Tag Archive for: self-help

The 3 Reasons Why Pregnancy Is A Pain In The BUTT

… And What You Can Do About It NOW!

 

It’s no secret that pregnancy can be painful. In fact, I’ve written about it before (in this blog on the 3 Ways to Beat Pregnancy Pain).

A lot of my clients tell me that their doctors aren’t too helpful in helping them understand their pain, which why I have compiled this list of the 3 main causes of hip/back and glute pain in pregnancy and most importantly how massage during pregnancy can help you reduce pain, feel freer and more engergised!

 

Pelvic Girdle Pain (AKA: Pelvic Girdle instability)

 

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a condition can affect 20% of women during pregnancy. PGP can occur due to changes in ligaments because of the hormone relaxin, which increases joint laxity.

Every day activities such as walking or standing can aggravate and cause strain within the joint. Pain may not be felt until several hours later. In some cases, pain can be constant.

PGP can be managed by avoid aggravating activities, such as lifting and weight bearing activities.  Strengthening exercise that support the abdominals, pelvic floor and lower back can also be beneficial.

Massage can also help alleviate the symptoms of PGP through releasing tight muscles and ligaments in the glutes, hips and lower back.

 

Round Ligament Pain

Several ligaments support the uterus as the foetus grows. One of these ligaments is called the round ligament. The role of the round ligament is to keep the uterus in a forward titled position.

As the round ligament stretches due to foetal growth pain can be felts from the top of the uterus to the groin and can even extend to the vulvar and upper thigh.

Depending on foetal positioning pain can be felt on one side, or both sides.

Massaging the abdomen can help to alleviate round ligament pain by assisting in maintaining uterine positioning and stabilising the lower back.

 

Sciatic Pain

Sciatica is the name given to a series of symptoms, not a specific problem. The sciatic nerve runs down the lower back, through the glutes and innervates the lower leg and feet.

A slipped or injured disc can be the primary cause of sciatica, but sometimes, the functioning of the nerve can be affected, causing pins and needles or pain down the back of your leg.

In some cases, tight gluteal muscles can mimic the pain symptoms of sciatica. Massage can assist in releasing tight glute muscles and provide support to balance the lower back.

 

The next step…

Just because pain during pregnancy is common does not mean that you must put up with it. Understanding the cause of pain can help in alleviating the symptoms so that you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

 

Struggling with Pregnancy Aches? Book a Massage now!

Labour and Birth Partners – What He Can ACTUALLY DO In The Delivery Room

Labour and Birth Partners – What He Can ACTUALLY DO In The Delivery Room. (It’s ok fellas, no gory pictures or scary stuff here!)

 

Each pregnancy, labour, birth and child is unique and different. One similarity I have noticed is that almost every mum-to-be that I have treated tells me is that their birth partner feels overwhelmed, lost or confused as to how to provide appropriate support and care during pregnancy and often do not want to think about labour and childbirth.

And if the birth partner is feeling overwhelmed, this can only mean that mum is feeling isolated and unsupported as well.

I pose the following question to ALL Birth Partners – For The Husbands, Wives, Boyfriends and Girlfriends:

How Will You Cope Seeing Your Loved One In Pain?

This is such an important question that I pose to all birth partners. A lot of birth partners may not have even thought about the labour and child birth process. Blinkers on. Ignorance is bliss. But, this is going to happen. Waters will break. Labour will start. And you loved one will experience an exquisite surge of pain as the contractions start. The birth partner will feel lost – UNLESS they are prepared to deal with this situation.

 

So, What Can You Do?

Partner Massage is a great way for couples to feel connected and empowered during pregnancy and it is a vital part of managing the stages of labour.

Massage during the first stage of labour provides birth partners with the ability to support the laboring women to cope with contractions. I call these massage techniques “Contraction Distraction”. No light and fluffy massage here. These techniques help the laboring woman cope with the surge of the contraction and the birth partner can find a way to manage feelings of anxiety and apprehension by taking a hands-on approach to labour.

The great thing is that these techniques aren’t just for labour. These techniques can be used throughout pregnancy to manage aches and pains and in the post-partum period to help with recovery.

Plus – continuing massage once you arrive at hospital can help the woman feel grounded and supported. Often in the transition from home to hospital (or other birthing place) can alter the flow of contractions. Massage is a great way for mum and birth partner to connect and support each other through this phase.

