Massage Therapy for any Stage of Pregnancy
Written By: Stephanie Maxwell RMT
Along with the joys and excitement of pregnancy, also comes the aches and the pains… at any stage of gestation!
If you’ve never been pregnant before you may think that’s it’s only closer to the end of a pregnancy that one can become sore and tired and the extra weight and fluid seems to take its toll. This is not always the case. One can experience discomfort throughout their entire pregnancy and into their postpartum period. Making small humans is a ton of work that affects every aspect of our lives!
Massage therapy is a very safe and effective tool
in all trimesters of pregnancy.
There is no reason for a pregnant individual to deny themselves a massage in the first trimester. Massage therapy is actually of most benefit to the pregnant client from early in the first trimester onwards. The earlier one can start to receive massage therapy the better the outcome for pregnancy related fluid retention, pelvic alignment, postural changes and well-being. Massage therapists can help decrease pregnancy related aches and pains by applying soothing techniques to sore muscles as they begin to adapt to ever increasing loads as the baby grows.
One of the main goals of pregnancy massage is to obtain sound pelvic alignment. A massage therapist can assess the pregnant pelvis in order to determine any muscular imbalances. They can release short and tight muscles, suggest strengthening for weak muscles and provide pregnancy related postural education. When the pelvis is balanced it creates the best position for uterine alignment, as well as optimal pelvic floor and deep core function. A balanced and aligned pelvis will help the baby sit in the best position possible, it can also aid in more physical comfort for the pregnant person, create an optimal space for baby and thus support a better birth experience. With the aid of special positioning and propping, birth parents and their pregnant bellies feel supported and cared for while receiving a very well-deserved massage.
In the postpartum period, massage therapy is a wonderful medium to treat breastfeeding related muscular tension, provide cesarean birth scar tissue treatments, support pelvic alignment as the pelvis moves back to its pre-pregnancy state, and provide much needed selfcare and nurturance for new, exhausted birth parents.
About the Author
Stephanie Maxwell is a Registered Massage Therapist at Wolseley Wellness Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her practice focuses on prenatal, postpartum and infant massage therapy. A massage therapy educator, she teaches the pregnancy module at Evolve School of Massage Therapy. She is a certified yoga teacher who specializes in postnatal yoga, and yoga for pelvic health. She also is the mother of two little awesome boys.