Written by Stephanie Maxwell, R.M.T.
Along with the joys and excitement of pregnancy, also come the aches and the pains… at any stage! If you’ve never been pregnant before, you may think that it’s only close to the end of a birth parent’s pregnancy that they become tired and the extra weight and fluid seem to take its toll. This is not always the case. One can experience discomfort throughout their entire pregnancy and into their postpartum period. Making small humans is a lot of work!
Massage therapy is a safe, effective tool to aid with muscle tension and fluid retention, create sound pelvic alignment and help with postural changes from the very first week of pregnancy into the postpartum period. All Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) have received specific training in pregnancy and postpartum massage. With the aid of special positioning and propping, birth parents and their pregnant bellies feel supported and cared for while receiving an excellent and a very well-deserved massage.
Massage therapy is actually of the most benefit to the pregnant client from early in the first trimester onwards. The earlier one can start to receive massage therapy the better the outcome for pregnancy-related aches and pains, fluid retention, pelvic alignment and postural changes.
As previously stated, one of the goals of pregnancy massage is to obtain sound pelvic alignment. This will help the baby sit in the best position possible, can aid in more physical comfort for the birth parent, and may create a better birth experience. RMT’s cannot turn a baby, but they can help create a comfortable “home” for the parent and the baby.
In the postpartum period, massage therapy is a wonderful medium to treat breastfeeding related muscle tension, continue to support sound pelvic alignment, and provide much-needed self-care and nurturance for new, exhausted birth parents.
Stephanie is an RMT at Oma Chiropractic, and an instructor at Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy. At Sutherland-Chan, Stephanie teaches the Pregnancy Massage course and is a clinical supervisor for the High Risk Pregnancy Specialty Clinic at Sunnybrook Hospital. She is passionate about supporting families in this beautiful transitory period of new life. She also is the mother of two awesome little boys.