Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy Massage

Massage has been used as an effective pain relief in pregnancy and labour in women’s health throughout many cultures since ancient times.

  • • Massage provides psychological as well as physiological benefits for an expectant mother by reducing stress and anxiety regarding the pregnancy and impending birth.

  • • Physiological benefits include relief to over-burdened muscles; aches and pains particularly for shoulders, neck, legs and the lower back as the body adjust to the growing baby.

  • • Massage also provides a place for the positive enhancement of an expectant mothers changing shape.

  • • Fatigue and sleep deprivation are also common occurrences for pregnant women, massage promotes relaxation and better sleep.

  • • Massage provides a restorative space for mum, a time for inner awareness and emotional support.

The benefits of prenatal massage therapy has been studied by The Touch Research Centre in the USA, studies highlighted reduced stress, (lower cortisol levels, stress indicator) and less obstetrical complications during labour. Other research revealed further benefits of regular massage on pregnant women including reduced depression and anxiety, as well reducing leg and back pain. Massage was even found to reduce labour pain and the duration of labour by up to 3 hours! (Field, 2010) Regular massage was also found to contribute to a lowered premature births and reduced incidence of postnatal depression. (Field, 2009).

Massage is Safe for ALL Stages of your Pregnancy

First trimester pregnancy massage is possible and safe. As long as you are over the early stages of morning sickness, massage can be performed safely and comfortably. Many women do not even find out they are pregnant until the first trimester is over and carry on their normal activities in life. Safe massage practice during this time can ease possible feelings of anxiety regarding the pregnancy and can help a women to centre herself in preparation for her journey. Pregnancy massage during the first trimester can also alleviate normal muscular aches and pains just as effectively as general remedial massage would do.

Second Trimester pregnancy massage focuses on the musculoskeletal changes that are beginning to occur, due to the growing baby and uterus expansion and joint changes. The resultant weight gain shifts a women’s normal centre of gravity which increases the normal curvature of the spine and compresses lumbar vertebra as the body makes compensation. Sciatic pain may occur. Added pressure on the upper back and rib area as also noticeable as the baby grows. Shoulders and neck pain can occur as a result of these postural changes and also as the breast enlarge. These postural changes place stress on the lower back, upper back and neck and shoulders as they accommodate to the needs of the growing bub.

Third Trimester pregnancy massage supports musculoskeletal changes associated with the growing baby, gait changes occur and postural compensation becomes more pronounced. Hip, lower back and leg pain may increase, muscle cramping, pubic symphysis pain, carpel tunnel, all of the associated aches and pains may be at its most extreme. Breathlessness, fatigue, oedema in lower limbs are just a few of the discomforts an expectant mother may be feeling at this time. Growing awareness as the birth day draws closer. Feelings of anxiety, excitement, and worries are all normal emotions associated with bringing a new baby into the world. Pregnancy massage in third trimester shifts focus to the birth, offering a caring nurturing space for relaxation.
Check out this link from pregnancy massage Australia regarding massage in the first trimester.

And this great article by pregnancy massage pioneer Ellaine Stillerman published in the American publication Massage Today.

Journal articles from the Touch Research Institute, Miami Field, T., (2010), Pregnancy and labour massage therapy, Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 5:177-181.

Field, T., (1999), Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy, Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 20:31-38

Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Deeds, O., & Figueinedo, B., (2009), Pregnancy massage reduces prematurity, low birth weight and postpartum depression, Infant Behaviour & Development, 32:454 – 460.

"our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically,
if we are willing to listen"

Michelle's Remedial Massage Therapy | 105 Bunberra Street, Bomaderry, Nowra | 0400 575 302