Pregnancy massage makes up one arm of our pregnancy care team here at our Bristol clinic.
Each Pregnancy massage session is designed to nurture you and your baby through the whole of your pregnancy.
Physically there are many benefits to having regular massages during pregnancy. They can help to improve your comfort by reducing swelling and water retention, relaxing sore, achy hips and easing muscle tension.
Our Massage therapists can work with you to adjust the pressure of the massage, change your position and even take a short break if that's what you need. Our pregnancy massage sessions are designed to provide balance and calm for the mind and body.
Seeking treatment for these pregnancy-related health issues can be difficult, as common medications for muscle pains and aches may not be available. Pregnancy massage is a holistic form of massage where sore and achy parts of the body are relaxed and stretched.
Massage involves pressure of the body's soft tissues. It is commonly used to help relax tense muscles and to soothe and calm the individual. Massage may help to relieve pain by assisting with relaxation through obstructing sensory nerve communication of the pain pathways and by improving blood flow and oxygenation of tissues.
Pregnancy Massage Table
During your massage you have the option to lie on your side or on your front, no matter what size bump you have.
If you wish to lie on your front, our specialist couch has an opening in the middle section which allows your precious bump to lie in.
Your tummy is not able to hang through the opening due to a strong elastic flexible mesh sling in the opening, which braces and supports the abdomen. This means there is very little pressure on the lower back, pelvic joints.
Whatever stage of pregnancy you're at, blankets and towels will also be used to make you comfortable and feeling fully supported.
Having mum lying face down allows our massage therapist to effectively massage the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back, so you will finally get to enjoy the familiarity of lying face down.
The relief of being able to lie in a position you thought wasn’t possible is a wonderful release, you will not want to get up!
Is it safe to get a massage while pregnant?
Yes, if your therapist has received proper training in pregnancy massage then the treatment will be carried out safely and professionally.
However, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor or midwife if you are thinking about having a pregnancy massage as they can advise you on any potential risks.
Massage has actually been shown to be beneficial during pregnancy. It helps alleviate stress on weight bearing joints and provides relief from lower/upper back pain, headaches, cramps, sciatica and general stiffness.
Massage can also improve circulation, stabilise hormone levels and relax the nervous system.
How many weeks pregnant do you have to be to get a massage?
There are no strict rules about when you should start receiving a massage during pregnancy, however many therapists will suggest waiting until the 2nd trimester.
This is because the body goes through many changes in pregnancy and symptoms such as dizziness and morning sickness are often worse during the first 12 weeks and it is possible that massage can exacerbate these symptoms.
Some massage therapists will also avoid performing a massage in the 1st trimester due to the increased risk of miscarriage at this time, while evidence to support this is minimal it’s a risk that many therapists would like to avoid.
If you are considering a pregnancy massage then it is always a good idea to consult your doctor or midwife before you receive one so they can recommend what is safest for both Mother and baby.
Can a prenatal massage put you into labour?
There is little evidence to suggest that a pregnancy massage will stimulate labour, however massage has been shown to relax the nervous system through the release of endorphins, which can reduce stress and therefore prepare you for an easier delivery.
Can you massage your lower back when pregnant?
Yes. The lower back can become very strained during pregnancy due to the extra weight carried at the front of the body, this can affect the mechanics of the lower back and pelvis and in turn cause lower back pain. Therefore massage can be very beneficial for reducing discomfort in this area.
Is it normal for your thighs to hurt during pregnancy?
Thigh pain in pregnancy can be a symptom of PGP (pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain), which affects 1 in 5 pregnant women.
During pregnancy your body releases the hormone Relaxin to relax the uterine wall and promote cervical dilation in preparation for delivery. Relaxin also loosens the ligaments around your pelvis to allow for the growing baby and uterus. If too much Relaxin is released this can cause the ligaments to loosen too much, which can put a strain on the inner thigh and groin and cause some discomfort in this area.
PGP is not harmful to your baby but it can be painful and make normal movement difficult. PGP can cause pain at the front and centre of your pubic bone, your lower back, perineum (area between your vagina and anus) and your thighs.
If you are experiencing pain in these areas it is best to inform your manual therapist, doctor or midwife who can then refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Pregnancy Massage Course Manual - The Cotswolds Academy
Pelvic pain in pregnancy - The NHS
Pregnancy Massage Tables - Amanda Tarver (Massage therapist and Birth worker)