Massage in pregnancy (prenatal massage) is generally considered safe after the first trimester if the pregnancy is straightforward and there are no underlying health conditions. It uses long strokes rather than deep pressure and is an excellent way to melt away stresses and strains, as well as easing tired muscles. 

Massage in Pregnancy Explained 

During pregnancy the body undergoes some fundamental transformations including postural changes, an influx of hormones, weight gain, breast enlargement and increased blood volume. The change of the body posture during pregnancy alters the centre of gravity which affects the musculoskeletal system. The increasing weight of the baby can cause a compensatory lumbar lordosis (increased inward curve of the lower back), whilst increased breast size can cause rounded shoulders and compensatory thoracic kyphosis (increased outward curve of the thoracic spine). Both of these changes are temporary but can cause increased load of the soft tissue (muscle, tendons and ligaments) associated with the back, neck and the trunk. Hormones released during pregnancy like relaxin can also cause increased mobility of the pelvic joints which is beneficial during childbirth. However, this can also be responsible for sacro-iliac or pubic pain whilst pregnant. 

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage 

Most pregnant women can experience intermittent periods of back pain which is related to the increased load on soft tissues. Pain which is related to soft tissue irritation will tend to occur on movement or when we stretch. Massage in pregnancy can help relieve muscle pain and ease tension which benefits soft tissue that is overloaded. When pain is more constant during pregnancy, medical advice should be obtained. Sharp pain in the sacroiliac or pubic region on movement is often related to increased joint laxity which can be supported using a maternity support brace or Serola belt. Moreover, if you are feeling stressed or anxious during pregnancy a prenatal massage can help. Massage while pregnant helps relax the nervous system and promotes the production of endorphins as well as serotonin which can calm and reduce stress for both the mother and baby. 
 

Massage In Pregnancy at Colchester Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic 

In conclusion, a prenatal massage can be of great benefit to the mother and baby, both emotionally and physiologically during a special but turbulent time. Massage promotes relaxation and sleep, and can help bonding with the baby, soothes nerves, calm anxiety and diminish aches and pains. If you feel you would benefit from massage in pregnancy, Kath Birks, our qualified massage therapist, would be happy to help. We are also happy to show a friend, family member or partner some massage techniques which they can share with you when needed. Feel free to book an appointment via phone (01206 579631) or use our online booking system below. 
Get in touch with the team here at Colchester Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic for honest advice and recommendations! 
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