Pregnancy is a time of change, processing, reorganizing. It’s a time when you need to nurture and pay attention to the needs of both your growing baby and yourself. Carla Wiseman and Gaelen Gibson are both honored to be a part of this process. We enjoy the challenges of helping women and families find comfort and ease during the transition from pregnancy to parenthood. Massage can be a part of this process, but many women have questions about pregnancy massage.
Is massage safe for my baby?
Not only is massage safe for babies in utero, but beneficial. Studies have shown that relaxation massage decreases heart rate and increases circulation in both mom and baby. Better circulation for baby means increased oxygen supply and better delivery of nutrients.
How will I lie on the table?
We use special pillows that allow women to be comfortably treated in the prone position (tummy down). The pillows allow the baby to be safely cushioned and provide room for mom’s breasts so they aren’t compressed. We have treated women who are in their 40th week!
How can massage help during pregnancy?
Massage is great for taking care of that nagging backache that occurs during the mid and later stages of pregnancy. It can also help you cope with headaches and edema, and can help with pelvic alignment.
Massage can also help to prevent many of the pitfalls of pregnancy. A properly trained massage therapist can help you to improve your posture before the weight gain from pregnancy completely destroys it. Massage can also help you to relax. Remember that relaxation of mom means relaxation for baby – and a baby who is less stressed will have fewer potential health problems.
Having massage during pregnancy can also help moms prepare for birth. Being aware of tight areas in your body and developing techniques to release those areas can help you relax through labor. Good alignment and flexible muscles help you during labor.
How often should I come?
It depends on your need. Generally speaking, if you are a healthy woman experiencing minimal stress, once a month is fine during early pregnancy. As you gain more weight and your body is subjected to increased stressors, this can increase to twice a month. In your 3rd trimester, weekly visits should be your goal. If, however, you have muscle pain and are having trouble adjusting to the pregnancy we would set up a different schedule.
Do you only treat pregnant women?
The clinic is open to all ages and both sexes. We also recommend massage for the birth partners who will be supporting mom during the labor process and helping to provide care after baby is born.
What about post-partum massage?
We especially recommend post-partum massage for moms. It’s easy to lose focus as you become overwhelmed with the day-to-day care of an infant. The learning curve is huge and your resources are stretched to their limits. As in pregnancy, a happy, relaxed mom equals a happy, relaxed baby.
Can babies benefit from massage?
Absolutely. A gentle massage can be relaxing for baby. Gaelen offers regular classes on infant massage.
Acupuncture - Is acupuncture safe for my baby?
Absolutely. Although needles could safely be inserted into the upper abdominal area in the 1st trimester of a pregnancy, this is not traditionally done. Acupuncture needles are placed on the arms, legs, feet and sometimes the head or back well away from your baby.
Your acupuncture therapist is trained to avoid any points which are contra-indicated for pregnant women.
How will I lie on the table?
Acupuncture uses the same special pillows used in massage treatments. These allow women to be comfortably treated either in the prone position (tummy down) or while lying on the back.
How can acupuncture help during pregnancy?
Acupuncture is useful in many of the same instances as massage, and the pregnant woman can choose between these two types of treatment. There are, however, some cases in which acupuncture is more beneficial than massage.
Acupuncture, for example, can be used to treat morning sickness and hemorrhoids. It is also effective for repositioning a baby within the womb in the weeks prior to birth. Acupuncture can help breach babies to move into the cephalad (head down) position; this technique is best performed before the 34th week. The needle is placed on the fifth (baby) toe.
Can Acupuncture be used to treat other imbalances while pregnant?
Acupuncture is a natural and non-invasive way to treat colds, coughs, allergies and digestive ailments. It can be used to keep the immune system strong and to replace some of the energy depleted by growing and birthing a baby.
How often should I come?
Everyone is different. Acupuncture can help you get to know your body and take care of yourself during your pregnancy. Women with lower back pain might come for a treatment every week, and those with acute problems should have regular visits.
What about post-partum acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used postpartum to treat insufficient lactation, fatigue, mastitis, postpartum depression, frequent urination, incontinence problems, headaches and back pain.
Gaelen Gibson, RMT, and Carla M. Wiseman, RMT, DTCM, work in Kerrisdale. Both offer a diverse practice, treating various problems in everyone from children to adults. All of your calls and questions are welcomed.