Massage is not recommended during the first trimester- your baby is still settling in!
There is conflicting evidence that massage could lead to miscarriage in the first trimester- at least in high-risk pregnancies. Our massage therapist Shannon is a member of the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and, following their guidelines, does not offer massage during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy at AcuNatural Health.
Instead, you can use this time to eat well, rest, and begin a gentle stretching routine that will support your body as it changes during your pregnancy.
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Throughout the second trimester, your body is changing rapidly, the pelvis and spine begin to shift to accommodate your growing baby, your digestive system may be upset by hormonal changes, and your circulation and lymphatic systems are placed under additional pressure!
Pregnancy massage can help your body adjust to all these changes.
Muscles are placed under strain, especially the calves, hamstrings, and lower back. Massage reduces muscle cramps and back pain and helps you readjust your posture.
During the second trimester, many women also experience a sluggish metabolism due to the extra demands on their lymphatic system. This can cause fatigue, and water retention in the ankles, legs, wrists, and back. Massage helps stimulate the lymphatic system, moving build-ups of intracellular fluid, and assisting in the removal of toxins.
Massage can also calm the nervous system, reducing excessive cortisol production which can have negative effects on the health of you and your baby.
During the second trimester, AcuNatural Health recommends women receive a massage once a month or fortnightly if suffering from water retention, difficulty sleeping, or headaches.
As your baby continues to grow and your body begins to prepare for labor, your muscular-skeletal system continues to shift and change. Throughout pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released, loosening your joints to prepare your hips to accommodate your growing baby. Muscles you never knew you had can become tight to compensate for your loose joints, especially during the final trimester.
Massage can help reduce this discomfort and many women find regular massages during the final trimester helps them feel more comfortable in their bodies.
Regular massage can also assist with problems caused by hormonal changes, such as nausea and headaches, and difficulty sleeping.
Water retention is often a big problem during this stage of pregnancy, and regular massages help keep your circulation moving.
Taking time to focus on you and the needs of your body during the final trimester will help you prepare for the arrival of your baby.
AcuNatural Health recommends fortnightly massage during the third trimester, and weekly in the last 4 weeks before you are due.
Of course, many new mums find it challenging to take time for themselves! However, the unique demands of childbirth and breast-feeding also create changes to your body that can be remedied with a massage.
Many women’s hips do not return to their original position following labor, and this can cause long term lower back pain. A hip adjustment from our trained massage therapist Shannon can re-align your body after labor.
The physical demands of nursing a young baby often cause shoulder and neck pain for new mums, and this can be alleviated with massage. Nursing can also cause mastitis, and our massage therapist Shannon can show you self-massage techniques to assist with this.
AcuNatural Health recommends three sessions in the three months after birth, to help you and your body settle in to being a new mum, and to allow yourself an hour of peace and pampering!
Please call AcuNatural Health on (07) 3162 6888 and ask for an appointment with our massage therapist Shannon, and allow us to work with you towards a healthy and happy pregnancy.