Pregnancy is a wonderful time for many women. A time to wonder at how amazing nature is, and at the things our bodies can do. But it is also a time when our bodies are under a great deal of strain, as they develop this whole new human.
In my massage practice, I see a whole range of pregnancy related issues. I’ve written about the myths surrounding pregnancy massage before, and also some of the general benefits. But today, I want to look at some of the main issues which Massage can help with.
I’ve helped many women find relief from these pregnancy problems, with resulting improved sleep, easier days, and generally a less stressed out mum-to-be.
Which is good for the mum, and baby.
Top 5 Issues of Pregnancy-
- Backache – Most women I see during pregnancy have some degree of backache. Usually in the lower back, but depending on their job, upper back issues can also play up. This is simply due to the strain on the back with the developing baby and bump. Postural factors can also play a part as can lack of appropriate exercise (before and during pregnancy). Women that are regular yoga or Pilates people, generally have less issues as their core and back muscles are in better condition to deal with the strain. I recommend most of my ladies attend a suitable pregnancy yoga or Pilates class.
A massage treatment can ease the sore muscles and tightness whether it is low or upper areas that are the problem. Being able to lie on your side, supported by cushions, means that I can still work into the shoulder and neck muscles, as well as the lower back and hips, to give an appropriate, muscles releasing massage.
- Heavy Legs and Cramp – due to sluggish ‘muscle pump’ because of the extra effort required to pump round the extra blood, and get it to the baby and the mums vitals. Some women develop fluid build up resulting in puffiness, especially around the ankles. If you have severe fluid retention then a specialist treatment such as MLD is required, but for less severe cases, a general massage can help. Even if there is no obvious puffiness, the heavy feeling is relieved by getting things moving and helping the body to ‘pump’. A leg treatment can also reduce the incidence of calf cramps, which is another common problem experienced by pregnant women, especially at night.
- Pelvic Girdle Pain – a pain round the front, under the bump. It causes a lot of women much distress as not only is it painful but they worry it is something to do with the baby. Usually it is due to strain on the ligaments and muscles under the bump. It is actually due to tightness in the back and rear pelvis area – the glutes and deep hip rotators. Women are often amazed to find the pain lessened after I have worked into these deep muscles at the back. But as with so much in the body, the pain is not always where the problem is.
- Sciatica Type Pain – this is that horrible pain that shoots down the legs. It is common in pregnancy due to the tight muscles in the pelvic area impinging on the sciatic nerve. It’s not true sciatica in that it is not coming from the back, (most ‘sciatica’ I see in the clinic is actually this sciatica type pain, but we refer to is as sciatica for simplicity). Again, working into the hips and glutes can really help this, as can appropriate stretching.
I have some top tips for home work I give to women which can help to ease the tightness, and relieve the pain. Again women are often pleasantly surprised at the reduction in pain after a session. The homework i suggest can help maintain this.
- General Weariness – Being pregnant is tiring. No, its exhausting. Especially if women are trying to keep working as long as possible, or already have 1 or more children to look after.
Sleep can be disturbed due to baby’s deciding to kick and play all night. Or just the discomfort of lying down, and the sheer number of pillows needed to support you getting in the way. Then of course the need to get up several times a night.
So no wonder women love to come and lie on my special pregnancy memory foam cushions, where they feel more comfortable than they have in months, and they can relax, snooze, and have their aches and pains eased for at least an hour ( I recommend 90 mins or even 2 hours for a real switch off treatment). For more detail on my specific pregnancy treatments check out my therapies page.
Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life, but some problems that can occur are pretty universal. However they can be relieved with appropriate actions – yoga, exercise and of course massage. If you or someone you know is pregnant and needing some help with these type of issues then seek out a suitably qualified massage therapist. You can find them on listings such as Wellmother or Jing or CNHC
If you are in Dunfermline, Glenrothes or Edinburgh then get in touch with me to find out more or to book an appointment/buy a gift voucher.