massage pregnancy safe

Is Massage Safe in Pregnancy?

massage pregnancy safeIs Massage Safe in Pregnancy?

A very good questions and one that you should ask! Pregnancy comes with many changes to the body (and mind) and a massage can help support mamas during this time. But is massage safe in pregnancy? Are all stages of pregnancy safe for massage?

Let’s delve in and chat about it!

Pregnancy massage has been seen in many ancient cultures across the world, including Ayurvedic Medicine in India, so it’s definitely not a modern day treatment.

I studied with Pregnancy Massage Australia under Catherine McInerney who is one of Australia’s leading experts in pregnancy, labour and postnatal bodywork.

The general answer is yes, massage is safe in pregnancy, as long as it’s undertaken by a specialist.

Some massage therapists will not massage clients in the first trimester in particular but it is safe, as long as your therapist is qualified and skilled in pregnancy massage.

“Common misconception and myths that pregnant women should not receive a massage in the first trimester have been addressed by the AAMT with its decision agreeing to first trimester massage – but only if it is undertaken by a trained pregnancy massage practitioner.” Pregnancy Massage Australia

Sciatica and carpal tunnel pain can start early in pregnancy, so getting some relief with a massage treatment is a god-send for mamas. The nurturing and safe space to be held during a treatment is also really important for mamas who are feeling emotional and sensitive with the hormone changes.

A pregnancy massage specialist knows what to look for, what techniques to use and how to make the mama comfortable and safe for each stage of pregnancy.

Traditional massages involve you either lying on your back or on your stomach. In pregnancy, prolonged lying in these positions is not recommended, so it is really important that the correct positioning and support is used.

It is also important to communicate with your therapist and let them know of any medical issues or conditions you may be experiencing so they can adapt their treatment. And if at any time you feel uncomfortable or are in pain during a treatment, allow the therapist to assist you.

Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and can be dangerous. A pregnancy massage specialist will ensure only safe oils are used at each stage.

Finally, there are some parts of the body which should not be massaged during pregnancy and some which require a very light touch and definitely no deep tissue. So again, a specially trained massage therapist will be able to keep you safe at all times.

There are so many benefits of massage during pregnancy including:

  • improving sleep and rest
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • reducing hip, back and shoulder pain
  • reducing headaches with hormonal changes
  • creating a mother-baby connection
  • improving mild nausea
  • reducing swelling
  • alleviating heartburn
  • improving circulation

I see all of these benefits first hand as a holistic maternal bodywork specialist, however I also found it interesting to read this study which found that women who received regular prenatal massage were found to have less premature labours, shorter labours with less need for medication and less pain and decreased depression and anxiety!

Just more reasons to give yourself the very best self care of mind, body and soul in pregnancy! Not only is massage safe in pregnancy, it is highly recommended.

You might like to support your pregnancy with some holistic products from our shop.

Much love,

Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage SpecialistJess Ngaheu

Maternal Bodywork Specialist

Book A Session With Me Here


Source: Pregnancy Massage Australia

The Benefits of Baby Massage

 The Benefits of Baby Massage


The benefits of baby massage are so amazing, that it honestly just blows my mind how much we can help our babies develop with such a tool!

I have experienced the developmental benefits of baby massage first-hand with my son and I will explain some of those below. Here are the benefits of massaging your baby regularly:



Touch is one of the most underrated benefits to your baby’s development. Babies need and desire touch, just as much as they need and require food. This is so important for their overall well being.

Our skin is a vital sensory organ. It is the first organ developed by a baby in the womb and it is made of the same embryonic tissue as our brains. The skin is as thirsty for sensory experience as is the brain. The effect of skin contact, or the lack of it, can have profound consequences on all the systems of our bodies.

The importance of touch for babies is now well-known but this has not always been the case. In the early 19th century in America there was a high death rate in babies under the age of one raised in orphanages. This caused concern, especially as the babies were being provided with food, warmth and shelter. What the babies lacked however, was skin contact, or touch from their carers. The babies were only handled when absolutely necessary. The lack of touch and skin stimulation led to their nervous systems not developing properly and the babies became depressed, withdrawn and eventually died.


The simple fact that you hold, touch and massage your baby gives them a sense of safeness. Bonding can take time, however baby massage plays an important part in beginning, enhancing and continuing the bonding process. Many studies have been conducted on the way that parents and babies bond and a number of key factors have been identified in the process.

Establishing a good bond between a carer and baby is so important and baby massage is a really effective technique to enhance that.  Bonding is super important for the mother to feel connected to their own baby and in return being able to meet the baby’s needs.

