Antenatal & Postnatal Physiotherapy & Massage
Pregnancy is an experience that is unique to each individual. The body is placed under enormous demands from the physical and hormonal changes that take place. Many women go through pregnancy feeling happy and healthy, whilst others suffer from aches, pains and emotional stress.
Aches and pains may occur for a number of reasons. As the body changes in shape and size to accommodate the growing uterus, extra demands are placed on joints and ligaments. Changes in posture also occur that may put a huge strain on the back, neck and legs. The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. This allows the pelvis to be more flexible to accommodate the baby and to facilitate child birth. The down side of this is that the body becomes more vulnerable to joint aggravation, aches and pains.
Bonne Santé Physiotherapy during Pregnancy
Common complaints during pregnancy that can be treated by physiotherapy include:
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain, sacroiliac joint discomfort, coccyx pain and symphysis pubis dysfunction
- Carpal tunnel syndrome / wrist pain and swelling in hands
- Calf pain and cramps
- Rectus abdominus diastysis / parting of stomach muscles
- Rib pain / rib flare
How can Physiotherapy help in pregnancy?
- Advice on activity modification and lifestyle options
- Treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions by manual techniques
- Core stability work to support the back
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises to help support the pelvis and decrease continence problems
- Recommendation of support belt and wrist supports as appropriate
- Prepare the body for the demands of labour
- Help the mother to recover and return to activities after the birth
Is Physiotherapy safe during pregnancy?
Yes, as long as you see a physiotherapist who is trained in obstetrics. At Bonne Santé we have at least one therapist who has worked in a variety of antenatal and postnatal settings.
Self Help Tips during pregnancy
- Look after your posture, stand tall & try to sit in well supported chairs
- Be as symmetrical as possible to avoid undue stress on joints
- Avoid crossing your legs to help stay symmetrical and to improve circulation
Will I still have problems after the birth?
Yes and no. After the birth often the decreased weight will immediately decrease the strain on the body. However, the hormonal changes in the body can take a number of weeks to settle, and therefore the body can stay vulnerable to aches and pains. After the birth, the body not only has to recover from the changes it made during pregnancy, but also from the effects of delivery. Physiotherapy is effective in helping the mother to recover. Pelvic floor trauma can also be helped by physiotherapy including Back and Pelvic Pain, Cramps and Muscle Aches.
Bonne Santé Pregnancy Massage
Pregnancy massage can help with these changes by reducing stress, decreasing arm and leg swelling, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Massage may be particularly helpful during a time when medication and other medical options may be more limited. Using specially designed massage pillows, the Bonne Santé massage therapist will help get you into a comfortable position for this type of massage
What is Pregnancy Massage?
A massage tailored specifically for pregnant mums to help ease those inevitable aches and pains. Giving you some time to relax, de-stress and enjoy the amazing changes happening to your body. Our therapists truly believe that massage can help you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Good for you and your baby! Dads and birth partners are also welcome to join in to learn some great techniques and pressure points that can help during labour, just ask for a slightly longer session. A nurturing post-natal massage can help you recover from the birth by giving you much needed time to relax and recharge and also to help your body cope with the physical changes that come with becoming a mum for the first or second, third…time.
Can I have a massage?
Yes, but only after your first semester, 12 weeks and after you can have a massage at any time. Post-natally you can have a massage as soon as you feel ready and your baby can stay with you throughout the massage.
If you are ever unsure if it is suitable for you to have a massage always check with your midwife, GP or other health professional. Our Therapists at Bonne Santé can speak directly with others involved in your healthcare and would in fact recommend it to make sure you get the best care possible during and after your pregnancy.
What to Expect
o What to wear? Pants. But, your comfort during the massage is key, so a large sheet and towels are used to keep you warm and retain your modesty throughout.
o What will I lie on? You will be positioned in a way that is best for you and your baby, often side-lying, using pillows and cushions to support every bit of you. If needed our therapist may also include some work on all fours or sitting using a large exercise ball.
o Where? In our clinic, or in the comfort of your chalet or home
o What will you do to me? After a quick discussion about your medical history, health and what you hope to get from your massage your Bonne Santé therapist will create a massage tailored to you. Depending on what you need on the day, we will use a variety of movements based on Swedish, deep tissue techniques and some accupressure, energy (Shiatsu) work to aid physical, emotional and hormonal balance. At Bonne Santé we will also give advice for postural help and exercises to help maintain your well-being throughout pregnancy, during labour and after birth.
o What will it do?
- Reduce stress Levels – whether it is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd (or more!) time, pregnancy can lead to worries, tiredness and anxiety, don’t underestimate the power of touch through massage to help calm your mind and body
- Release and relief from muscles tension and help ease aches and pains
- Energy work to help keep an emotional and hormonal balance in your body
- Improve circulation
- Help disperse excess fluid often retained in limbs during pregnancy and after
- Help you connect with your baby and enjoy your pregnant body
- Help you prepare your body for labour
- Help you to recover, physically, hormonally and emotionally after the birth – massage has been proven to reduce the rates of post-natal depression