Massage therapy is wonderful, especially when you are pregnant. To get the very most out of the treatment I really recommend you read the suggested aftercare advice below to ensure you know what to expect after the treatment has finished, and to fully understand the benefits of the treatment for both you and your baby.
Listen to your Body and your Baby
- Your Baby may be more active after our session due to increased blood flow, hence increased delivery of nutrients to the baby, or simply responding to you being so relaxed and calm. Your baby may also be really calm too. Enjoy the calm but remember to tune in to your baby’s movements especially over a 24 hour period.
- Massage helps the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. This is brilliant as it reduces levels of the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and increases levels of feel good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. For this reason and this reason alone, this is why massage during pregnancy is so fantastic! The feel good hormone oxytocin is also released during massage so hopefully you’ll be left feeling shiny and happy.
- Occasionally you may feel emotional after a massage and this is a) good and b) perfectly normal. Embrace the emotions and release them.
Relaxation and Stretching
- Relax! Go for a lovely walk or relax over your birthing ball when you get the opportunity to.
- Practice the breathing we do together at home. Remember you are the oxygen supply to your baby! Breathing exercises are a fantastic way of soothing the mind, as well as working very important muscles such as your pelvic floor muscles and your abdominal muscles. Try the headspace app if you’re new to mediation. It works wonders!
- Have a go at the exercises we have worked through together. It will do your body the world of good. Some days you will find you have more energy than on other days. This is perfectly normal. Just do what you can to gently stretch and exercise your hard working muscles. They will thank you for it.
- Ask your partner to help recreate some of the movements or massage we cover together. They can help release tension from aching muscles in between treatments.
Water and Nutrition
- Drink plenty of water! It is important to stay hydrated at any time in your life, but especially whilst growing your baby. Dehydration is thought to be the cause of 1 in 10 GP consultations for tiredness and fatigue in the UK. During a massage, the circulation of blood and lymph around the body are stimulated and as a result, toxins are released from your cells perhaps more readily than usual. The body ejects this waste and this is why you may experience thirst and or more frequent urination after a massage. To compensate for this, it is advised that you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water particularly in the hours following your massage. Blood needs water to keep nutrients and oxygen moving to our organs and tissues and enables toxins to be transported to the liver and kidneys. Headaches can result if you do not rehydrate to flush out the toxins.
- You may feel faint after a massage due to relaxing and experiencing a drop in blood pressure. This may also make you feel cold as well. If you do feel faint, drink plenty of water, have a light snack to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t drop and sit quietly until you feel better. Consult your doctor if these symptoms persist.
- It is advisable not to consume heavy meals after a massage due to any increases in circulation which may occur. Avoid natural stimulants too as these will act as diuretics (make you want to wee, therefore increasing the water deficit the body will be experiencing) and decrease the natural benefits of massage therapy.
- During pregnancy some women find they have more energy, some women find they have none! After a massage, due to the increased movement of lymph and blood, you may feel tired. You may experience low blood pressure (as the body relaxes from the massage) and feel slightly faint. Listen to your body and either have a sleep or sit quietly with a small snack. Feeling tired after a massage is perfectly normal. Embrace your relaxed state so that the benefits of the massage can continue long after the massage has finished. If you continue to feel unusually tired or faint after 24hours, contact your midwife or GP to be on the safe side.