The benefits of Massage during and postpartum pregnancy
Every mum to be, whether this is her first or a subsequent pregnancy, hopes she will simply sail through this 40 week miraculous life process. However, the initial euphoria can be a little overshadowed by “normal” but still highly palpable emotional and physical symptoms which will test her physical resolution and inner strength to their limits. Nausea, Heartburn, Sciatica, Backaches, Headaches and post birth- soft tissue care, can all be helped with the power of massage. The value of massage cannot be underestimated during pregnancy as it has been shown to decrease discomfort during pregnancy and labour.
Doubtless the focus on preparing for the actual birth will be uppermost in mum’s thoughts. But it is often the routine care which will pay the most beneficial health dividends, before the final event.
Medicine has determined that stress is the number one cause of premature birth. It is widely documented that massage relieves stress. From this we can conclude that the mum to be has more of a need for routine massage due to the association between stress and the onset of premature labour.
For her skin too changes can potentially present. Stretch marks appear in 50% of pregnant mums. There are pigmentation changes known as Melasma; “The Mask of Pregnancy” (also known as Chloasma). This will normally disappear after the birth. Spider Angiomas (“Spider Veins”), can also appear as well as Palmer Erythema (swelling and reddening of the palms), all of which normally disappear postpartum. Linea Nigra too is a darkening of the skin at the midline of the abdomen. It can be a quarter inch wide and run from the umbilicus to the pubic area. It is thought that both of these conditions are caused by increased oestrogen and progesterone hormones produced by the pregnancy. These conditions will normally fade within 1 to 2 months after delivery. There are metabolic changes too; water retention, blood volumes increase ( which means she will feel warmer than usual). Pulse rate increases by ten to fifteen beats per minute and she stores fat more readily. This is without touching on the extra strain placed on the musculoskeletal system due to her body’s and the baby’s weight increase as the term progresses. The power of human touch and a knowledgeable therapist to reassure can be a valuable addition to her care team. Through the power of feel-good massage, Jules can help the mum to be to physically and emotionally relax and therefore lower anxiety and optimise her health and well being pre baby’s arrival. After all, it is generally noted that a happy and relaxed mum will transfer these feel good cues to her unborn baby.
Postpartum…The baby is happy but are YOU? You now have your beautiful bundle of joy but then there is ..cooking/ cleaning/ shopping/ laundry/ plus other children and perhaps a partner to still give some attention to? Not to mention the overwhelming emotional reaction which usually starts about 5 days after the birth. You may feel sad, be sensitive and get upset easily. You may not be able to explain why. Whilst this stage usually disappears about 2 weeks later massage can be very powerful in helping you deal with postpartum blues. It will offer you important nurturing which in turn will support your new or extended role of “mothering”
Do you know your own stress signals? What are they? What can you do just FOR YOU during the 4-6 weeks postpartum period?
Jules would be delighted to offer an initial free telephone consultation where we can explore your personal needs and agree a detailed massage treatment plan from 14 to 40 weeks and or postpartum.
Call me on 07545 857751 or 01934 823820 to book your FREE initial consultation. If you get my ansaphone message, please lave your details and I will call you back as soon as I can.