Pregnancy massage is massage designed to address the particular problems and issues that arise for expectant mums throughout their pregnancy. Typically these issues are neck and shoulder pain, rib pain and breathing restriction if the baby is sitting high. In later pregnancy sacral and lower back pain, referred ligament pain, aching legs and oedema.
The techniques used are the same as what you would experience in a Relaxation, Deep Tissue or in some cases Remedial massage. They are however modified to suit the physiological changes that occur to the body during pregnancy.
For example we still use trigger point in our pregnancy treatments but due to the presence of the relaxin hormone we don't need to apply as much pressure and we also avoid certain points on the body. We also focus on using PNF stretches to gently ease the tension out of the muscles before performing deeper work.
Draping and positioning of the body is also adjusted as the pregnancy progresses to ensure comfort for you and safety for the baby. A thorough intake is done so we are aware of any issues in this or previous pregnancies and contra-indications to massage are adhered to.
Massage during pregnancy has a lot of benefits for both the baby and mother and is safe as long as the following points are adhered to.
Lets run through these points so you are clear on what we mean.
We make sure we understand your history any presenting conditions and what you feel that you need from your treatment. All of these factors are taken into consideration when deciding on the treatment plan for your massage including positioning, turning, time spent on the table after the treatment and what we focus on during treatment. We discuss this plan with you so we know we are giving you what you need and doing it safely.
After completing training with Pregnancy Massage Australia we have chosen to perform the majority of our pregnancy treatments in the side lying position.
Some massage clinics use pregnancy treatment tables which have a trapdoor and stretchy material that allows the mother to lay on her stomach. We prefer to place the body in the position that you would do so normally as we feel that this is preferable. However this is personal preference, some clients have had massage all through their pregnancy using these tables and have not reported any issues.
Our tables are cushioned with an extra layer of eggshell foam to ensure that there is no pressure on the hips whilst laying in this position. We prop up the knee so you are supported and use Dentons pillows to support the tummy and lower back.
Contra-indications mean situations that indicate we should not massage, or we should do so with caution. The standard contraindications apply along with a couple of others that are pregnancy related. These are
DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis - due to increased blood volume circulation can slow down and this increases the possibility of blood clots forming.
Systemic infection - issues such as Glandular fever, Ross River and Lupus.
Pitted Oedema - this can be a possible sign of pre-eclampsia. We would test the oedema and discuss this with you along with any other symptoms you may have.
We will treat in the first trimester if you don't fall into the high risk category. High risk factors include
Should any of these factors be present we will assess and make a decision.
All of our therapists are trained in Pregnancy Massage. Roger is well experienced with this type of massage and has a particular interest in hip problems caused by pregnancy. Anna Dawson, Joanne Lynagh and Thomas Sims hold a Certificate of Pregnancy Massage from Pregnancy Massage Australia. PMA provide the most up to date and detailed courses on Pregnancy Massage in Australia. Their courses focus on presenting conditions, draping, positioning and working the areas most affected by pregnancy.
Increases relaxation reducing anxiety and aiding in sleep
Eases back, shoulder, neck pain and all joint and muscular conditions common to pregnancy
Stabilises hormonal changes and blood pressure
Allows some much needed time out and this can improve the connection between mother and baby
Provides a feeling of support