What is it?
Pregnancy massage is designed to work safely with your changing body during pregnancy, to nurture and care for you and your baby during this amazing time. It helps to relieve pain, and to promote a sense of calmness and well-being, which are important both for your experience of your pregnancy, and for the development of your baby.
What techniques do you use?
Techniques may be drawn from holistic or deep tissue massage, but adapted to pregnancy. Your body is in a unique state during pregnancy, and I am trained to know what to do, what not to do, and how best to look after you and your baby. My studies have included anatomy, pathology and physiology, both general and pregnancy-specific, as well as trigger points which can alleviate headaches and sickness, and induce labour (to be avoided or not, depending on where you are in your pregnancy). We will discuss the position and support you need to be comfortable, as well as any other requirements you might have.
What's it for?
In addition to the benefits described on the “Benefits of massage” page, pregnancy massage is helpful because it:
Increases circulation, including to all your vital organs and to the placenta, assisting your baby’s development.
Helps regulate blood pressure.
Relieves pain associated with pregnancy.
Helps with fluid retention and swollen ankles.
Calms and relaxes, and improves mood.
Regular pregnancy massage has been shown to:
Improve wellbeing in mothers
Reduce labour pain.
Support the development of the baby, reduce prematurity, and improve outcomes for newborns.
It is especially helpful for mums who are depressed or anxious.
See here for a summary of some research:
https://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/AdultMassage.html (scroll down to “Pregnancy”)
Field, T. (2010). Pregnancy and labor massage therapy. Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 177-181.
Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. (2005) Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci. 115(10):1397-413.
“Emma’s are the best massages I’ve had. She is respectful and gentle, and I feel calmer just being in that room. I get deeper relaxation during my massages with Emma than at any other time. Her massages also feel really anatomical, like she knows where to find sore areas.”
Jane, manager and mother