Massage during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary therapy, it is a way of reducing stress and promote wellbeing. It can relieve backaches, leg cramps, headaches, stiff necks and swelling which are all common aliments during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, during pregnancy mothers tend to gain weight, which can also put pressure on joints. Blood pressure can be raised, and worries can cause nervous tension. Massage can increase blood and lymphatic circulation, which in turn can reduce stress bring blood pressure down and help with nervous tension.
- Headaches: During and after pregnancy women bodies change due to hormonal changes within the body. Migraines are quite common during pregnancy but massage focusing on the head, neck and shoulders will help elevate stress by In addition, maintain optimal levels of stress by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
- Aches & Pains: The bodies natural anti-pain chemical called serotonin is released when carrying out massage which will help with pregnant client.
- Sleep: During pregnancy women often find it difficult sleeping due to swelling, pains, leg cramps etc, massage will help relax client, so offering client a massage in the evening will aid a restful night. Massage can be offered during and after pregnancy, which can help reduce anxiety.
- Tension: Carrying extra weight during pregnancy can cause muscle tension, massage can relieve the tension with increased blood flow, lymphatic fluid which will help remove toxins and metabolic waste.
A pregnant client should check with her doctor or midwife before having massage treatment as pregnancy can bring a variety of contraindications such as high blood pressure. It is advisable not to treat clients who are in their first trimester. Pregnancy can be a stressful and tiring time for women, so massage can be particularly beneficial. The legs and feet can become particularly tired, especially as the weight increases and there may be fluid retention around the ankles. There can be difficulty with sleeping, so the relaxing effects of massage are very useful. The body massage can be adjusted in the following ways:
- Use plenty of effleurage movements and avoid tapotement movements.
- Lie the client on her side with pillows under the arm and thigh so that you can massage the back and back of the legs. Alternatively, the client can sit on a chair with a pillow on her lap.
- When she is lying on her back put a small pillow under the knees to relax the abdomen and flatten the lower back. Ensure the back of the couch is slightly raised as some pregnant women may feel faint and nauseous when lying flat on a couch.
After the first trimester (three months) gentle stroking and effleurage massage movements may be performed on the abdomen.
Back massage for pregnant clients
If the client would like a back-massage treatment she can sit by the side of the couch on a low-backed chair. Turn the chair around so that you can easily access the back and she can sit astride the chair with a large, soft cushion. The choice of position is entirely up to client and there is no wrong or right way, as long as client is comfortable.