90 minutes with Partner. Canterbury or Broadstairs. (£75).
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This is an opportunity to enjoy some quality time together during your pregnancy and to learn a selection of massage and relaxation techniques that may be used throughout your second and third trimester, as well as during your birth and beyond.
If you are planning an elective caesarian section we will focus our techniques to support your pregnancy and postnatal wellbeing, incorporating gentle soft tissue release to optimise your comfort relieve pregnancy associated tension. This will also benefit your baby as massage release oxytocin which can make you baby feel relaxed and content. We will also include basic breathing techniques to aid relaxation and promote better sleep.
Labour massage techniques include good posture and positioning for your birth partner, how to adapt therapeutic touch techniques in accordance with the varying sensations of labour, which techniques may help labour progression through the different stages of labour, how to soothe a labouring woman. Partners often want to help during childbirth but are unsure how they can be of best assistance and massage can provide an active, hands on role during labour. Massage to the lumbar spine can provide a welcome counter pressure to contractions, techniques around the base of the skull can help to relieve sacral pain, and gentle compressions and stokes can relieve tension throughout the entire body, especially during the earlier stages of labour.
Breathing techniques are useful for everyone as when an individual is calm, respiration tends to be slower, more rhythmic and smoother, through the nasal cavity so the air is filtered, humidified and heated.
When air enters and exits the body through the nose rather than via the mouth, more resistance occurs and exhalation therefore tends to last longer. All these factors aid efficient gaseous exchange and in this relaxed state, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, blood vessels dilate and circulation is able to replenish all the cells of the body without stress to the heart.
When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated women are able to alter their perception of physical pain during childbirth, feel more in control of their labour and sustain their energy levels more effectively. It is helpful to familiarise yourself with a variety of breathing techniques during your pregnancy so that you can naturally draw upon these during childbirth. Two or three techniques will be practised during your session.
As well as breathing techniques, a couple of simple visualisations will be offered as these can be useful tools to manage anxiety and internalise and your experience of childbirth. Whatever environment you choose for childbirth there may be times throughout your labour when you wish to take your awareness within and conserve energy but need to anchor your mind.
The first early stages of labour can be frustrating and tiring and it is believed that stress and tension may slow this process down and therefore relaxing visualisations can help the labouring woman to become calmer, cope better and be less reactive to matters outside of her control. Visualisation and meditation may also help to balance and replenish energy levels and teaches the body to relax and the mind to focus on things other than the present pain.
Handouts are provided for home practice. One session will form a good introduction and equip you with a variety of techniques to practice and develop together at home. Further sessions are offered if you wish to continue to develop techniques and understanding.