Massage for labour and delivery and for newborn infants was traditionally practiced by midwives and/or helpers. This massage positioned the woman and fetus during delivery and aided in expelling the fetus, and relieving pain.
Pregnancy massage can be performed prone (face-down) for months 1 – 4. Later it can progress to a side-lying position, with the woman propped up with pillows and bolsters along her stomach / chest for added support, with her knees slightly bent. This position eases stress to her spine, and strain to her lower back muscles.
- Hormonal changes often cause fatigue, nausea, and water retention
- Fluid Increase in blood pressure and lack of mobility presents as puffiness in legs, hands, feet and can compress nerves possibly leading to carpal tunnel syndrome
- As the baby grows, ligaments relax in the ribs and pelvis
- Moderate joint and muscular discomfort
- Increased curve in low back causing pain, tension and discomfort
- Pelvis drops forward and widens increasing strain on hips, legs, and feet
- Ligaments in the front and back become overstretched
- Shoulders tend to round forward causing tightening of pecs and mid-back, causing pain between the shoulder blades
- Head moves into a forward-head position, causing neck and shoulder pain
- Abdominal muscles stretch out, with possible instability along the spine
Broad, gentle Swedish massage techniques help relax her, before more localized work. This type of massage consists of light stroking to the back and shoulders. Massage is concentrated on the lower back, lumbar spine and sacro-Iliac joints. Deep tissue massage works into the hip muscles (iliopsoas major and quadratus lumborum).
Benefits of pregnancy massage:
- One of the most effective ways to provide stress relief for pregnant patients
- Relief for low back pain
- Releases stress on the lower back, without endangering the fetus
- Relieves fluid retention and pressure due to weight gain
- Encourages blood circulation
- Promotes restful sleep.
Wishing you a safe, healthy and easy delivery.
Only members of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) are allowed to use the designation Massage Therapist (MT) or Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
Massage Therapy is not covered by OHIP, but many private insurance companies cover treatment from a massage therapist as part of their employee health plan. Please consult your policy.