During pregnancy the body goes through massive hormonal fluctuations which not only prepare the body for reproduction, fertilization, nourishment of fetus, delivery but also help maintain homeostasis and respond to changes in environment such as temperature, infection, dehydration, starvation, emotional stress.
These hormonal changes may also affect the senses.
Learn how to anticipate what your client may experience and how you can modify your treatments for the ultimate nurturing of your client.
Lighten your Touch
Being mindful of how much pressure you are using on the décolleté when cleansing or massaging this area because in preparation for lactation the breasts become larger, more tender to the touch and may tingle. Fat is building up and blood flow is increasing. This can influence how much pressure we use on the pectoral muscles so lighten your touch.
Facial Acupressure is an ideal choice of massage as it’s deeply relaxing and re-energizes. Remember to avoid GB-21 during the sequence. This point is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Raising the head of the bed may also feel more comfortable for her. This also serves another purpose, especially during the second and third trimester because it can put pressure on the vena cava, the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from the lower body. It can reduce blood flow to the fetus and interfere with her own circulation and possibly low blood pressure that could make her dizzy when getting up off the treatment bed. Be sure to help your client up off the bed. Allow her to sit for a while with her legs over the bed before standing up.
No Perfumes Please
Frequently during pregnancy, increased sensitivity to odors both good ones and bad ones occur at this time. This is due to the hormone estrogen and that can make morning sickness worse.
In the past, your client may have loved a certain aroma, yet all of a sudden if could make her heave. Having some unscented products to use during the treatment is useful.
Be mindful of diffusing essential oils, burning scented candles or using air fresheners because they are all highly fragranced whether the aroma is natural or synthetic both can trigger nausea.
Bear in mind, your personal care items may also be highly fragranced and disturbing for your client. Choose subtle or non-scented items when possible.
Counteract with Lemons
A metallic taste in the mouth is a common side effect of pregnancy. Counteract it with an acid, citric acid. Serve plain filtered water and with lemon slices. The addition of lemon slices also adds minerals to the water increasing the body’s ability to absorb the water.
Added Comfort & Relaxation
As the belly gets larger, the lower back curves more than usual to accommodate the load, this results in strained back muscles. Placing pillows or bolsters under the knees takes the curve out of the lower back. You could also place a preheated towel over the area as the heat will help relax the muscles.
Ensure you have plenty of comfy pillows on hand to place where the client requests them. Fatigue may be expected, she may feel totally wiped out and for good reason. So much energy is being used by the body to build the placenta. The fluctuations in emotions and hormones can also have a major effect on energy levels. Along with poor sleep quality your client will really appreciate the relaxation time spent on your table.
10-minute Power Nap
Give your client the opportunity of a “10-minute power nap” to help the body relax and recharge. Once the face masque has been applied leave the client without any additional sensory stimulation. Place a weighted eye pillow to block out any light over the eyes. This has a comforting sensation and is known to trigger the oculocardiac reflex, leading to deep relaxation. The slight pressure over the eyes stimulates the nerve endings in the extraocular muscles that trigger this parasympathetic response. This in turn sends a message to the vagus nerve resulting in slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and relaxation to the entire body.
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