At New Leaf Wellness Centre, we feel privileged to be a resource and a comforting, therapeutic presence for you and your family. Along with chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathic care, or strength training with our rehabilitation team, pregnancy massage can be an important tool for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Massage therapy can help reduce the aches and pains that come with the structural changes that accompany the growing fetus, including changes to gait and balance. It also improves blood and lymphatic flow which can help ease varicose veins or swelling. Massage therapy can also be part of your strategy for relaxation to improve sleep or produce calm in a sea of emotional and hormonal upheaval.
During pregnancy, special considerations must be made to accommodate the changes in a woman’s body and the growing baby inside. Like regular massage, your therapist will ask you questions regarding your general health and the areas you would most like to focus the treatment. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored and recorded. Any unusual symptoms or concerns you may have may also be noted, and the therapist will adjust the treatment accordingly.
Your massage therapist may decide that further medical advice should be sought from your midwife or physician before proceeding with massage treatment.
Pillowing and positioning is very different from regular massage, especially during the second and third trimesters, when the growing belly requires protection of the ligaments and arteries that surround the uterus, pelvis and low back. Issues with heartburn are also considered when pillowing.
Pressure is changed to moderate or light, so that both mother and baby remain within a state of relaxation, and do not feel any fight or flight stressor. Communication is very important throughout the treatment to ensure calm and comfort level is maintained.
After treatment, allow yourself time getting up, especially if you are prone to dizziness. Sit on the table before standing and allow your body time to adjust to the change in position. Drink plenty of water and have a small snack, if necessary, post treatment. Your therapist will also give home-care exercises and ideas to incorporate into your routine that will aid you in your pregnancy journey.
Post-natal care, including scar tissue mobilization for Caesarian section, is also recommended to ensure your continued health as your body continues to change, and your new little one makes their presence known: at all hours of the night, in strange feeding positions, in and out of the car seat and crib. Feel free to contact us to find out more about our New Leaf Wellness team, and the many services they can provide for your growing family.
(Rattray and Ludwig, Clinical Massage Therapy, 2005, p177-191)
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