An obvious statement I know but one that needs to be said. Today I watched a video of a friend, just a week away from giving birth doing a hula hoop performance that would have been impressive whoever was doing it. Exercise is something that unless there are some specific complications is helpful in pregnancy. The same is true of Massage and Aromatherapy. Yes there are some oils that should be avoided. However there are no recorded instances of essential oils used in the normal dilutions used by aromatherapists causing foetal damage.
Despite that most aromatherapists including myself in my Cambridge practice do reduce the amount of essential oil used in pregnancy. Partly this is a precautionary measure but another very good reason for doing it is that the sense of smell is more sensitive during pregnancy, particularly the last trimester. There are also some types of massage that are best avoided. I would not do deep tissue work and I also avoid the stretches I do as part of my normal routine. This is because the hormone which allows the vagina to stretch allowing the baby to be delivered also allows other body structures including ligaments to stretch and over-stretching in the last trimester can cause permanent damage.
That said, massage and aromatherapy if done with sensitivity and respect can be something that the pregnant woman can really enjoy. Because it aids relaxation it can also make labour less painful. All in all if there are no major medical problems it is something to be encouraged rather than discouraged. Even if there are major medical problems, gentle massage may still be appropriate, however I would always take medical advice on this before proceeding.
The biggest difference in the massage is that more towels might be needed along with a pillow or two to help the client remain comfortable during the massage. And the prompt for writing this post was a new client, twenty-eight weeks pregnant whom I saw yesterday. A really lovely person and the wriggliest baby I have felt while massaging a pregnant tummy!
If an aromatherapy massage is something you would like to experience, do contact me by phone on 007939273569 or email firstname.lastname@example.org