Mother and baby bonding will help make the baby feel safe and secure, so they feel like they can trust their mother. It is like a safe net for both mum and baby really.


Baby massage can help create the feeling of attachment between you and your baby. Massaging your baby every day shows them that you are the one they can trust. This will, in turn, create a bond and attachment between you and your baby.

Minimising Post Natal Depression

Bonding with baby is super important for the mother to heal after birth. Lack of bonding is thought to be one factor involved in post natal depression in new mothers. When becoming a new mother it can be such a hard journey, always second guessing yourself that you are doing everything correctly.

So bonding with your newborn can make you feel confident in what you are doing with your baby and help your mental health. If mothers feel like they are not bonding with their baby, this can have huge affect on the mother’s mental health.

Eye contact

Making eye contact with your baby whilst massaging them is very beneficial and important. Eye contact helps mama and baby to recognise each other and aids in communication.


Massage is very important for aiding relaxation and reducing stress both for the parent and the baby. Our bodies naturally produce a group of hormones which help us to quickly raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and prepare muscles for movement when the body is under threat.

When you massage a baby, the baby’s body produces a hormone called oxytocin which belongs to a group of “feel good hormones“. These hormones help to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body and therefore help to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and improve appetite.

Stimulation and Development

This is my favourite benefit of massage and one of the reasons why I want to help as many babies as I can.

The development of the brain through massage is absolutely phenomenal. It can help the myelination process grow as massage is stimulating your baby to discover their senses.

Myelination is the process of coating the axon of each neuron with a fatty coating called myelin, which protects the neuron and helps it conduct signals more efficiently. So massaging your baby can help build those signals to deliver messages more effectively and at a greater speed.

The most active parts of the brain at birth are the sensory motor cortex, the thalamus, the brainstem and the cerebellum. The cortex of the brain is not yet able to function and therefore babies are not capable of complex thinking. This part of the brain develops as myelination of the nerves occurs over time.

Studies have shown that in some cases where babies and children have been deprived of sensory input through the nervous system due to lack of tactile stimulation and human interaction, areas of brain development can be prevented which can result in behavioural/social/emotional problems later in life.

A recent study on the effect of maternal contact during infancy suggests that the brain cells of a baby not exposed to maternal touch can degenerate and die as a result of such deprivation thus impeding the development of the infant.

I can personally vouch for this amazing research on baby development through massage with my son. My son had a very traumatic birth and was also born 5 weeks prematurely. He was born with no heart rate, no oxygen and no blood. He was resuscitated and then he had seizures immediately.

In the very first week of his life, he was in the incubator as we were trying to save his life. He was not held or cuddled AT ALL for the first few days of his life. And on day 5, he had an MRI of brain which showed brain damage. He was in hospital for a month at the start.

Then he had another MRI at 6 weeks old which showed some white matter in which they did not know what it was and the myelination on his brain had not developed at all. It was the same as when he was first born. But myelination should be growing and developing day by day.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday.

An entire group of specialists in a room telling me they did not know what exactly was wrong. They had numerous ideas and one of them was he had a degenerative disease, in which the brain was building the myelination but then breaking it down back to zero.

When I asked for help with therapies at the hospital, no one would help me.

They just kept saying, let him rest and be a baby. But deep within me, I knew there needed to be more done. So I started to use massage and movement every day for just 10 minutes.

I wanted to stimulate his senses to try and help his development. 6 weeks later he had another MRI of the brain and the white matter had now disappeared and his brain had developed to where it should be. The brain injury from birth is still there, as we can not undo that damage and he still has many issues.

But helping with the process of building the myelination, I know, came from stimulating his senses from massage, movement and touch. Also I believe that no longer being in an incubator and being held, touched and loved helped so much as well.

The power of touch is amazing…. I have lived through it with my son and the changes it made to my sons brain- blows me away.

I can never take away or cure the brain damage that he suffered during birth. But this has helped in so many ways. Not only for him but for me. To see that i have been a change to my son’s life has honestly helped me along my own healing from trauma journey.


There are so many reasons why massaging your baby is beneficial! I highly recommend that you do it daily with your baby.

If you would like some help, I offer a Baby Massage Session where as well as massaging baby, I also show parent’s how to do it.

I also have Holistic Baby Massage Workshops! These are a fun, interactive four week courses for mum and baby. These have very limited places, so sign up to my newsletter to find out the details of the next course.

You might also like to read some more of my articles! Come and say hello on Facebook or Instagram.

Much love,


Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage SpecialistJess Ngaheu, Maternal Bodywork Specialist



Post Natal Healing Massage Gold Coast

Post Natal Healing – A Client Story

Post Natal Healing – A Client Story

One very special service I offer to mamas is Post Natal Healing. With healing touch as the core, I use my intuition and innate healing ability to nurture and hold space for mamas who have just given birth. 

