haemorrhoids, varicose veins and constipation. You will also experience emotional ups and downs as your hormonal levels change.
Massage benefit: Massage helps to stabilise hormone levels by stimulating glandular secretions. In particular, massage facilitates the release of oxytocin and serotonin, our ‘feel good’ hormones that provide pain relief effects. Giving yourself time to be still and calm is also extremely beneficial as massage helps to alleviate stress and anxiety, which can naturally increase/occur during such an important time of your life.
Circulation The volume of blood in the average pregnant woman increases by up to 50%, as the body supports the growing foetus. The extra volume of fluid in the body can cause swollen ankles and wrists.
Massage benefit: Pregnancy massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating waste products from the body. It also boosts the circulatory system, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the cells in the mother and foetus, helping with your overall wellbeing and combating fatigue by improving your energy levels. Massage has also been proven to lower blood pressure, which is a benefit to many pregnant women who experience high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Insomnia Lack of sleep affects 78% of pregnant women* and there is a variety of reasons for poor sleep during pregnancy – discomfort when lying down, stress, heartburn, hormonal changes, and frequent urination.
Massage benefit: Massage reduces the level of cortisol in your body – the stress hormone that can cause poor sleep. Having a massage treatment in the evening prepares your body for sleep and puts you in a state of relaxation. The most common feedback I receive from clients is that they experience a better night’s sleep following a massage treatment.
To read about my pregnancy massage treatment click here or to schedule an appointment complete the contact form. Important to note: 1. Relaxing massage only Deep tissue massage is not recommended at any stage of pregnancy. There are several acupressure points throughout the body, which should not be stimulated before the onset of labour.
2. GP/midwife consent I advise all my pregnant clients to obtain the consent of their GP/midwife ahead of any treatment. This is to ensure that all healthcare professionals involved in your care can offer you the best advice and treatment.
3. If your pregnancy is considered high risk, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot receive massage. In fact, massage can help reduce the stress and anxiety of complicated pregnancies. I have a consent form that you can give to your GP/midwife to sign to ensure they are supportive of your choices. * http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/insomnia-during-pregnancy/