Pregnancy should be a wonderful and a magical time, with so much to look forward to. However, there’s a lot of pressure on the changing body, so it can also be an uncomfortable, stressful or even painful time. So how can holistic therapies help in pregnancy??
Stay Well When Pregnant
Niggles, aches and pains in pregnancy are common, and normal, but if it’s your first time it’s natural to wonder – and often, painkillers are a no-no. We know to expect pain in labour, but it can be a surprise to find that pregnancy can hurt a bit, too. As the uterus begins to expand, it’s common to feel pain in the back, around the belly, in the groin area and even the thighs. Additional weight can put pressure on joints and ligaments, which will have begun to soften in preparation for birth. The pelvis will begin to open slightly which can also be painful. It’s also vital to minimise stress – not always easy – and to stay healthy.
Other pregnancy problems can be sciatica, headaches, light-headedness, high blood pressure, nausea, low energy, fatigue, shortness of breath, heartburn and indigestion – but you don’t HAVE to suffer in silence. There ARE ways to help.
Time to Relax?
Back in the day, it was common for pregnant ladies to take things easy, or even to take to their beds entirely. We now know that’s not usually necessary – and actually, exercise and fresh air are beneficial. Even if rest was the best thing for pregnancy, as if we’d have the time these days…
Fortunately, along with sensible exercise and healthy eating there are several holistic therapies which can have many benefits throughout pregnancy – and beyond. Yoga, Pregnancy Massage, Bowen and Reflexology can all be valuable.
Pregnancy massage has both physical and mental health benefits, including:
- Reduces stress
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Boost immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Eases pain
- Aids sleep and promotes relaxation
For specific pregnancy massage, comprehensive knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy of a pregnant woman are crucial. The mother’s body must be properly positioned and supported during the massage to ensure comfort and safety for both mother and baby. Massage even provides pain relief in the early stages of labour.
Reflexology is a specialist foot massage, working on specific points on the feet which correspond with different parts of the body. The massage aspect in itself is incredibly relaxing and offers the mum-to-be a chance to rest, talk if desired and simply recharge a little. Again, the reflexologist needs to know you’re expecting and to tailor the therapy accordingly. Many potential benefits have been shown in several studies of pregnancy reflexology, which, according to the International Forum for Wellbeing in Pregnancy, include:
- Reduced pain in labour
- Shorter first stage labour
- Improved sleep
- Reduced pain in pregnancy
- Lowered Stress levels and anxiety
Bowen in Pregnancy
Bowen is a soft-tissue, remedial therapy. It involves gentle, rolling moves on skin muscles or tendons – there’s no prodding or undue pressure – and frequently results in a deep sense of relaxation, allowing the body to rest and recharge. Each Bowen session is entirely individual, tailored totally to the patient’s needs.
The Bowen Technique is one of the most versatile and effective therapeutic treatments there is. Its ability to re-align and balance the body means it is highly effective on postural problems – common in pregnancy – and on many aches and pains.
And did you now that BabyBowen is brilliant after birth to help your body recover AND its brilliant for babies too – particularly for colic!
Pregnancy – and Baby – Yoga
Perhaps not strictly a therapy, more a form of exercise, yoga is ideal throughout pregnancy and afterwards too. There are many classes specifically for pregnancy new mums.
It’s always best to inform your midwife if you are thinking of trying anything new while pregnant. As these treatments and practices are drug-free and non-invasive as well as tailored specifically for pregnant women, midwives will often recommend them. A word of warning though. It’s imperative to ensure your practitioner KNOWS you are pregnant and is qualified and experienced to deliver the right treatments, for each stage of pregnancy.
Stay well throughout your pregnancy and enjoy every BLOOMING minute.
My name is Julie Elder. I am an holistic therapist who specialises in utilising the body’s ability to heal itself using a variety of techniques including Bowen Technique and Kinesiology. I am also an Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, Reiki master and Yoga Teacher and an advocate for pursuing an organic lifestyle. I am also fully qualified in Pregnancy Massage and Bowen Technique.
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