Pregnancy Massage: positioning

Your top priority when coming for a pregnancy massage is likely to be that you want a relaxing experience. Plus, if you are experiencing specific aches and pains you are surely going to want those to be eased with a thoroughly good hands on treatment. The good news is, you will get all of that in a pregnancy massage with us.

For me, as the massage therapist, my aims are to give you that relaxation and space to breathe, alleviate your discomfort and high on my list of priorities is to keep you and your baby safe. A massage treatment always starts with a health screening – this is for your benefit and makes sure that there are no underlying health issues which mean massage might not be suitable for you (this has only happened once in all my years of giving treatments). Rest assured, the few minutes we spend on this are vital and you might even learn something.

Many of my pregnant clients have had treatments with other therapists and not been entirely happy. I always ask why, because I want to learn and improve on my own treatments. On more than one occasion clients have mentioned that they have been uncomfortable during the treatment. Well that’s not right is is!?

Being warm and comfortable is vital if you are going to relax. If you aren’t, then I may as well not bother trying to work my magic because it’s likely you won’t be receptive. I want you to have a positive experience – that is after all what you want and need.

I was astonished to hear from one client that she was laid on her back for the entire duration of her hour long massage (she was 32 weeks). This is a big no-no. Why? Well, the growing baby can cause pressure on internal organs which move around and put pressure on various internal structures. As the baby grows and become heavier it puts pressure on veins and arteries carrying blood (the aorta and inferior vena cava) when laying on your back.

Why does this matter? Here’s the physiology lesson for you – the vena cava is a major vein which carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Compression of this vein can lead to a fall in your hearts output, low blood pressure, and decreased circulation of blood and therefore – importantly – decreased oxygen to your heart and the baby. It’s the same reason you are warned against sleeping on your back, or swim on your back, in late pregnancy. The best position for a treatment is for you to be laying on your side, and when needed, on an inclined couch (we have one of these). I will always ensure you are comfortable and safe – we have numerous pillows to prop where needed and a fleecy blanket to keep you warm and cosy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that positioning is vital. Not only for your comfort but for the overall health and well-being of both you and your baby. I adapt your treatment to make sure, 100%, that you are relaxed and safe. As always, we love to educate our clients so you will leave our treatment room not only rejuvenated but also with greater knowledge about your body, exercise and movement to keep you pain free during your pregnancy.


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