Break through in understanding of First Trimester Massage
Common misconception and myths that pregnant women should not receive a massage in the first trimester have been addressed by the AAMT with its decision agreeing to first trimester massage – but only if it is undertaken by a trained pregnancy massage practitioner. Pregnancy massage specialist and trainer Catherine McInerney welcomed the AAMT decision.
“Pregnant women feel frustrated and disappointed when they are refused treatment because they are in the first trimester – even when they feel very well and it may be their second or third pregnancy and they are looking forward to some mum time,” Catherine said.
“The statement ‘no massage in first trimester’ is heard from therapists across Australia, and I’m pleased that this will now only apply to massage therapists without specialised pregnancy massage training and skills.”
“Mums attend our clinic from as early as 5 to 6 weeks and are delighted that they can receive a massage treatment specially designed to support the changes through first trimester,” Catherine said.
Research undertaken by Catherine and presented to the AAMT board showed it was evident that the myths surrounding first trimester massage were invalid and Australian mums had been given the wrong message.
Massage therapists and Spa and Beauty Therapists are all taught not to massage in the first trimester.
“The reason for this is when you only learn a small amount about the changes in pregnancy whilst training it limits what you can do in treatment as therapists – the less you know the less you can do.”
“It can be a source of disappointment for some mums, particularly those who are enjoying a resort “baby moon” and can’t receive a massage as the resort therapists are not trained in pregnancy massage,” Catherine said.
Pregnant women recognise the benefits of massage by a trained pregnancy specialist, including Melinda O. who says she was delighted to find a massage therapist who was specialised in pregnancy treatments.
“With my second pregnancy my sciatic pain and carpel tunnel started early in the pregnancy and being a busy mum I was finding it difficult to keep up with my toddler. I started pregnancy massage treatment and couldn’t believe that I could be pain free. I received physio treatment as well for my sciatic pain and carpel tunnel however I found the massage to be more beneficial” Melinda said
“I found having the massages regularly really helped and I looked forward to having some mum time – my body knew when it needed a massage. I always felt well looked after and cared for. I continued massage right through my pregnancy and enjoy now postnatal massage, my body definitely needs the recovery time.” Melinda said.
When Mel R discovered she was pregnant for the first time she was over the moon, however she was unsure of whether she could receive massage in her first trimester. Mel R was delighted when she located a clinic around the corner from home which specialised in pregnancy massage.
“I love massage and was so happy I could continue massage from my first trimester, it was so beneficial, the massage helped to relieve my headaches and also my hip pain. I was maintaining my Pilates through my pregnancy and my physiotherapist also recommended me to continue the massage treatment as she could see I was receiving great relief. I continued massage right through my pregnancy and even received a Labour Preparation Massage. I now enjoy my postnatal massage which certainly helps in keeping me well and energised, I wouldn’t go anywhere else!” Mel said.
Benefits of massage in the first trimester include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep pattern and reduce the sense of fatigue
- Reduced headaches associated with early hormonal changes
- Reduces hip, back and shoulder pain
- Stabilises mild nausea
- Creates a wonderful mother-baby connection.
A Pregnancy Massage Specialist will know how to support the complex changes of each trimester.
What to look for when seeking Pregnancy Massage Specialist
- Formal training in Pregnancy Massage
- Therapist communicates with understanding and confidence in relation to the changes happening in pregnancy
- Clients are presented with a “Pregnancy Massage Client Health Form” – detailing the changes you may be experiencing in pregnancy
- The clinic is properly set-up, including the massage table which is set-up to support the changes and discomforts of pregnancy
- The treatment is designed to meet women’s body changes – it is common in the first trimester to have more sensitivity therefore the massage pressure must be reduced
- A Pregnancy Massage Specialist will give you tips on posture to help reduce onset of muscle and joint pain and information on general health in pregnancy
Catherine McInerney is the Director/Founder of Pregnancy Massage Australia®, which delivers specialised training in Pregnancy Massage throughout Australia. You can also find a qualified therapist on our website listing under “NurtureLife® Pregnancy Massage Practitioner”.