Although pregnancy is a welcome blessing for most, it brings with it many changes. As a woman’s body changes, the mother now must adjust to her altered physiological and emotional functioning. The shape of the pregnant body shifts and her gait and other movement patterns are altered. It is also a time for mixed feelings of upheaval, anxiety, joy and euphoria. There are many physiological changes that a pregnant woman experiences during her pregnancy
Changes in: Cardiovascular; skin due to fluctuation in hormone levels; respiratory; musculoskeletal; breast tissue; digestive
It is important and beneficial for a pregnant woman to receive treatments throughout her pregnancy. In the first trimesters, it could help with feelings of nausea, breast tenderness, and other muscle aches. Massage therapy in the first trimester is safe as long as the massage therapist adjusts to the woman’s needs and concerns. Moving forward through the different trimesters massage therapy could be beneficial in order to aid in the changing body. The pregnant woman could also experience an abdominal massage beginning in the second trimester and think of it as her baby’s first massage!
Massage therapy can help by reducing stress, promote relaxation and can help facilitate the transitions in emotional support and physical changes. It can help reduce the negative effects of physiological changes; reduce musculoskeletal pain and strains; contribute to developing flexibility and body awareness. Further massage therapy can also have a role in post-partum pregnancy by reducing musculoskeletal and organic pain and by promoting postural corrections and rehabilitation of a post-partum body.
There are many indications for breast massage therapy. During pregnancy the breast tissue undergoes many changes throughout each semester and massage therapy can facilitate in easing those symptoms. Other indications include: general drainage problems, menstrual pain, breast swelling or congestions, blocked milk ducts, pre/post-surgery, symptomatic relief of pain, and overall assistance with breast health.
Breast Massage can also be used in conjunction with Manual Lymphatic Drainage with women experiencing drainage issues associated with breast cancer or other issues related to the lymphatic system.
Generally, breast massage therapy could be a good indicator for general breast health and it could be part of a woman’s massage therapy treatments.
Klara Ric, Registered Massage Therapist