Nurturing touch during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period is not a new concept. It is tailored to a woman’s need and comfort as her body wonderfully blossoms through the various stages of pregnancy. At the start of the session, various pillows and bolsters are provided to ensure maximum support and comfort in her position. Cream/oil is used during the session while she is positioned unclothed between the sheets properly draped for her privacy and comfort.

Prenatal Massage

Throughout history, massage and movement during the childbearing experience was, and continues to be, a prominent part of many health care approaches. Pregnancy massage has been proven to help in numerous ways.

Massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissues by stroking and stretching of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. One major physiological effect of this manipulation is an increase in blood circulation to the muscles being massaged. This results in more oxygen and nutrient transported in blood and available in tissues. In addition, enhanced blood flow will remove metabolic waste products that have built up in the muscles. Some other major physiological effects of soft tissue manipulation include improving muscle pliability and joint flexibility, decreasing muscle tension, and calming nervous irritability.

A typical massage therapy session can address pregnancy’s various physical challenges: edema, gastrointestinal discomforts, postural changes, and pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips. Swedish massage may facilitate gestation by supporting cardiac function, placental and mammary development, and increasing cellular respiration. It also reduces edema and contributes to sympathetic nervous system sedation. Deep tissue, trigger point, and both active and passive movements alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints and myofascial structures, especially the sacroiliac; and balancing and postural
reeducation reduce neck and back pain caused by improper posture and strain to the uterine ligaments.

Prenatal massage therapy can also facilitate ease of labor by preparing the muscles for release and support during childbirth. Effective prenatal massage sessions can provide emotional support and relaxation for the mother to be. This support and relaxation help combat the effects of stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which creates healthy immune system functioning and emotional states; and reduces fear and anxiety.

Your Session

Throughout history, massage and movement during the childbearing experience was, and continues to be, a prominent part of many health care approaches. Pregnancy massage has been proven to help in numerous ways.

Massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissues by stroking and stretching of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. One major physiological effect of this manipulation is an increase in blood circulation to the muscles being massaged. This results in more oxygen and nutrient transported in blood and available in tissues. In addition, enhanced blood flow will remove metabolic waste products that have built up in the muscles. Some other major physiological effects of soft tissue manipulation include improving muscle pliability and joint flexibility, decreasing muscle tension, and calming nervous irritability.

A typical massage therapy session can address pregnancy’s various physical challenges: edema, gastrointestinal discomforts, postural changes, and pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips. Swedish massage may facilitate gestation by supporting cardiac function, placental and mammary development, and increasing cellular respiration. It also reduces edema and contributes to sympathetic nervous system sedation. Deep tissue, trigger point, and both active and passive movements alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints and myofascial structures, especially the sacroiliac; and balancing and postural
reeducation reduce neck and back pain caused by improper posture and strain to the uterine ligaments.

Prenatal massage therapy can also facilitate ease of labor by preparing the muscles for release and support during childbirth. Effective prenatal massage sessions can provide emotional support and relaxation for the mother to be. This support and relaxation help combat the effects of stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which creates healthy immune system functioning and emotional states; and reduces fear and anxiety.

Benefits

Reduces stress and promotes relaxation.

Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures (sacro-iliac joint, mid-back and lumbar spine, hips).

Combats tension, fatigue, and headaches, soothe nerves to help with sleep problems, and possibly reduce blood pressure through relaxation and stress reduction.

increases blood and lymph circulation and supports the physiological process of gestation, by supporting the work of the heart, increasing cellular respiration,reducing edema, and contributing to sympathetic nervous system sedation.

Encourages deeper, easier breathing.

Provides a pregnant woman with the experience and model of loving, nurturing touch that encourages her to touch her baby lovingly.

Provides emotional support and physical nurturing, particularly for those who are alone in the process, either literally or by the emotional absence of the partner.

Reduces the possibility of problems with swelling, varicose veins, and leg cramps.

Enhances self-esteem and self image, helping the pregnant woman feel more at home in her changing body.

Reduces and alleviates neck, back, and joint pain caused by posture, muscle weakness, tension, extra weight, or imbalance.

Assists with the management of digestive complaints such as constipation, gas, nausea, and indigestion.

Develops the sensory awareness and relaxation necessary to be an active and responsive participant in the birth experience. (in order to birth, the musculature of the legs, back, abdomen, and pelvic floor must release to allow the uterus to labor with no resistance).

Relieves muscle spasms, cramps, and fibrosis.

Contraindications

Complications of pregnancy, which would contraindicate massage therapy (if resolved,participation is possible with physician’s release):

  • Threatened miscarriage
  • Early labor
  • Placental dysfunctions
  • GEPH (Pre-eclampsia)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Eclampsia (Toxemia)

Other conditions contraindicating participation in massage therapy (if resolved,
participation is possible with physician’s release):

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease (3rd trimester)
  • Kidney and bladder diseases
  • Any infectious disease
  • Cancer or undiagnosed lumps
  • Severe varicose veins (contraindicated for affected for affected area only)
  • Thrombophlebitis (contraindicated for affected for affected area only)
  • Skin irritation and/or discharge (contraindicated for affected area only)
  • Lupus erythematosus and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (contraindicated for affected area only)

High Risk Pregnancies, as defined by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (in some cases, requires physician’s release):

  • Pre-pregnancy diabetes mellitus
  • Cardiac, pulmonary, or liver disorders
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Previous problem pregnancy
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Mother’s age under 18 or over 35
  • Asthmatic mother
  • RH-negative factor or maternal genetic problems, including DES exposure and other uterine abnormalities
  • Risk of fetal genetic disorders
  • Convulsive disorders
  • Intrauterine growth retardation, abnormal fetal movement or heartbeat
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrom

Pregnancy gives a whole new meaning to being beautiful inside and out.

Congratulations, you are gorgeous!

 

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