Liis Windischmann: Celebrate EveryBODY


The Benefits of Pregnancy and Baby Massage

massage offers several health perks other than just relaxation

Who better to ask about pregnancy and infant massage than two female registered massage therapists with a gaggle of children between them who own one of Toronto's top clinics? Helen Milic and Lisa Macchia are the owners of Bayview Sheppard RMT and know the benefits to mother and baby through their own experiences as well as through the feedback from the countless moms and moms-to-be they have helped over the years.

The clinic offers services for a woman at any stage of her pregnancy, and always works within her comfort levels. Helen and Lisa explain there are a multitude of benefits to a woman as she progresses through her pregnancy with massage therapy helping:

  • reduce muscle cramps
  • relieve muscle tension
  • increase joint mobility
  • reduce fluid retention
  • relieve headaches

A common concern for many expectant moms is how to position themselves comfortably to accommodate their expanding bellies. Some spas and clinics use massage tables with a cut-out for expectant mothers to be able to lie face down but Helen and Lisa do not and offer up the explanation that if pregnant women were meant to lie on their tummies they would. There is a concern that in this position, the weight of the uterus will pull a pregnant woman's abdomen forward putting stress on the lumbar spine and the already loose ligaments of the pelvis and uterus. They suggest a side lying position using two or more pillows thus allowing access to all the muscles in the back. Another option is a semi-seated position using a special wedge pillow allowing the client to lie partially reclined versus flat on her back which may compress blood vessels and cause dizziness.  This position allows work on the upper back, shoulders, upper chest, neck and face.

And after birth?  Even though many new moms could lie on their bellies, many choose not to due to breast tenderness. At this time it's equally important to be comfortable and alter positions to achieve a beneficial massage. So, if pillows are still needed or if a position needs to be altered, the massage therapist can help a new mom attain the most out of her treatment.

And a relaxed mommy means a relaxed baby right? So why not go the extra step and apply the benefits of massage to your newborn? Infant massage helps babies:

  • relax and sleep better
  • have good circulation and digestion
  • relieve gas and colic issues

Most importantly, it's a wonderful way to have quality time with your baby and build a strong connection. Contact the clinic to learn more about its infant massage group or private classes.

Find Bayview Sheppard RMT at this November's Baby Time Show where they are again offering their Complimentary Pregnancy Massage Therapy Clinic.  They have also partnered with Dear-Born Baby offering two massage therapy seminars,  an infant massage clinic October 8th and a pregnancy partner massage clinic October 27th.

Top Photo from Flickr CC: gudbjorg_agustsdottir

Bottom Photo from Flickr CC: bodhana mallorca