Pregnancy is a time of
phenomenal change, the expectant mother experiences a range of physical,
emotional, chemical and hormonal changes. This experience should be viewed as
one of “healthy adaptations”. The postural adaptations to accommodate the
growing foetus can be uncomfortable, then again most change and adaptations
Your Changing Body
From the second trimester as
baby continues to thrive and grow your body begins to adapt to accommodate the
growing baby and the increased load on your own body. Your lower back will
gradually start to curve more, and your shoulders may also move back a bit to
make up for your shifting center of gravity and enlarging uterus. But remember
it is an adaptation and is temporary, —after pregnancy, as your body gradually
resumes its pre-pregnancy state, you’ll gradually resume your pre-pregnancy
stance as well.
As well as these physical
demands expectant mothers experience many hormonal and chemical changes. Relaxin,
a vital pregnancy hormone is increased in pregnancy and can be the source of
some decidedly unrelaxing aches and pains. Relaxing does just what you'd think
it does - it relaxes. Most importantly, it relaxes the intrauterine ligaments.
Your body needs flexibility so the uterus and pelvis can accommodate a baby
that will grow from a couple of cells to the size of a mid-sized watermelon. The relaxation effect isn't limited to your
uterus, the muscles, arteries and other connective tissues feel the effect of
this hormone. It’s no wonder pregnancy can become an emotionally charged experience
for many Expectant mothers.
As well as seeing your
midwife and obstetrician for regular checks remember to take care of your
mental health. Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary
option for prenatal care. Please note you should be at least 14 weeks pregnant
before receiving any Pregnancy Massage therapy. If you are classed as having a high-risk
pregnancy it is best to discuss your condition with your midwife or GP before
seeking a treatment.
Pregnancy Massage is
preformed with you lying in a side position whilst being support by pillows for
your comfort. It can help relieve many of the natural discomforts experienced
in pregnancy such as backache, stiff neck, cramps, headaches, joint pain and
stiffness as well as reduce anxiety, induce relaxation, ease muscle tension,
increase circulation and improve sleep.
Massage therapy increases the
production of your “feel good” hormones, serotonin and dopamine. It decreases
the levels of the “stress” hormone, cortisol, all together aiding to improve your
Field, T. (1999). Pregnant Women Benefit From
Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on
Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Howell ,Julie, NMT, PMT, Prenatal Health
Through Massage Therapy: For Women and Their Babies.