Every woman's journey to motherhood is unique and a blessing. To celebrate this journey we invited Shaily, a Childbirth Educator, Remedial & Pregnancy Massage Therapist and owner of Kavanah Care to share her knowledge and experience with you.
My name is Shaily, pronounced SHY-LEE, I have been a Remedial Massage Therapist and Pregnancy Massage Practitioner for about 5 years now and have recently begun delving into childbirth education as well as massage training for pregnancy and labour.
My business, “Kavanah Care” is focused around women’s health through body work. We also provide holistic care to the mum at all stages of her journey to motherhood from trying to conceive, pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum recovery.
We offer therapeutic massage services which use a variety of techniques and modalities such as acupressure, aromatherapy and energy healing, which allow us to support women as they navigate this important and transforming time in their lives.
We have a fantastic referral network within the women's health community in eastern suburbs Sydney and aim at providing all round holistic care.
The benefits of massage during the journey to motherhood are greatly undervalued and it is our goal, to bring healing, ease discomfort and reduce stress and anxiety, and manage symptoms and dysfunctions experienced along the way.
A bit more about our pregnancy care:
Pregnancy is a time of extreme bodily change. At Kavanah Care, We recommend pregnancy massage from the moment of conception right up to birth. Massage is completely safe and is great for addressing common pregnancy symptoms and dysfunctions as well as helping women approach their due date with less anxiety and discomfort.
Common symptoms of pregnancy and how massage can help
Nausea during pregnancy
Nausea is a common symptom in the first trimester, it is a sensation that makes a person feel they need to vomit and for some, nausea may last their entire pregnancy. We ask our clients if they have had something to eat before their massage and use light gentle flowing strokes to alleviate symptoms.
Pelvic pain during pregnancy
Pelvic pain is common in pregnancy and is known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). The pain is caused by stiffness or uneven movements of the pelvic joints in pregnancy, which affects up to 1 in 5 women. Pelvic pain is mostly due to the increase in the hormone Relaxin and a change in the shape of the pelvis so as to accommodate baby and prepare for birth.
Regular pregnancy massage and pregnancy specific massage techniques help to reduce tension and take pressure off the pelvic ligaments.
Swelling & carpal tunnel during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the extra fluid in the body and the pressure from the growing uterus can cause swelling (or "oedema") in the ankles and feet. The swelling tends to get worse as a woman's due date nears, particularly near the end of the day and during hot weather.
Massage can help to reduce swelling using lymphatic style massage. Lymphatic style is very light, focusing on moving the skin - as all the fluid which causes swelling is trapped underneath the skin.
Sciatica during pregnancy
Sciatica is pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root (the sciatic nerve) in the lower back and pelvis. In pregnancy, the levels of the hormone relaxin increase. This hormone helps prepare your pelvis for childbirth by relaxing ligaments and widening your hips. As the belly grows and ligaments loosen, center of gravity shifts, which can cause the sciatic nerve to get pinched or irritated.
Pregnancy massage uses specific pregnancy sage techniques to release the gluteal muscles and the muscles of the leg can help to reduce symptoms of sciatica.
Being pregnant myself, my journey has been very enjoyable. I love being pregnant. I know that not everyone can say that so I feel very blessed. My advice would be to prepare for pregnancy if you can both physically and mentally and educate yourself as much as you can in advance. It’s a university degree! There is so much to know about your body, anatomy, changes that occur, nutrition, hormones, labour, birth and all the things that follow after baby is born!
I feel blessed to have worked in this industry before falling pregnant as I can see how it could get really overwhelming or important information could easily be missed! I would also recommend getting together your prenatal care team - not just your OB or midwife but your massage therapist, women’s health physio, acupuncturist and perhaps even personal trainer or a Pilates or yoga studio you would like to attend. Different therapies will help at different times, for different symptoms and it’ll help you manage some of those symptoms and hopefully reduce them.