Fact: First written accounts of labor support came from the midwives in 15th century England.
Therapy Type: Bodywork
WHAT EXACTLY IS PREGNANCY MASSAGE?
Massage therapy aids in the relief of pain from injuries, stress and muscular tension, whilst also accelerating the healing process from certain intense and chronic conditions. Massage encourages the circulation of blood and lymph around the body, supplying fresh oxygen and other vital nutrients to affected tissues. Furthermore massage enables the body to flush out toxins, which supports and boosts the body’s recovery process.
Pregnancy massage, or pre-natal massage is exclusively adapted to the expectant mother’s needs. The physiological and emotional wellbeing of the mother and foetus has been shown to improve, by using the massage techniques. Additionally pregnancy discomforts have also been known to decrease with the use of pregnancy massage, whilst also calming complaints such as sciatica, swelling and backache. In addition by promoting the body’s circulation and the stretching of muscles and joints to their full range of motion, it further assists to relieve physical discomforts. Furthermore by supporting the body’s flexibility it also aids in enhancing body tone and skin elasticity. Pregnant women who have regular pre natal massage have been shown by research to be more relaxed which in turn reduces the stress upon the foetus.
Massage through improving flexibility and posture and by making the mum to be feel more energized, can be valuable in those last few weeks when preparing for birth.
Pregnancy massage may benefit the following physical and mental conditions:
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM PREGNANCY MASSAGE SESSIONS
Sessions typically last between 30 minutes and 1 hour although you should expect the first session to be longer as your therapist will ask you about your medical history along with other relevant health and lifestyle details. They will also examine your body for any postural or muscular imbalances. From this feedback the therapist can then put together a profile for you and tailor a suitable course of treatment.
Pregnancy massage utilizes many of the same techniques as used in traditional massage. The therapist will however use a lighter touch and focus upon the areas on your body that are most susceptible to change. For example the neck, hips and lower back can benefit from gently applied deep tissue and neuromuscular and movement therapy. Furthermore, the alleviation of fluid retention in the arms and legs can be achieved by, gliding and kneading strokes, by lymphatic drainage or Swedish massage techniques. Additionally they will advise you on some deep breathing exercises and ways in which you can develop and alter your posture to support your change in your centre of gravity and to support the added gain of weight.
It is recommended that you consult with your therapist, prior to your initial appointment to determine the safest position for you during your massage. A side-lying position is widely considered by professional therapist to be the best position during a massage for pregnant women, however your therapist will discuss this with you first. Massage therapy can be initiated at anytime during the three trimesters. However make your therapist aware before any treatment if you have suffered from Braxton-Hicks or pre-term contractions. Always consult your midwife or GP before you receive any treatment if you are considered to be experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
Most women find Pregnancy Massage Therapy deeply relaxing and enjoy the
physical it provides. It is also extremely safe when carried out by a
certified prenatal massage therapist. It is wise to carry out some
research and select such a therapist who is either a member of, or
accredited by, an association or professional body such as the Massage
Association of New Zealand (MNZ). Pregnancy Massage Therapists are obligated to a code of
ethics and procedure that determines the therapy is carried out in a
suitable and safe environment. These regulations also guarantee a
specialist who has undergone certifiable training and receives
The Wellness Directory provides a ready-made referral list of certified Practitioners within your region. We fully encourage you to do some independent research by checking out individual credentials, i.e. experience, training, qualifications, relevant client feedback and so forth.
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