Pregnancy Related Discomfort

WHAT IS PREGNANCY RELATED DISCOMFORT?

Pregnancy is a wonderful time and we would encourage all mums to be to have a regular Swedish Massage, Remedial Massage, Reflexology or Shiatsu during their pregnancy. We recommend keeping yourself as well-rested and energised with our therapies plus a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

It can also be a challenging time for some with various discomforts, aches, pains, sleeping problems, digestive problems and tiredness rather spoiling it all.

I have discussed some problems below but if you wish to talk to one of us, do ring in 01224 822956. You should report health problems to your midwife at your checkups.

Some problems will require Osteopathy  e.g. back pain, symphysis pubis syndrome, nerve pain. When you visit we will want to know about your medical history and pregnancy along with the information about your problem. We can then advise accordingly.

We always advise a structural check up and once baby is here, come in after three months to check that your structure has returned to its prebaby state.. Needless to say, massage after baby is born is a great help if you are left with aches and pains or you need help with relaxation and sleep.

Hormones released during pregnancy allow the ligaments to relax so that the joints of the pelvis become more mobile in preparation for birth. Oestrogen is produced in early pregnancy to support baby until the placenta does the job. It ,may also cause nausea and makes ligaments softer.

Progesterone also supports baby till the placenta does his job. It increases blood flow to the uterus but may also be the cause of heartburn, vomiting, and constipation.

Relaxin softens ligaments and will help in labour, but during pregnancy, may make you more succeptible to:

These hormones will also influence your emotions. This is an exciting and happy time but you may well find yourself going up and down.  It is wise to see what help these articles on this website can be. 

Digestive issues can be a problem and respond well to Reflexology and Relaxation and Relaxation Massage e.g.morning sickness and heartburn. This usually happens in the first three months while your body is adjusting to higher levels of hormones. Shiatsu points can be demonstrated here at BCC. If it is unbearable, then you will be letting your midwife know. Most times the mums-to-be that visit us, find our therapies help at many levels throughout the pregnancy.

Constipation can be a problem and may lead to headaches. If you are taking iron supplements, these can cause constipation but also the pressure of your enlarging uterus is another possiblity. Also, increases in certain hormones cause a slowing down in the digestive system. Eating a good diet with little, or preferably,no processed food, with adequate roughage will help. Reflexology would be my treatment of choice as the bowel can be worked through the feet or hands. Do make sure you are drinking enough to stay hydrated.

Haemorrhoids can be very uncomfortable to down right painful. It is best not to get constipated as this will make if far worse. Reflexology is a great help as the sphincter can be worked through the feet. 

Headaches often happen and may be related to fatigue or even high blood pressure which can be an issue in pregnancy. Swedish Massage and Reflexology are both effective. Osteopathy may be needed to correct any lesions or interferences in nerve supply, in the neck. We do advise you keep your doctor and midwife up to date with therapies that are helping you.

Back Pain: Weight increases as the baby grows, the centre of gravity shifts forward putting strain directly onto the joints in the back. The muscles therefore have to work harder to keep the body upright. Your body posture will change to accomodate baby which is why bodywork is so important to help at this time. All our therapies can help you as pregnant client but we also have Abi Le Quesne who has qualified in Pregnancy Massage

Leg pain and cramps: calcium and magnesium may be needed in supplement form but a regular Swedish Massage should help this and we can show you how to massage your legs in between times.

Swelling in the legs is also common and this may be due to baby getting bigger and the uterus presses on the blood vessels in the pelvis i.e. from the legs and then your legs will swell. Swedish Massage not only to the legs but also to the hips will help this.

Fatigue: this can be due to you doing too much or you may be anaemic. You will be seeing your midwife so do let her know so you can have a blood test. Swedish Massage, Shiatsu or Reflexology may help you regain some energy. Techniques will help which you will find in our article on Relaxation and Relaxation Massage.

Breasts can become uncomfortable - we find that working the breasts through the feet, with Reflexology can ease this easily. Self massage can also help.

Breathlessness can occur as baby grows. Take your time and don't lie on your back. Keeping everything loose as in our videos does help not only the structure of the back and ribs but also helps with breathing. Have a look at our Relaxation and Relaxation Massage page as well as Breathing Techniques.

Ribs: As baby grows and starts to kick you will feel it. Some positions baby adopts can give cause discomfort or even lead to rib pain. For example if baby is breech, his head may be stuck under your ribs.Often Swedish Massage or Relaxation and Relaxation Massage will help this. Baby often responds by moving. There are Shiatsu points that pressing them, helps baby turn.

Abdominal pain or discomfort can occur and even contraction-like pain known at Braxton-Hicks contractions which is like the body is practising ready for labour and are nothing to worry about. As ligaments stretch, discomfort can be felt. Massage should help this and so can Reflexology. If you are concerned, then do ask your midwife or GP. Cramping should not occur in the first three months so we advise you to talk to your medical provider if this happens.

Frequency in urination is often a problem that can be helped with Reflexology. As ever, kidneys and bladder can be worked through the feet. Any feelings of burning or signs of a fever should be reported to your GP.

Dizziness can be a problem for some mums-to-be and it is thought to be due to blood pooling in your legs due to the dilating effects of progesterone. Again, we find regular Relaxation and Relaxation Massage or massage can prevent this. There may be a problem in your neck that has nothing to do with your pregnancy and can be treated easily with Osteopathy.

Sleeping problems are common in pregnancy. Make sure you are as comfortable as you can be in bed using pillows, both big and small, to help get you into a position with no strain. We find when we massage mums-to-be on their sides, having a pillow under the tummy helps a lot.  We also place a pillow between her legs which stops the back from rotating too much. Mums-to-be then copy this at home. See our article on Sleeping problems.

Some conditions are more problematic. See our article on Symphysis Pubis Syndrome.

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC