The main reason why I wanted to learn pregnancy massage is because my sister fell pregnant last year. This was my first experience of being around a pregnant woman and it was a shock to see how the vast changes to her body could put her in so much pain at times. I wanted to help her but didn't really know how.
Pregnancy puts your body through some incredible changes and a lot of stress can be placed on the back, neck, shoulders and abdominal muscles which is why pregnancy massage is so important in providing relief to this growing discomfort.
Pregnancy Massage is also great for the emotional and physiological wellbeing of both mother and baby. Stress felt by mum can transfer to baby, pregnancy massage can supply deep relaxation to mum and baby as well as enabling them to connect with one another.
It can also help by:
-Reducing pain caused by pregnancy
- Encouraging better sleep
-Reducing blood pressure
-Improving mood, reducing anxiety
-Reducing fluid retention
Some studies have even shown that women who receive regular massge during their pregnancy tend to have shorter labours with fewer complications.
Stages of Pregnancy
Second Trimester 14-26 weeks
Mother may have more energy at this stage as nausea usually subsides but lower back and upper spine muscular strains start to occur. Skin becomes itchy as it stretches, varicose veins may start to appear and mother may start to feel heartburn and shortness of breath as stomach is pushed up.
Third Trimester 26-40 weeks
Insomnia- due to movement of baby/need to urinate
High Blood Pressure
Swollen Limbs- massage helps lymph drainage
Shortness of Breath- massage encourages deeper, easier breathing by relaxing chest muscles.
The focus during massage at this stage lies in relaxation, gentle strokes and side lying. The benefits of pregnancy massage aren't just superficial, regular massages during pregnancy can promote emotional, physical and mental wellbeing to both mum and baby.