I wanted to share with you a really incredible Post Natal Healing session I recently experienced with new mama, Brooke, whilst I can still feel every part of it.

As I arrived I could see her in the window holding her precious three week old baby.  Michelle (Brooke’s birth doula) arrived just as I did.

We entered Brooke’s house and the energy was already divine. Brooke herself has the most beautiful energetic presence to her. So much so, that I feel privileged to be near her. ✨

I started setting up in the area in her home where she birthed her baby.  I could already start to feel so much in this space. It was simply beautiful!

Michelle holds new baby Willa, while I prepare to hold space for new mama Brooke. You can see us us here in Michelle’s video on Instagram.

As Brooke entered the room, the aromatherapy oils running through the diffuser helped give her an initial cue to relax as I could feel a slight bit of tension in the air.

I start the session with some breath work to settle the parasympathetic nervous system. I talk to Brooke, letting her know what I am doing and reassuring her that I am holding space for her.

We set the intention for the healing session – this is personal and unique to every individual and will be focused on what you want the outcome of the healing session to be. 

I share with Brooke some affirmations that I want her to repeat to herself during the massage.  As I connect with Brooke, I could feel the tears starting to swell inside of me at this point.

She was infused with Reiki and positive energy and we were ready to start the massage.

A grounding essential oil blend was placed inside her wrists as we started.  Throughout the massage I could feel tension in many areas.

I use love and pure devotion during this time, as well as my healing hands to honour her incredible body.  I can feel the tension and congestion start to relax as Brooke is being supported to come home to herself.


Brooke’s entire body was massaged with herbal remedies for healing. I use reflexology, head massage and tummy massage as well. I speak to her body and tell her body how incredible it is and I know I am speaking to her soul.

I could feel a lot of trauma with in the tummy, and there was special time devoted to this area to honour and nourish.  I found out later some of the trauma that has been endured during the birthing process.

This was a very magical treatment!

At the end of a session, I will always express what I feel and discover during the time with my mamas. With Brooke,  all I could feel was that I needed to hold her.

So I did and there were tears from everyone. Space was held with pure love, heart and soul given to this amazing mama.

As always, so much is offered to mamas in the post natal healing sessions. It’s more than just a massage, it is a whole healing and nurturing bodywork experience that reconnects mind, body and spirit. 

I am forever grateful to be a part of mama’s post natal healing. It feels like a treasured gift to be able to help you with your healing and emergence into motherhood. 

I feel that is it incredibly important for all new mamas to rebalance the physiological, emotional and structural changes their body goes through. Nurturing, honouring and nourishing the body is imperative.

When a baby is birthed, so is a new mother. 

If you would like to experience a post natal healing session with me, I would love to hold space for you too. 

Michelle and I are going to do a postnatal workshop together very soon. Join my newsletter list to find out all the details!

You might like to read some other articles here

Much love, 
Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist


The AMAZING Benefits of Pregnancy Massage!

The AMAZING Benefits of Pregnancy Massage!

The AMAZING Benefits of Pregnancy Massage!

Hi Mamas,

Today, I wanted to write about the AMAZING benefits of pregnancy massage.

When going through your pregnancy journey, there are many changes to your body to accommodate the growing baby inside your belly. Along with this, there may be some areas of tightness, pain, discomfort, sickness and anxiety.

I want to stress to you that it is extremely important to not only look after the baby in your belly, but also you (the mama).

Many people seem to think that receiving a pregnancy massage would just be a “treat”. But I am on a mission to educate you that pregnancy massage is not a treat, it is a “treatment” and will help you along the way with all of your tightness, pain, discomfort, sickness and anxiety.

Pregnancy massage therapy can address the various physical changes of pregnancy: oedema, foot, leg or hand discomforts as well as pain in the lower back, pelvis and hips.

Swedish massage may facilitate gestation by supporting cardiac function, placental and mammary development, and increasing cellular respiration. It can reduce oedema and high blood pressure as well as contribute to sympathetic nervous system sedation.

There has been some great research on the benefits of touch providing a contemporary for its reintroduction into maternity care.

Women who were nauseous and or vomiting through out their pregnancy, experienced a decrease in these discomforts when they applied finger pressure to a specific acupressure point on their forearm several times a day.

Pregnant women massaged twice weekly for five weeks experienced less anxiety, leg and back pain. when compared with control groups who practiced relaxation only. The women who had experienced massage reported better sleep and improved moods, and their labour had fewer complications, including fewer premature births. (TField)

Studies show that when women receive nurturing touch during later pregnancy, touch their babies more frequently and lovingly.

