Pregnancy is a special time, however, as your body changes, it can bring about many aches and pains, especially in the latter stages. Massage can be a natural way of easing these ailments. Watch the video above from MamaBabyBliss with a quick tummy massage you can do yourself during your pregnancy.
Here's how pregnancy massage can soothe away aches and pains:
During the latter stages of pregnancy your digestive system becomes sluggish, allowing time for the baby to absorb vital nutrients. This may cause constipation and heartburn. Stress can make heartburn worse, so a massage will help to reduce anxiety and tension and can help ease symptoms.
Anaemia during pregnancy
Due to the increased demands placed on your body during pregnancy, iron deficiency is common. It is a condition in which there is insufficient haemoglobin in the blood. As well as increasing your iron in-take, a full body massage will help boost blood and lymph circulation, plus help relieve tiredness. By stimulating circulation it will also raise the red blood count and produce more haemoglobin.
As your baby grows, your posture changes and backache in the lower and upper back is common. Massage can help greatly as it will help loosen any tight muscles and help relieve tension in the back.
SPD or PGP
Ligaments and joints are being softened by the over production of the hormone, relaxin. This can lead to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), which can be very debilitating. Massage can assist in helping release oxytocin and endorphins, which can help relieve the discomfort and pain.
Sciatica in pregnancy
As your baby and your uterus grow, it can also compress the sciatic nerve and women may also experience sciatic pain down the back of the thigh, lower part of the leg and the sole of the foot. Gentle massage can help bring relief by releasing the nerve.
Migraine and headaches
Ten per cent of women suffer from migraine in pregnancy. Headaches can also be caused by hormonal action or by stress or tension on the head, neck and shoulder area as a result of poor posture. Massage will help relieve tension and improve blood circulation.
As your bump grows, the skin will stretch causing tightness and stretch marks. Massage with a good nourishing oil can help moisturise and soothe the skin. You should not use any essential oils unless it has been uniquely blended for pregnancy by an aromatherapist, as some may not be safe or suitable for pregnancy.
The circulation is working twice as hard as it usually does, so leg cramps, oedema (swelling in the ankles and hands) can be a common symptoms of late pregnancy. Massage can be very helpful in helping to boost circulation and encouraging lymph to move around the body, helping to remove toxins and reduce swelling
Massage can be a wonderful way to ease away aches and pains. However, it is important that any massage treatment be carried out by a therapist who is qualified in pregnancy massage. There are times when it is not appropriate to have a pregnancy massage, if for example you are suffering from any of the following:
- Morning sickness or extreme nausea
- Heavy vaginal discharge or if it is bloody or watery
- High blood pressure
- High temperature/fever
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Unusual or identified pain
- Contagious illness
Justina Perry is a leading expert in the wellbeing of mums, babies and mums-to-be, and is the founder of MamaBabyBliss, specialists in pregnancy, baby and new mum massage and yoga. For more information visit www.mamababybliss.com