Nurturing for Mother and Baby
What is Pregnancy Massage?
This is a specialist massage treatment for pregnant women by a specially trained massage therapist. The main difference from a non pregnant massage is that there are two people receiving the massage, you and your baby/babies! You are both benefiting from the treatment and this makes it a very special experience and can help you throughout your pregnancy on many physical and emotional levels.
What are the benefits of Pregnancy massage?
Can help with pregnancy related issues such as fluid retention, blocked sinuses, leg cramps, headaches, back pain, exhaustion, stress, anxiety, sleep problems.
Promotes deep relaxation and connection with your baby.
Helps prepare mind and body for giving birth.
What can I expect?
Before we begin you will need to fill out a health history form and then we have a 15 minute consultation to discuss how you are holistically. In the west pregnancy is often treated very clinically and visits to healthcare providers can feel like medical procedures. I find pregnant women appreciate some time during their session to talk honestly and openly about their physical and emotional health.
During your second and third trimester, your massage will be performed whilst lying on each side. Bolsters and different pillows are used to accommodate your growing baby.
We tend to start with some breathing and static holds on your body and your baby, to relax, connect and focus inwards. This encourages you to get to know your changing body and perhaps it may even help you accept this change more. The idea is to help you connect with your internal strength and the natural wisdom of your body and your baby. Sometimes positive visualisations are used during your massage which can be very effective at relaxing you further and help you prepare for giving birth.
Different pressures, and strokes are used, and they are focused depending on where you are feeling you need the most release from tension or discomfort. Most commonly Mothers enjoy attention to their lower back to ease the strain of their baby, increased volume of blood, fluids and weight gain. As you reach your third trimester we may move some massage work onto a gym ball this allows gravity to do most of the work whilst you can enjoy gradual, deep releases over your Sacrum (bottom of the spinal vertebrae)
Energy work ‘Yin and Yang’
Some energy work is also very helpful, this is where the therapists hands are placed on various areas of the body, it relaxes the nervous system and can help unblock areas of built up tension. It feels very relaxing and supportive and it helps to rebalance Yin and Yang energy. It doesn’t put anything into your body nor does it remove anything from your body. It simply allows change to happen if it needs to. In Chinese Medicine pregnancy is considered a more ‘Yin’ state which is linked with the element water. It is also linked to restoration, night, darkness, stillness and earth. Childbirth is a more ‘Yang’ state which is connected with the element fire, as well as movement, light and outward energy.
Can I have a massage in my first trimester?
Yes you can. It is really important to prevent stress throughout pregnancy, particularly during your first trimester. A massage with the focus on relaxing and talking through any concerns is highly recommended and a beneficial source of self care. If you feel more relaxed during your first trimester and beyond for that matter, you are more likely to enjoy this time rather then feel worried and create unnecessary tension in your body.
Will my massage be tailored to my needs?
Always. Your pregnancy is an ever changing period of energy, growth and transformation. In some ways I think pregnancy can be a bit of a label women are given when they are carrying a baby. However, you are an individual and pregnancy is very different for each woman. Some Mothers feel amazing during their pregnancy. On the other hand some Mothers really struggle with this time of their life. There are so many physical changes to your body, huge highs and huge lows to your emotional wellbeing and big changes to your lifestyle and home-life /family life.
It is important to keep your therapist updated with any changes to your health as it may effect the way you are massaged.
What about Post Natal massage?
Lack of sleep, a huge change in hormones, the reality of motherhood and caring for your new born can take its toll on your wellbeing. Understandably it can be difficult to schedule a massage whilst you adjust to this new chapter of your life, but a massage is actually hugely beneficial during what can be an overwhelming time. Your body is trying to heal itself, and the restoration and support a nurturing massage can bring is just as important as when you are pregnant. Western medicine sees the female post natal body as ‘back to normal’ at around 6 weeks where you are signed off with a medical check, however recovery and healing takes around 6 months.
If you are able to, having regular massages during the first 6 weeks is an excellent way to help your mind and body adjust to motherhood and not being pregnant anymore. During the first 6 weeks the massages are focused on gathering energies and supporting the Uterus to contract and help the pelvic muscles stay strong. However, it is important not to over stimulate the body so the massages tend to be gentle and involve lots of energy work to help you recover.