 

Childbirth Can Be Lonely!

Despite all the attention being on her, a labouring woman can feel extremely isolated in the birthing suite. You’ve got various doctors, midwives, anesthetists and even the machine that goes Ping! (See Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” if you don’t get this reference). As the labour progresses, and things start to get real and the baby is just about the arrive, the woman can seek support from her birth partner, knowing that they are equipped to get them through.  When a birth partner is supporting the laboring woman with massage, she will feel more relaxed and have an easier labour and birth.

 

The #1 Way To Guarantee Partner Support In Labour

I facilitate monthly workshops providing couples with hands-on skills to be nurtured, supported and empowered in labour.

This workshop will empower mothers and birth partners by teaching you the skills to provide nurturing and loving touch during the first stages of labour.

It’s really hands-on and we keep it simple and effective so that you get the skills to make it really easy.

In this half day workshop, you will discover:
+ Hands on massage skills for common pregnancy aches
+ How to empower your partner with “Contraction Distraction” during labour
+ How to create calm using essential oils safely during labour
+ How to access the right support for you and your family

 

This workshop is a must-attend for every couple. And Not just for first time families. Even those expecting their second or third child need to attend this workshop.

 

Why? Because every pregnancy, labour, birth and child are different.

 

Throughout your pregnancy you have been poked and prodded with medical tools, and you feel as if your body is not your own. And when you start to labor, you can feel isolated and alone. With massage in labour, your partner will be with you every step of the way.

 

If you have sought regular massage during your pregnancy, you need to attend this workshop so that your birth partner can provide you with therapeutic touch during your labour. I call it “Contraction Distraction”. And trust me, you will NEED this. The massage skills we teach in the workshop are not light and fluffy, because labour is not light and fluffy.

 

And birth partners need to attend because – you need to know what to do when the person you love is in pain. This workshop with give you confidence in because able to support your loved one, and you will both feel more connected as you bring your new baby into the world.

 

Check out the latest workshop dates here.

Feel free to head to the blog archive to read more about the 5 Ways To Feel Radiant During Pregnancy and The 3 Ways To Beat Pregnancy Pains.

Need an appointment? Book Now!

The Attitude of Gratitude

Why Be Grateful?

These past few weeks, I have been putting into place a practice of gratitude. What the hell does this mean? Well, for me, it means making time each day to bring awareness to the things that are going well in my life.

I start off with a walk to the beach or the park at just before sunrise, then when I get home I do my Morning Ritual (more on this in a moment) and get ready for my day.

The reason why I do this is to feel good, about myself and how I feel about myself, to feel more connected to nature and the wider world around me, and to find some quiet space before the day gets hectic and filled with thoughts and busy-ness.

Sometimes on my walk, I listen to inspiring podcasts, such as Oprah’s Soul Conversations, and sometimes I listen to comedy, like the How Did This Get Made? Podcast. I find whatever I do chose to listen to, it helps to lift my mood, get me out of a funk while also having a bit of a chuckle too.

The Morning Ritual helps me to clear my head and set my intentions for the day. It is like a meditation. But I also get to shout out (yes – shout) my positive affirmations and power statements and jump around and use my body. And yes – I have done this in public, which is a HUGE stretch for me, BUT OH SO LIBERATING!

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Gratitude is also something I practice with my partner. Often, he will come home from a hard day at work, and his first instinct is to complain. “The excavation broke down”, “the rain delayed or work”, “the traffic was hectic today”. When he gets like this, I ask him “What is ONE thing you are grateful for from your day?” This usually stops him. All he wants to do is look at the things that he didn’t like about the day, but I am asking him to think of one good thing. After he gives me a reply, “I had a good coffee this morning”– I ask for another, and another, until – I can see that he has shifted his mental state and is looking at the world with a more positive outlook.

 

What Am I Grateful For?

This is the same thing I do for myself. When I feel crabby, hormonal, or just NQR, I look for gratitude. That’s why I walk on the beach, because it makes me realise that no matter how shitty I feel, the beach always looks beautiful. The sunrise over the horizon, the waves, the cliffs, the birds. All of it snaps me out of my funk and brings me back to what is really important.

