Pregnancy massage - Why a side lying position?

Pregnancy massage - Why a side lying position?

Your changing pregnant body:

Welcoming your new baby into our world is a wonderful journey. It can also be a challenging time for women as many physiological changes occur within your body to support your baby's developing needs.

Your pregnant body is constantly changing, it is never static.  Your body is undertaking tremendous change to provide a nurturing environment for your baby to grow.

From a massage therapist’s perspective, the common muscular complaints we see with our pregnant mums are:

  •  Lower back pain
  •  Hip and pelvic pain
  • Aching muscles between shoulder blades and middle of the back
  • Tension in the upper shoulders and neck

There are a number of reasons for these aches and pains.  Some of which are:

  • The shift in your centre of gravity and weight distribution to accommodate your growing belly
  • Ligament and muscles changes around the pelvis as your body prepares for labour
  • Rib expansion to accommodate the organ shift and your growing baby referring tension and aches to your middle and upper back
  • Increased breast size in preparation for nourishing your baby after pregnancy is linked with your shoulders rolling forward. This adds strain onto your muscles at the top of your shoulders and neck.

It is our job as a massage therapist to assist in alleviating these common aches and pains.


How does side lying position help?

NurtureLife® practitioners have specialised post-diploma training in specific remedial massage techniques designed to alleviate the discomforts felt in a woman’s pregnant body.  Each pregnancy is unique and we work with you to ensure the correct massage position is used during the stages of your pregnancy.  Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, we may use a supported face down/up massage lying position in the first trimester and early second trimester moving into the side lying massage position as your pregnancy progresses.

A side lying position allows us to:

  • Provide a nurturing position to allow your body to rest and recharge.
  • Ensure the muscles which are already under strain from the excess load are in a eased relaxed position enabling us to massage more effectively to alleviate your aches and pains.
  • Fully access all the muscles of the hip, assisting to providing relief through specific massage techniques without causing increased pressure to the lower back.
  • Minimise strain on the uterine ligaments and lower back muscles.
  • Assist to release the pelvic ligaments that are changing and shifting in preparation for labour.
  • Access the lower back muscles, and the muscles wrapping from the lower back around to the growing stomach, without straining the lower back further into an excess curved position.
  • Use techniques that can assist to relieve aches and pains felt around the rib cage as they expand.
  • Access around and under the shoulder blade (or scapula) and between shoulder blades to relieve tension and aches.
  • Access the pectoral muscles, just below the collar bone, that play a major role in the tension felt in the top of the shoulders and around the neck as your shoulders are pulled forward during pregnancy.


Most importantly,

a side-lying pregnancy massage offers a mother-to-be

the time to embrace her pregnancy and to rest, relax and recharge her body.