Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage Therapy
Prenatal massage is focused on relaxation and the physical changes associated with pregnancy and birthing. Pregnancy is a wonderful time to make subtle changes in a mother's body because of the hormone relaxin that is present. This hormone helps to loosen ligaments and joints to accommodate the growing baby and prepare the pelvis for birth. Massage and craniosacral techniques can be used to gently mobilize restrictions in the body (ie. abdominal organs, diaphragm, pelvis) to optimize space for baby in utero and pelvic mobility for birthing. By creating more space for a growing baby we can reduce complications during and after birth. With adequate room to manoeuvre, babies are less likely to become stuck in the pelvis in sub-optimal birth positions, reducing the potential use of extraction devices (vacuum, forceps) or surgery. It also makes them less likely to have issues like torticollis, plagiocephaly, scoliosis or hip dysplasia after birth.
Pregnancy massage can help relieve pain and fatigue often encountered in the lower back, neck, hips and legs as well as help decrease swelling, carpal tunnel and restless legs symptoms. It is also good for assisting in relaxation and promoting better sleep.
Postpartum treatments are useful in restoring healthy pelvic and core function after birth as well as helping mothers maintain good posture while caring for a new infant. These treatments can include breast massage to help improve flow by decreasing congestion or blockages.
What to expect
It is completely safe to receive massage therapy at any stage in your pregnancy - unless your doctor advises against it.
Pregnancy treatments are performed in a sidelying or semi-reclined position once it is uncomfortable to be on your stomach (usually second trimester). I do not use pregnancy pillows that allow for face down treatment after the middle of the second trimester as I believe there is less stress on the back and uterine ligaments to be sidelying or semi -reclined.
© Copyright Krista Eisner RMT