What are the benefits of pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage is not just a good idea, it should form an essential part of a woman's pre and postnatal care. During pregnancy, massage is not only an effective pain reliever at a time when chemical pain relief options are limited, but it also helps many of the ailments that pregnant women often suffer from, including aching backs and shoulders, swelling around ankles and other joints, piriformis syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, shortness of breath, constipation and stretch marks. One of the most obvious benefits however, is stress relief - reduced stress levels can mean less nausea and morning sickness, fewer intestinal problems and headaches and an easier labor. After labor, massage can be used to reduce scar tissue build up after surgery, as well as providing a vital support to the stresses of motherhood.
Is massage safe throughout my whole pregnancy?
Some therapists refuse to massage during the first trimester - this is a huge shame since this is often the time when the physical and emotional support of massage would be most beneficial. The reason has nothing to do with the safety of massage and is purely for liability reasons - 85% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester. There is absolutely no evidence of massage being detrimental to you or your baby in the first trimester, provided deep abdominal massage is avoided.
Massage is also safe and beneficial right up until your due date - in fact some women may schedule a session ON their due date so they have something to look forwards to if they have not yet gone into labor. Women on bed rest can receive a gentle, modified massage and it can be a great preparation to the experience of giving birth.
All of our female therapists have a diploma in pregnancy massage and are fully qualified to assist you at all times during your pregnancy and the postpartum period.
What precautions do you take when performing pregnancy massage?
Professional Pregnancy Massage Therapy
The most obvious difference between a pregnancy massage and a normal relaxation massage is positioning - particularly in the final few months it can be difficult to get comfortable. Pregnancy massage is usually performed side-lying or seated and supported with plenty of cushions. Lying on your front or back is not recommended in the third trimester due to unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.
We have done a fair bit of research regarding acupressure points (some therapists believe pressing certain spots near the ankles can stimulate muscles around the pelvic area and bring on early contractions), and the unanimous consensus is that this idea is not supported by the science. There is not a single piece of evidence to support the 'acupressure points bringing on pelvic contractions' theory, and therefore we do not avoid massaging any points around the ankles. However if this is still something you would like us to take into consideration during your treatment, we are more than happy to respect your wishes.
Obviously only gentle abdominal work is performed, although this can feel very soothing.
Also, some aromatherapy products can bring on nausea in pregnant women, and therefore we avoid any products with essential oil, unless you specifically request it.
Please inform us if you have any problems during your pregnancy, including high blood pressure, varicose veins, any cramping or bleeding or any abdominal pain. If you are having a high risk pregnancy, please consult your doctor before booking a massage.
How often should I get a massage whilst pregnant?
Every woman and each pregnancy is different, and so there is no standard answer to this question. Once a month to once a week is the standard length of time between treatments, but if you are suffering from back, hip or leg pain, swollen joints, or are just feeling stressed and in need of relaxation, it is fine to come as regularly as needed.
What about after I've given birth, will massage still be helpful?
Most definitely. Scar tissue build up, stretch marks and the strains of motherhood can all be eased by regular massage, as well as helping your skin regain its elasticity. It is important to look after yourself after giving birth, and massage is the perfect way to reclaim some time just for you.
How soon after giving birth can I get massaged?
In most cases as soon as you like, although women who have had a Cesarean-section usually need to wait a few weeks and bring written approval from their physician. Massage soon after delivery seems to make a real difference to postpartum recovery and healing times.
Can I bring my baby into my massage session?
Although we strongly recommend coming alone to your sessions so that you are able to concentrate fully on your massage, we realise that sometimes this isn't possible. Although there are no crèche facilities available on-site, babies are welcome into the room with you provided that you accept full responsibility for their safety and well-being.
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086 178 7575