Sep 27, 2022

Are you struggling with pain during pregnancy?  Or just seeking a pregnancy massage to relieve stress and tension?  Maybe you’ve been fine throughout and are now experiencing sudden onset of lower back stiffness?

With waiting lists high on the NHS, it can be very difficult to access the relevant services when you need them -and let’s face it – this is a time critical condition!  Many people experience worse back pain with their second or third pregnancies and this can be for a multitude of reasons.  If the pregnancies are close together, or they are picking up other children many times a day; or carrying the child on their hip.  The awkwardness of car seats coupled with the depth of cots all make for interesting times when navigating pregnancy.  Often core strength has not fully recovered from the previous pregnancy and the combined effects can be quite disabling.  Pregnancy physio can be a fantastic way of managing this.

At Chapman Physiotherapy we want to get you functional, strong and able to manage your symptoms as we aim to resolve them.  We can advice on pregnancy belts to support the pelvis and deliver pregnancy massage to alleviate symptoms.  We can also advise and deliver an exercise regime to enable you to strengthen your core and pelvic floor, essential during pregnancy.  This pregnancy physio can make recovery so much faster after the birth too!

Why have pregnancy massage?

During pregnancy your body goes through an immense change in hormones and this quickly becomes apparent during your first trimester.  This period can be overwhelming with symptoms of depression, extreme fatigue, anxiety and aches and pains.  It’s an incredibly exciting time but is the start of a huge change to your body and you and your baby deserve to feel as relaxed as possible during the process.

Aches and pains may include sciatica, cramps, swelling and back and neck pain.  Some experience nausea and headaches, and relaxation can be an essential part of managing these symptoms.  Massage can be a very helpful tool for pregnancy low back pain.

During this early stage of pregnancy, you may be comfortable laying on your front still but if not we can totally work around this.  Comfortable positioning in side lying can be achieved with pillows and towels; you need to be completely relaxed to benefit from the pregnancy massage.

At this stage we would also recommend starting pelvic floor exercises and this can be facilitated by our physios who are trained by the APPI (Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute).  The more strength and control you can get in the bank at this stage, the more grateful you will be for it in the long term!

In the second trimester, regular pregnancy massage can be really helpful to ease the aches from weight gain.  During this stage, many are still working full time and managing the demands of work, home and family life whilst coping with the changing structural alignment and hormones that pregnancy brings.

Often you have more energy during this stage, but that usually means you try to achieve more and be very productive!  Relaxation pregnancy massage can ensure the essential well-being that you deserve – you are growing a baby after all!  It helps to decrease stress, tension and anxiety, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being.  Our therapists find your position of comfort, whether supported side lying, or sitting backwards in a chair (facing a chair back) and will work in this position.

Finally when the third trimester approaches, we hope you are in a routine of regular pregnancy massage and self appreciation!  But if not – it’s never too late to start.  This is the stage when low back and hip pain increases, the swelling in legs and arms can start, the restlessness, the going to the loo many times a night, fatigue and headaches!  All is not lost… and it will all be worth it in the end!  Massage can ease this tension, cramps and reduce swelling in arms and legs.  It’s very important for you and your baby to be comfortable, relaxed and ready.  As the due date approaches, the hormone relaxin is produced to increase pelvic laxity for birth.  This can in course increase aches and pains.  We can help to manage this.

Pregnancy and Exercise

Our physiotherapists can work with you pre and post natal to improve your core strength, address aches and pains and strengthen your pelvic floor.  We can provide as much or as little input as you wish and we recognise that during pregnancy, there are often time and cost constraints.  Our exercise programs can be emailed to you via Physiotec which enables you to view your bespoke exercises and record what you are doing.  Each time you visit, your physio will be able to see how you have been getting on and progress them accordingly!  This allows you to do your exercises in the comfort of your own home and at a time to suit.  However, we can always deliver a hybrid solution of a pregnancy physio session a week with us alongside, or as many times a week as you desire!   Why not contact us to discuss the available options for what works best for you.

Finally, post-natally you may be desperate to get back to your pre-pregnancy levels of exercise or training for a specific sport.  Our physios can guide you safely through your return to exercise to prevent injury.

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