Pregnancy is a special time as you prepare for the arrival of your child, but it can also present various challenges for the body, particularly in the later stages. Massage is a natural remedy to ease many of the aches and discomforts pregnancy can bring.

From the first trimester, the ovary and placenta produce the hormone relaxin: a hormone that relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and softens and widens the cervix. This loosening of the ligaments can cause backache or even a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Massage can be a wonderful natural pain reliever, as it releases endorphins (a brain chemical naturally released which can reduce pain and make you feel relaxed) and oxytocin (aka the bliss hormone).

One in ten pregnant women suffer with migraine and headaches. Massage can relieve stress or tension in the head, neck and shoulder area and improve blood circulation, encouraging lymph to move around the body also helping to reduce swelling, which can be a problem in the second and third trimester.

Many women suffer with constipation, heartburn or indigestion during the later stages of pregnancy, all of which are exacerbated by stress. Massage will help to alleviate stress and tension and reduce symptoms.

It can be tempting to use your own nourishing oils and essential oils to moisturise and soothe your stretched and tight skin during pregnancy. It is not advised to use any essential oils during pregnancy, unless you have discussed this with a qualified aromatherapist, who can also provide relief for tight and uncomfortable skin with suitable oils.

You should always discuss your progressing symptoms in pregnancy before beginning any pregnancy massage, and always alert your therapist should you experience any unusual symptoms.