Pregnancy and Post-Natal Massage and Aromatherapy

Pregnancy is a time of enormous physical and emotional changes that come with the amazing process of growing a new human being inside you.

Some of these changes can be challenging. Aches and pains in muscles joints and nerves, swollen ankles, varicose veins, nausea in the first trimester, heartburn in the last, tiredness, perhaps some anxiety, particularly for new mums-to-be.

Massage as part of ante-natal care can give you more comfort and ease in your body, and look after your mental, emotional and physical health.

Regular massage during pregnancy can help you to be more relaxed when you give birth, and even lead to less labour complications and better health for your baby.

The Many Benefits of Massage and Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

Why have an Aromatherapy massage during pregnancy?

-  it is deeply relaxing and enjoyable

- for mental and emotional health and wellbeing - massage reduces stress and anxiety, decreases symptoms of depression and regulates your fluctuating hormones. In particular it decreases stress hormone such as norepinephrine and cortisol, and increases hormones such as dopamine and serotonin which protect against depression, and make you feel good

- to gently mobilise and ease restrictions in hip and shoulder joints

- to ease the aches and pains in muscles and joints. Increased weight, loosened ligaments, and shifts in your posture from a changed center of gravity can lead to neck, shoulder, lower back, tummy and/or pelvic pain

- to reduce nerve pain, eg pain in the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the legs is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as muscles tighten and press on this nerve

- to encourage more restful sleep, and to revitalise you, reducing tiredness

- to nourish the skin and improve the skins suppleness and elasticity as it stretches to minimise stretch marks

- to support your digestive system and reduce issues such as gas, indigestion, nausea or heartburn.

- to increase blood circulation, reducing stress on the heart, keeping blood pressure in check, helping to prevent or reduce the appearance of varicose veins, thread veins and haemorroids

- to increase your awareness of breathing and encourage relaxed abdominal breathing, which with increased blood circulation means more oxygen to nourish the body of mum and baby

- to stimulate the lymphatic system to prevent or reduce swelling of joints such as ankles or wrists from fluid retention (oedema)

- to reduce headaches

- to alleviate sinus congestion

- to encourage good postural awareness and introduce pelvic tilts and pelvic floor exercises

- to improve labour outcomes and newborn health - when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care, there are fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight.

See bottom of page for benefits of massage and Aromatherapy post-natally.

"The pregnancy full body massage and aromatherapy massage I have received has proved beneficial to my mind and body. It has cleared a few negative energies I wasn't fully aware I was holding onto, alleviated the constant heartburn I was enduring, completely relaxed me and allowed me to connect with baby bump, which is very difficult in a busy home environment with 2 very small children already. I recommend to any pregnant ladies, whatever stage there at as u have taken me though 2 of mine with expert hands. Your a natural and I can't wait for my next session the blend of oils used were perfect for my pregnancy needs and left me blissed out x" 
- Ms Paula Baldwin, Lancaster

Comfortable Positioning Throughout Your Pregnancy

One of the most obvious differences with a pregnancy massage is positioning. In the first trimester, you may receive a massage similar to what you would have had when not pregnant, though more gently and with extra care around the lower back and tummy. Or you may be one of the women who already have tender, swollen breasts and find it uncomfortable to lie on your front.

By 13 to 14 weeks going into the second trimester, most women will no longer be comfortable to lie face down. Then at around mid-pregnancy, the growing womb puts too much pressure on the vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart, and so lying flat on the back has to be avoided as well.

So, a sidelying position, with plenty of cushions, wedges and pillows for support and comfort, is used to do the back and sides of the body, and a reclining position, well propped up and with pillows under your knees is used to do the front of the body.

Safety and Peace of Mind Throughout Your Pregnancy

There is no evidence at all that it is unsafe to have massage at any point during a normal pregnancy, and is a traditional practice which has stood the test of time in many cultures around the world.


Robert Tisserand, co-author of Essential Oil Safety (Churchill Livingstone 1995), and an International foremost authority on Aromatherapy has thoroughly investigated all the published research on the safety of essential oils and their components. He believes that there is no reason for pregnant women to avoid essential oils, so long as they are not taken orally, and with the exception of Camphor, Hyssop, Indian Dill seed, Parsley seed/leaf, Sage (Dalmation or Spanish) and Savin. I however restrict myself to a smaller selection of oils that are known to be particularly beneficial in pregnancy and recommended by my teacher, and will not use essential oils if you are concerned about them.

It is however recommended that you choose a therapist with professional qualifications, and additional training in how to support women safely and comfortably at this time. I attended a 2 day course in massage and Aromatherapy for pregnancy, labour and post-natal care accredited by the IFPA.

I would also always advise you to let those who are overseeing your ante-natal care know you are receiving massage and Aromatherapy.

Women with the following conditions should speak with their GP, midwife or other health care provider before any appointment:

Cardiac disorders, chronic hypertension, pre-eclampsia, lung disorder, liver disorder, severe anaemia, convulsive disorders, abnormal foetal heartbeat, placental abruption, high risk pregnancy, high risk of miscarriage, previous problem pregnancy or pre-term labor, low weight gain, severe swelling, high blood pressure, sudden, severe headaches, bloody discharge, or continual abdominal pain.

Pregnancy Massage and Aromatherapy Times and Prices

My session times and prices, and the body areas covered,  are the same as those for my non-pregnancy Aromatherapy massage sessions. 

Post - Natal Care

I would encourage you to schedule yourself a session post-natally as well as during your pregnancy. Many of the same benefits of massage and Aromatherapy during pregnancy are as important or even more important during this time. After all the challenges of giving birth, your body needs to recover, and also continues to go through big changes.

 Lifting, holding and carrying of your baby for feeding and care can be a challenge to a body that still has softened ligaments and perhaps extra weight, and can lead to arm, shoulder and back pain. At a time when you may be exhausted after labour, and need sleep to recover, frequent feeding interrupts your normal sleep pattern. Your womb is contracting, and all your internal organs shifting back down your belly. Your hormones go through more shifts, as hormones that were high during pregnancy lessen and hormones for breastfeeding and emotional bonding need to increase. The extra 50% fluid you had during pregnancy is no longer needed.  For most mums, its an emotional time, with highs and lows of joy and tears - especially with a first baby. For some mums, 'baby blues' may turn to post-natal depression. Massage and Aromatherapy can help with all these issues, and for those breastfeeding, studies show that massage improves milk production through relaxing your chest muscles, and increasing your prolactin levels, a lactation hormone.

Remember: a happier mum means a happier baby!

Please note, I am not currently offering Reflexology during pregnancy.

Thinking of making an appointment?

For an FAQ and some helpful information go here.
email me or phone me on 07888 692803

Or have at look at some Advice & Care Before During and After Massage

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