PREGNANCY MASSAGE FOR THE SECOND TRIMESTER
So you’ve just hit trimester 2. This is where we start to really notice more pregnancy related changes happening through your musculoskeletal system. With this, it can also bring on the start of pregnancy related pains.
Staying on top of these pains, and getting your body into the best condition possible is essential to keep feeling good and staying pain free when you hit the 3rd trimester.
DON’T LEAVE TREATMENT UNTIL THE THIRD TRIMESTER!
The second trimester is when the physical changes begin to show.
Some women don’t begin treatment until the 3rd trimester (which is fine if you just found out about pregnancy massage) but if you know you want to use massage therapy to help you through pregnancy and set you up for labour, you are best starting as early as possible.
Each trimester comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
By having your pregnancy followed by a massage therapist we can closely monitor how your body is managing with physical changes and how you are handling the emotional and mental changes that occur.
The second trimester is when the physical changes begin to show, by this stage the centre of gravity has already changed to adapt to the extra weight that is held in the abdomen. This will begin to put stress on the lower back and sacroiliac joint creating discomfort or aching in the local areas.
The upper back and neck will have already started to compensate to keep the body up right as the low back has begun to increase the curve (lordosis). This can create unnecessary shoulder tension and headaches.
Breathing is mostly costal which puts pressure on the axillary breathing muscles which makes full abdominal breathing much more difficult, which can exacerbate later in the pregnancy if left untreated.
Varicose veins and muscle cramping may also begin if they haven’t already emerged, which can both be avoided or minimized with simple massage techniques.
By getting on top of all these conditions early, it is very unlikely to become a greater issue into the later stages of pregnancy when you bump is bigger and energy levels are lower.
Treatment in the second trimester is all about preparing the body for 3rd trimester, third trimester is for preparing the body for labour!
DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF NEGLECTING YOUR CORE (still exercise)
One of the most important things to do during pregnancy is core training. Consistently training your core can help relieve back and pelvic pain as your abdominals help take the pressure off these areas. By doing this it will make more a more comfortable pregnancy with less pain and enhance your chances of a smooth postnatal recovery. It is always recommended to seek advice from a qualified trainer.
HOW WE HELP IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER
Most likely, your treatment plan is well underway, and we have eased you into this stage of your pregnancy. By now, you will most likely be noticing the physical changes of your body, which is when we change our treatments to focus on the progression of your structural changes and the possible impact it will have on your body.
Depending on the mothers wishes, we treat face down using a pregnancy pillow that support the growing belly and tender breasts or side lying.
We continue our treatments keeping in mind the new physiological changes such as the change in centre of gravity, respiratory changes, varicose veins and muscular cramping.
Using soft and deep tissue techniques we focus treatment around the hips and low back to ease pain and tension created from your new posture. It is also a focus to decrease tension around the rib cage increasing space around the diaphragm.
Each session will begin with a quick questionnaire about how mum is feeling on the day and the treatment will be tailored accordingly.
Will my back pain get worse?
If you are already experiencing back pain in your second trimester chances are will exacerbate over the coming months if not treated. Luckily for you, we have many ways this can be minimized. Obviously the first option I am going to give is Pregnancy Massage, this is a given for any musculoskeletal issue even throughout pregnancy.
Other options include yoga, Pilates, active stretching, heat (for short periods of time).
Are leg cramps normal?
Normal? No. Common? Yes. There is a big difference between the two! Many women get cramps (mainly during the night) in their legs during the second and third trimester due to compression of nerves supplying lower extremities due to enlarging uterus alongside poor peripheral circulation.
Calf stretches in the morning and before bed along with regular Pregnancy Massage therapy will drastically decrease these symptoms. If you are wanting to start a new exercise routine it is always advised to seek help from a qualified trainer.
Can I start/continue exercise?
There is no reason why you should not exercise during pregnancy if there are no underlying conditions. There has been no research to indicate that physical activity during pregnancy causes miscarriage, poor foetal growth or premature labour. There is an incredibly small amount of cases vigorous activity may not be recommended. It is always advised to seek help from a qualified trainer.