Hello! It’s been a few weeks/couple months! We moved – states – so it’s been a definite break-from-social-media-focus-on-packing-boxes-state of being lately. More on our move with two littles to come but today I wanted to share a post that I’ve been wanting to get up for quite some time now.
On the cusp of what Daniel Tiger calls Love Day – do you do PBS’s “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?” – you should – I think there might be nothing more lovey that you can do for a pregnant lady or that you can do for your pregnant self than a prenatal massage. Also, there is nothing more lovey that you can do for said mamma than giving her a good night’s rest, and let me tell ya’, it’s that back ache that kept me from ever getting into a nice deep state of rest each night as my belly grew bigger and bigger.
(I will note that some moms might say what is actually more lovey would be a very large collection of truffles, and, I guess I also agree. But, how about a prenatal massage and a large collection of truffles?)
My sister-in-law Brooke Garvey just opened up her new massage therapy practice in Tecumseh, Ontario – Lakewood Massage Therapy – and Brooke is who gave me the most back-relieving, soul-relaxing prenatal massage at seven months with Ace. I had three massages during my pregnancy with Ace – one at four months, one at seven months and one at nearly nine months. I think from second trimester on, mamas should get a massage every week. Could this be government-funded?
Brooke’s prenatal massage specialist, Brittany Vlodarchyk, took some time out of the girls’ busy post-grand opening schedule to chat about the benefits of prenatal massage and to also give mamas some tips on sleeping. (p.s. It’s all about the pillows.)
Now, go book yourself a massage. You deserve it. You really, really deserve it.
(And, if you’re not pregnant, or if you’re a dad, or a grandparent, or anybody – go book yourself a massage. You deserve it. You really, really deserve it.)
The boys and I are not getting massages this week, but we do plan on crafting lovey snacks and lovey art all week long. I love Love Day!
Q & A with massage therapist Brittany Vlodarchyk of Lakewood Massage Therapy
When does back discomfort usually begin for a pregnant woman?
Back pain in most cases starts by the third trimester, sometimes sooner.
Why do women tend to have discomfort and difficulty sleeping during pregnancy? (Which muscles are most affected by that growing belly?!)
Discomfort and difficulty sleeping can be from a number of different things. The most common complaint is interrupted sleep due to frequent urination through the night and just plain not being able to get comfortable! Muscles that are most affected by a growing belly are the low back and hip muscles. During pregnancy your ligaments are stretching to prepare the pelvis for birth. Because of the stretching, your pelvis could start to move unevenly which would cause the muscles to have to work harder than they normally do to support the pelvis. This in turn can cause pain and discomfort.
How much of a woman’s back pain (or other muscle/body part pains!) is related to her sleeping postures?
Most pain experienced due to pregnancy is caused by the changes happening in the body however poor sleeping can definitely magnify the pain.
What are the best positions for a pregnant woman to sleep in? And, why?
The best position to sleep in is side lying, specifically the left side. Left side lying allows for more circulation throughout the body [which is good for mom and baby.] Side lying will also help to take the pressure off the low back.
What can a pregnant woman do to support her body while sleeping?
While side lying, place a pillow vertically between the legs to help align the spine and one vertically under the belly and chest to help cushion and support that growing belly.
Do you have pillow suggestions (either styles or brands) if a pregnant woman is looking to purchase some for sleeping?
Definitely the most talked about pillow by my clients is the oversized u-shaped body pillow. Although pretty big and bulky, it seems to really help with sleep. It cushions both the entire front and back of the body.
Any other tips for pregnant women as they try to get as comfortable as possible at nighttime?
Try and relax and unwind before bed with a warm bath or a nice massage from your partner. This will help to promote relaxation in tense muscles.
How can prenatal massage help a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy?
Prenatal massage helps to alleviate common aches and paint in each stage of pregnancy.
How often do you recommend pregnant women come in throughout their pregnancy for a massage?
Generally once a month in the beginning and then increase visits nearing the end of pregnancy to every other or every week depending on symptoms. And, after a massage it is best to take a warm bath [to prolong the benefits of the massage] and drink plenty of water.
How does prenatal massage differ from a regular massage?
Prenatal massage uses the same techniques as regular massage, it just focuses more on common pregnancy aches and pains. The only difference would be positioning, either using the pregnancy pillow – a big pillow that has holes in it for the breasts and a big hole for the belly, [which] allows cushioned support so that you are able to safely lie on your stomach – or side lying.
What can women look forward to during their experience at Lakewood Massage Therapy?
Pregnant women can look forward to coming to Lakewood Massage to relax and get away from the everyday stressors and aches of pregnancy. With a calm, relaxing atmosphere you can choose to use our pregnancy cushion which allows you to be able to finally lay on your belly again or side lying using plenty of pillows.
Once you arrive, I always do a quick interview to see what aches and pains are troubling you at that point in time and devise a treatment plan to best suit your needs. My number one goal is for you to leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on another day!
If readers aren’t from the area, any tips for finding a good prenatal massage therapist? Are all massage therapists registered to do prenatal massage?
All massage therapists are able to perform prenatal massages. However, those who have taken extended training have been trained to specifically treat common pregnancy pains. It is best when researching different clinics to call and see if any therapists have extended training in prenatal massage.
Lastly – is there one or two great massage tips that would be easy, safe and comfortable for a pregnant woman’s partner to do at home to help relieve some of a pregnant woman’s body tension?
Since common trouble areas are low back and hip pain, a great thing for your partner to do would be to have you lay on your side, and with the palm of their hand gently move in a circular motion on the low back and around the hips.
Well, that sounds absolutely heavenly. I remember that drumming lower back pain and the aches in my hips. Partners, take note. 😉
And, then, call up Lakewood Massage Therapy to book a massage for Love Day!
Thank you so much Brittany and Brooke!
Hope everyone has an amazing week!
Lakewood Massage Therapy, 13414 Tecumseh Rd
East Unit C3
N8N 3N7 lakewoodmassagetherapy.ca, 519-979-6064