During labour the presence of a doula, a woman providing physical and emotional support, including extensive touching and massage, reduces the length of labour and number of complications, interventions, medications and caesarean sections (Etal: C.Osborne-sheets 2001,  TField & PMA)

There are profound physiological, functional, emotional, relational and lifestyle changes occur during gestation and labour, often creating high stress levels.

Too much stress can negatively affect mother and infant health, resulting in reduced uterine blood supply and higher incidence of miscarriage, prematurity & other complications. Pregnancy massage can help woman approach their due date with less anxiety as well as physical discomfort. Even apart from easing specific aches, massage can act as an overall tonic and increase the expectant mother’s body awareness.

Various forms of massage therapy, including Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular, remedial, stretching, movement, traditional Chinese medicine and shiatsu may be applied through out pregnancy, as well as labour and the post natal period.

It is safe to say that pregnancy massage is extremely effective and safe in helping you treat the pain and discomfort you are experiencing.


Pregnancy Massage



♡ Decrease Your Lower Back Pain
♡ Decrease Sciatica Nerve Pain
♡ Decrease Pelvic Pain
♡ Improve Your sleep
♡ Reduce Swelling & Oedema
♡ Stabilise Hormonal Changes
♡ Enhance the Mother Baby Connection
♡ Facilitate Relaxation to Reduce Anxiety

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to to contact me and ask, as I am more than happy to help you throughout your entire pregnancy journey, post natal, recovery and beyond!!

You might also like to read some more of my articles! Come and say hello on Facebook or Instagram.

Much love,
Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist



Symphysis Pubis Separation and Pelvic Girdle Pain

Symphysis Pubis Separation and Pelvic Girdle Pain

Hi Mamas,

What is Symphysis Pubis Separation (also known as Pelvic Girdle pain)? And how can pregnancy massage help? Read on!

As you go through your pregnancy journey, there are a lot of changes to your body as you grow your baby. One very common thing to experience is Pelvic Girdle pain, which is a separation or dysfunction of the Symphysis Pubis.

The pelvic bones are generally well supported and kept stable with the supporting ligaments surrounding them. However, during pregnancy, hormones are released and with the uptake of relaxin, there are changes to your ligaments. The increased laxity of the joint is designed to relax the pelvic bones and help facilitate an easier birth. but, with the laxity of the pelvic joint, this can also cause it to be unstable, with pain and discomfort on movement.

The specific area affected in SPD is the narrowest point of the bones in the pelvic girdle which lies directly in front of the bladder. The symphysis pubis is the region at the front of your pelvis which is normally covered by pubic hair.

Another contributing factor is the changes in weight distribution which create stress on the pelvis, the spine and all the structures which support them.

Symptoms of Symphysis Pubis Separation:

  • Groin pain, sometimes a sharp and overwhelming pain in the region at the front of the pubic area.
  • Shooting or stabbing pain in your back and even sciatic pain.
  • Knee pain which may extend down to the ankles and the feet. This is generally a result of alignment problems further up in the pelvis.
  • The pain is worse at night when lying on the back. Turning over in bed and lifting the legs to get out of bed can exacerbate the pain.
  • A grating, clicking or grinding noise may be heard or even felt in the region of the pubic bone.
  • Abdominal pain may also be present, as the muscles try to stabilise the joint, however the abdominal muscles are already under considerable load with the growing uterus.

Faja for Pregnancy and Postpartum postnatal faja cloth binding cloth


Recommendations to help relieve the pain of Symphysis Pubis Separation:

  • Pregnancy massage! I provide a very gentle yet effective treatment that focuses a lot on this area to help relieve the pain. Book in here.
  • Take smaller steps when walking.
  • Do not push through pain.
  • Roll under rather than over when rolling in bed.
  • Sleep on your side.
  • Pillows!!!! Have a pillow in between your legs when sleeping on your side (this will help stabilise the pelvic joint)
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting.
  • Sit tall with back support (have a pillow to help support your lower back ~ even keep one in the car)
  • Place an ice pack on the painful area for 5-10 minutes every few hours.
  • Wear a compression garment, support belt or a faja (image above)
  • Pelvic Floor exercises that help to strengthen the area (see the video below)


Please also talk to your Obstetrician, Midwife or Doctor about your pain. You could even go to a women’s health  physiotherapist.

I highly recommend Andrea Baker from Restore Pelvic Physiotherapy  if you are struggling to get relief.

If you have any questions at all, please send me a message and I will be more than happy to help.

You might also like to read some more of my articles! Come and say hello on Facebook or Instagram.

Much love,

Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist