A massage normally is a wonderfully relaxing experience. For pregnant women, it can significantly improve their day-to-day wellbeing. Carrying a baby alters your centre of gravity and the pregnancy hormones relax your ligaments allowing your pelvis joints to move in ways they cannot normally (vital for childbirth but not great for comfort during pregnancy). This means your back, legs and pelvis start being used in ways they are not used to and this often causes numerous aches and pains.
Pregnancy massages can help:
- reduce the swelling and puffiness associated with pregnancy (i.e. hands, lower legs),
- relieve aches and pains, in particular back problems, calf cramps,
- increase blood and lymph flow which reduces fatigue and strengthens the immune system,
- improve the skin’s elasticity so reducing likelihood of stretch marks,
- alleviate stress and anxiety.
The massage must be tailored to the needs of the pregnant body and as such will be supported by pillows for comfort. As your pregnancy progresses lying on your front becomes impossible and lying on your back for extended periods can cause problems due to the weight of the uterus pressing on the major vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart (symptoms can include dizziness, lower back pain and it is thought that this possibly also restricts the blood flow to the foetus). It is important to receive pregnancy massage from a masseuse trained and experienced in these techniques. Using aromatherapy essential oils that are safe in pregnancy can further enhance the benefits of pregnancy massage.