Prenatal aromatherapy massage
What is prenatal aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy prenatal (pregnancy) massage is a relaxing massage with essential oils designed to alleviate stress in the expectant mother and treat the symptoms which often appear during pregnancy as well as help the body maintain its optimum health during this period. Pregnancy can be a challenging time, physically, psychologically and emotionally, which is why it is so necessary for mums to recieve some nurturing themselves. Mums are so preoccupied with changing their life and their diet so as to best nurture the new life growing within, that they may forget that they also need to be nurtured during this period.
Aromatherapy prenatal massage can help to reduce and alleviate the following conditions:
stress, oedema fatigue, muscular aches and pains, back strain, pain caused by varicose veins, carpal tunnel syndrome etc.
It can help: circulation (aiding blood flow to the uterus), tone skin and muscles, prevent stretch marks, maintain a healthy immune system and can help the mother to feel good about herself and the changes in her body, lower stress and anxiety, help the digestion system through reflex points.
How can stress affect the expectant mother?
Some researchers postulate a possible link between stress in pregnant women and ADD in children. Additionally research shows that stress in the expectant mother might cause the following conditions: increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure, a decrease in immune system functioning, reduce the blood supply to the uterus, affect fetal development, increase fetal distress which can result in the baby crying more after birth, irritability and digestive problems. Massage can help decrease stress.
Can I benefit from a specialist pregnancy massage therapist in other ways?
You can learn: how to do exercises which will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, self massage techniques, perineum massage, better breathing techniques (you will find once your pregnancy advances that your breathing becomes less efficient and more difficult), how to improve your posture (which inevitably suffers as your pregnancy advances).
How is pregnancy massage different than the massages I had before pregnancy?
The massage is done in the side-lying position and with a slightly different style, slower and more relaxing. I also like to include a visualisation at the end for mum to bond with the baby.
Massage is not recommended in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially not abdominal massage.
After week 22, you will not be massaged laying on your back but the massage will be performed with you lying on your side (this is because when you lay on your back there is too much pressure on the vena cava which is the main blood supply to the uterus). There will only be superficial stroking of the abdomen, to relax both you and the baby and help prevent stretch marks. Some points on the body (acupressure and reflexology) are completely avoided due to the belief that some points are associated with the ovaries and the uterus and can be stimulated to bring on labor.
Pregnancy massage performed at Momma Zen can either be done on the table with Swedish and deep tissue techniques or can be done on a mat on the floor as Thai massage adapted for pregnant women.
Is massage safe for pregnant women?
There are some cases where a pregnant woman should not be massaged, these cases are listed below. Additionally, if you feel any doubts about whether or not you should have a massage while you are pregnant, it might help if you consult your obstetrician. In the following conditions, massage should not be performed or can only be performed with the permission of your obstetrician:
high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
high risk pregnancies
You should not have a massage in the following situations:
just after eating (you should not eat less than two hours before massage)
if there is vaginal bleeding
during morning sickness or other nausea
if you have a fever
if there is a decrease in foetal movement (over a 10 hour period)
during a case of diarrhoea
when there is abdominal pain
if you have recently had an amniocentesis or CVS (chronic villus sampling)
Click here for further information on the use of aromatherapy in pregnancy.