I have so many things to be grateful for. I am grateful that I get to wake up every day and walk along the beach, I get to do what I do for “work”, I get to support women though pregnancy, I help women to feel nurtured and cared for, I help my clients feel less pain, improve their health and live better lives. I am grateful that when I come home from a long day, my partner has a prepared a lovely mean for us to share. My family and friends provide endless support.

And it’s addictive. Once you start listing the things you are grateful for, the list gets longer and longer.

 

Take The Plunge, and Dip Into Gratitude!

So, why not try it for yourself? Start small. Write them down. Then in those times when life seems shitty, the kids are screaming, hubby won’t agree with you, boss is a nightmare – reflect on your gratitude list and smile, knowing that life Is good, no matter how it appears on the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Beat Pregnancy Pains

While a time of joy and excitement, pregnancy can also be a time of discomfort, pain and general feelings of exhaustion. Many women experience similar common ailments, such as low back pain and leg cramps. In this blog, I hope to give an overview of these common ailments, why they occur and more importantly, what you can do about it!

 

Posture

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts forward as their baby develops and their belly gets bigger. This causes a woman’s posture to, for want of a better term – “go outta whack”. Shoulders slouch and curve, the neck is pushed forward, bums stick out. In some cases, women enter pregnancy with postural complaints and these issues become exacerbated during pregnancy.

 

The Role of Hormones

Smooth muscles, connective tissue, cartilage joints and ligaments “soften” during pregnancy thanks to the hormones progesterone and relaxin.  This means that the hip, sacroiliac and pubic symphysis joints become less stable. Most women can cope with these changes, but for women with hypermobility (extra-flexibility) may suffer from additional discomfort.

 

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can be the result of changes to posture. Slouchy shoulders cause tightness in the upper back, shoulder, neck and chest. Shoulder tension may also lead to headaches.

 

Shoulder and Neck Stretch

Sitting in a chair, place you left hand under your bottom. Then tilt your head to the right, drawing your right ear down to your right shoulder. Use your right arm to hold the left side of your head above your ear to intensify the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Click Here For A Visual Guide.

 

Leg Cramps and Pain

In the warmer months, many of my clients complain of leg cramps. Common from the second half of pregnancy, leg cramps can have a sudden onset and often occur at night.  Leg cramps can be eased by gently exercising and stretching the calf prior to going to bed. Painful legs can often be a result of increased weight in the lower half of the body. Extra pressure is placed on the inferior vena cava (the largest vein supplying blood to the lower limbs).

 

Leg Stretch

Place your hands at arm’s length on a wall. With your hips square, place your right foot behind your left. While keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor, bend your left leg slowly. Keep your back straight and hips forward as you hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Click here for a visual guide.

 

Low Back Pain

Low back pain may result from several factors. Women may enter pregnancy with pre-existing low back and gluteal pain. Low back pain can also be cause by tight or strained lower back muscles. The round ligament, one of the eight ligaments that holds the uterus in place, stretches rapidly. This can often cause pain on one side the body, depending on fetal positioning. Low back pain can be alleviated by sleeping in a side-lying position and placing a pillow between the knees and under the tummy.

 

Stretch – Cat Pose

Come on all fours, with your knees hip width apart, and your hands in line with your shoulders. Begin with the spine in a neutral position. Slowly tilt the pelvis under, flattening the lower back. At the same time, tuck your chin to your chest, causing the shoulders to curve and hunch. If wrists become uncomfortable, you may rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Hold the stretch for a few moments and return the spine to a neutral position. Click here for a visual guide.

 

Feel Freer With Massage

Massage is also a great way to manage the common discomforts of pregnancy. From releasing tight shoulders, applying gentle hip join mobilization and alleviating leg cramps. Treatments are personalized to suit you and your unique pain and discomforts.

 

Partner Massage During Labour

DID YOU KNOW – Massage during labour can help the mother to relax, ease her pain and enhance her overall wellbeing.

PLUS – Partner massage helps the two of you to feel more connected as you bring your new baby into the world together.

Supported and Empowered in Labour – Partner Massage training is held monthly. Click here for more information!

 

If you are not sure if massage is appropriate for you during your pregnancy, please contact Laura on 0407 512 009 or book an appointment now.

For more information on the benefits of pregnancy massage, please visit the blog archive.