Changes in a woman’s body that occur during pregnancy are physiological and emotional. These changes affect the musculoskeletal system and virtually every organ system and the woman must adjust to her changing body and lifestyle.
What to expect when you come in for a pregnancy massage:
- Your position on the table can be on your back, on your stomach or on your side. When your abdomen is too enlarged to lie on it your massage will be mostly on your side with lots of pillows for optimum comfort.
- General relaxation massage is appropriate with focus to areas requested.
- The abdomen and low back are treated using only light gentle techniques or they are not treated at all.
2nd and 3rd Trimester
- Positioning is side lying, lying on your back or seated.
- When laying on your back a folded towel can be placed under your right hip to keep the fetus’s weight off the vascular structures and in the latter stages of pregnancy, you should only be in this position for 10-15 minutes. The client’s comfort is continually assesses and changes can be made as frequently as needed.
- Treatments address your individual symptoms; promote relaxation and wellness in preparation for labour.
- Decrease pain and postural discomforts, which usually occur in the muscles of the low back and buttocks due to enlarged abdomen, upper and back and chest due to enlarged breasts; breast massage can also relieve discomfort and edema.
- Compression syndromes (ie: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) due to swelling, can be treated.
- Abdominal massage is useful in treating constipation, to give you a sense of your entire body including the baby, and to sooth and relax the baby.
- Massage techniques can be used to lengthen the inner thigh and buttock muscles to help prepare for labour and delivery.
- Aggressive joint play and joint mobilization techniques are avoided for the entire body due to joint laxity during the whole pregnancy and for six months after delivery.
- Massage is contradicted if there is a change in blood pressure or if there are other symptoms of pre-eclampsia.
- If diabetic, you should have a snack or juice just prior to and shortly after a massage treatment.
- In the latter stages of pregnancy you should be positioned on you back carefully to avoid compression of vascular structures. If any nausea or discomfort occurs, your position should be changed to side lying, seated or treatment can be discontinued.