Melbourne Pregnancy Massage

At Brighton Bay Physiotherapy, we believe pregnancy massage therapy is important. 

Studies suggest that pregnancy massage therapy can help relieve musculoskeletal (muscles and joints) tension and pain, reduce stress and anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, and physically prepare the body for labor and after birth. For centuries massage therapy has been used to improve overall health, wellness and to relieve musculoskeletal tension and reduce stress.

The massage therapy used during pregnancy at Brighton Bay Physiotherapy at our clinic here in Bentleigh, is called Swedish Massage. During this massage, mild pressure is applied to various muscle groups such as in the upper and lower back, and gluteal region and its effects are on relaxation of muscle tension, improved blood and lymphatic circulation. Swedish Massage is the preferred technique during pregnancy as it addresses musculoskeletal and circulatory discomforts caused by the hormonal peaks during pregnancy.

The following benefits of pregnancy massage are:

  • Hormonal regulation
  • Reduction of swelling
  • Pain relieve

Other benefits are:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of musculoskeletal tissues
  • Better sleep
  • Improved function and quality of life
  • Improved sense of wellbeing

Hormonal regulation

Studies suggest prenatal massage therapy facilitates relaxation and reduces stress and depression. This has a beneficial impact on the degree of hormonal level fluctuation, and consequently promotes mood regulation and cardiovascular health. Women who received twice weekly massages over five weeks had a reduction in stress hormones (norepinephrine and cortisol) and increases in serotonin and dopamine levels (mood enhancing hormones). As a result of these changes in hormones, there were fewer birth and newborn complications. Thus evidence is strong regarding the overall maternal health benefits of therapeutic massage during pregnancy.

Reduction of swelling

During pregnancy the uterus becomes heavy causing increased pressure on the main blood vessels which indirectly reduce circulation. The result is increased swelling of the joints, especially the hands and feet being the furthest circulatory from the heart. Massage therapy helps to facilitate removal of excess fluid by stimulating the soft tissues. This also helps with the removal of tissue waste when guided towards the lymph system via a sweeping technique.

Pain relief

The increasing size of the abdomen and uterus during pregnancy places extra stress on local tissue structures such the pelvic floor and lower back muscles, and joints in the pelvis and lower back. This in turn can cause lower back pain, pubic/pelvic pain, or sciatic nerve pain (pain which may or may not refer down the leg/s). In addition, instability in the lumbar or sacroiliac joint (pelvic joint) is another symptom during pregnancy as the hormone relaxing causes stretching and softening of ligaments and joints to help prepare the body for child birth. From clinical experience, local muscle structures in the buttock, especially the piriformis muscles can tighten when instability in the pelvis is evident, which in turn may lead to acute sciatic nerve root compression causing lower back or leg pain. Massage therapy can help reduce the tension of nearby muscles and address the inflamed nerves aiding in pain relief. Thus, women getting regular pregnancy massage therapy have reported a significant reduction in nerve, lower back and pelvic pain.

What makes us different to other massage therapists?

In Australia, massage is not a regulated industry which means that there are no minimum training standards that a massage therapist must complete. Consequently you could be putting your health in the hands of someone who has only completed a few days of formal training.

At Brighton Bay Physiotherapy, our pregnancy massages are provided by registered physiotherapists who have completed rigorous tertiary education and acquired a high level of theoretical knowledge and skill. Physiotherapist are trained to identify problems with joint and nerve function as well and thus we are able to provide you with a more comprehensive assessment and treatment and identify all the problems underlying your pain. As part of the pregnancy massage package here at Brighton Bay Physiotherapy, your Physiotherapist may also prescribe stretching and core stability home exercise plan to help support the lower back and pelvis to stabilise and reduce pain. We also offer tummy supports named Tubigrip to help alleviate ongoing lower back & pelvic pain.

Pregnancy Massage Precautions & Contraindications

During your consultation with the Physiotherapist, it's important to raise any questions or concerns regarding your own and unborn baby's health prior to treatment. At Brighton Bay Physiotherapy, we have a special pregnancy table with a hole which enables you to lie on your tummy. However, if you are not comfortable with this position, or when the belly is really large, it is advisable that side lying during treatment is the safest position for you and your baby.

It is also very important to notify the clinician if you have the following:

  • Very swollen hands and feet
  • Have experienced pre-term contractions or consistent Braxton Hicks contractions
  • High risk pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Previous pre-term labor
  • Recently gave birth
  • Scan abnormalities
  • Recent or previous miscarriage/s

Given the above is all clear, pregnancy massage therapy is best commenced anytime after 12 weeks ONLY due to the increased statistical risk of miscarriage during the first trimester.

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Last Updated - July 23, 2014

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167 Centre Rd Bentleigh Melbourne 3204