Pregnancy massage is relaxing, safe and very effective in addressing fatigue and stress, boosting your energy levels and helping you to feel your best. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some women find that these changes can be uncomfortable. Regular massage can be a great way to relieve the strains and other problems associated with pregnancy.
Massage can be given safely after the first trimester, right up until your baby's birth. If you are having a difficult pregnancy or have certain health problems, massage might not be appropriate. You are advised to discuss this with your midwife or doctor who may need to give their approval prior to a treatment. Further information on this can be found here.
Is massage safe during pregnancy?
If you are having a healthy pregnancy and are generally in good health then yes, massage is safe during pregnancy and can be a wonderful addition to your prenatal care.
There are some instances when massage may not be appropriate, particularly if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or have underlying health problems. If that's the case please read the information here.
In the current COVID-19 climate, all pregnant clients are requested to get consent for treatment from their pre-natal care providers prior to treatment.
As every woman experiences pregnancy in her own way and responds differently to the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, you (alongside your midwife or doctor) are in the best position to decide whether you feel comfortable having a massage.
What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy?
Pregnancy massage can be of enormous benefit, not only to you, but also to your baby. Massage during pregnancy can support you emotionally and physiologically at a time when your body is undergoing many changes and can help prepare your body for birth. As well as giving you some peaceful, relaxing time to yourself, pregnancy massage can help:
Ease aching muscles and pains such as backache, headaches, aches and pains in muscles, joints and the pelvic/hip area.
Increase blood and lymph flow, increasing the elimination of toxins through the circulatory and lymphatic systems, this can also help to reduce fatigue and oedema.
Increase blood circulation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the mother and baby.
Release fluid retention and help to reduce swelling in the legs, feet and hands, by aiding lymphatic drainage, which helps treat puffy ankles.
Lessen sciatic back and leg pain.
Tone loose muscles, relax tense muscles and can help increase flexibility.
Strengthen the immune system.
Stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system.
Ease cramps and help to avoid varicose veins from forming.
Release muscular tension in the shoulders, lower back, hips and upper back which can help ease discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes.
Massaging the muscles around the upper chest and rib cage can also benefit the respiratory system and aid restricted breathing.
Release nerve compression caused by water retention or muscular tension.
Enhance your relationship with your body by keeping you connected and in touch with your changing shape.
Be very effective in inducing deep relaxation and peaceful sleep and creating a sense of well-being.
Are there times during my pregnancy when it isn't suitable to have a massage?
It isn’t advisable to have a massage during the first trimester of your pregnancy, however, any time after this and up to your baby’s birth is fine if you are experiencing a low-risk pregnancy.
There are certain conditions related to either your general health or your pregnancy that may mean massage isn’t suitable for you. In many cases, this just means that it is advisable to talk to your midwife, doctor or other healthcare professional to get their consent and approval prior to any treatments. For more information on contraindications to pregnancy massage and safety please check here.
I want you to feel comfortable and enjoy your treatment and so if you ever feel unwell or something just doesn’t feel right before your appointment, then please do let me know as soon as possible and we can rearrange your appointment if necessary.
At what stage in my pregnancy can I start having massage therapy?
Massage can start any time after your twelve-week scan, if you are generally well and not having any significant problems with your pregnancy (more information on this can be found here).
How is pregnancy massage different from regular massage?
In many ways, pregnancy massage is similar to regular massage in that it aims to relax tense muscles, ease aches and pains, improve your circulation and mobility, while also helping you to feel good.
However, the treatment is also tailored to your needs as a pregnant woman. I use a comfortable massage couch, fixed at a lower height than usual so that it is easy for you to get on and off. I’ll help you lie on your side with your head resting on a pillow and will use pillows to support you and your bump and make you as comfortable as possible. I’ll then cover you with towels and only expose the parts of your body that are being massaged.
During your consultation, we’ll discuss what you hope to get out of your massage and any particular problems you may be experiencing. Each treatment may, therefore, be different from the next, but in general, I start by massaging one side of your back, your arm and leg, and with some very gentle stroking of your bump if you’re happy with that. I’ll then help you sit up and lie back down at the other end of the couch and massage the other side of your body.
I’ve been trained to address specific pregnancy-related issues and so if your ankles are puffy, I’ll ensure that your treatment incorporates lymph-drainage techniques to reduce water retention. Or, if you are particularly bothered by lower back pain, I’ll make sure I spend time working in this area too.
I will always work within your comfort levels and welcome your feedback during the treatment to ensure you aren’t in any discomfort.
How much does a massage treatment cost?
An initial consultation and full body treatment, lasting 50 minutes costs £45. For subsequent treatment appointments can be booked for 25, 40 or 50 minutes.
What can I expect on arrival for my appointment?
On arrival for your appointment, we'll chat through your completed health questionnaire, and discuss any problems you may be having and confirm that massage is suitable.
The treatment is a little different from a standard massage as it has been developed to help focus on some of the main discomforts and difficulties faced during pregnancy such as back pain, breathing, swollen ankles etc.
The massage table is adjustable so that it is easy for you to get on and off. I’ll help you lie on your side with your head resting on a pillow and will support your bump and knees with as many pillows as it takes in order to make you as comfortable as possible.
I’ll massage one side of your body and then help you sit up and lie back down at the other end of the couch, reposition your support pillows and massage the other side of your body. I can also prop you up at the end to give you a short facial massage. You won’t be lying on your front at all during the treatment.
How do I make an appointment?
Pregnancy Massage is only available at VB Health in Grasscroft so we can make use of a fully adjustable couch and extra pillows for your comfort.