HerBaby: Pregnancy Massages | HerCanberra

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HerBaby: Pregnancy Massages

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Pregnancy is a multifaceted experience.

HerCanberra started the HerBaby series to attempt to encompass the experience of being pregnant and giving birth in Canberra. To act as a resource and comfort to other expecting Canberra women and to show the full picture of pregnancy in general, beyond Kim Kardashian’s perfect blow-dries and designer maternity wardrobe. Pregnancy massage might seem like a luxury, but as Jo Haslam and Bronwen Stead share below, it’s an indulgence with serious health benefits for both you and the baby.

Jo Haslam

When you get pregnant, people warn you about a lot of things.

Nausea, sleepless nights, and mood swings to name a few. Things like nausea could be managed with Pringles and herbal tea, sleepless nights with an eye on the prize, and well, the mood swings, deal with it people, I’m making a baby.

What for me was really debilitating was the arrival of sciatica. As a result I have a bulging disc in my lower back and I had expected some challenges, but sciatica was an unexpected, new and unbelievably painful experience I could have forgone.

So I hopped online and searched for a remedial massage centre that could fit me NOW for a pregnancy massage.

Live Well Spa and Wellness Centre came up with some good reviews, was easy to access in terms of parking and had a great online booking system which made it convenient for me to organise around the thousands of other appointments that make up the modern day pregnancy experience.

I’m a big fan of massage and regularly get them for both remedial and relaxation purposes, but I really had no idea what a pregnancy massage would entail other than not lying on my stomach, for obvious reasons, and probably not being quite as physical as my standard Thai experiences.

Live Well lived up to my expectations and I was greeted with a herbal tea while my room was prepared.

The room was warmed perfectly (which mid-winter in Canberra is a must), the lighting ideal, the towels huge and fluffy and the room cosy.  My therapist was Zara Blazsanyyik, chosen as she was available, but I’ve stayed with her since then as she’s great. She took the time to not only introduce herself, but also tell me what the massage would entail and run through any concerns I had (Zara now greets me by name and asks how A, B or C has gone since my last appointment).

An hour or so later I emerged blissfully floating on the post massage glow, with a warning that there may be some discomfort the following day (as is common with remedial massage). That night I slept soundly and the next morning I could walk easily and the sciatica was gone.

Since then, I’ve found that every 3 weeks or so is a comfortable cycle to maintain my spinal health through pregnancy and the difference it’s made to being able to sleep, move and generally function is well worth the investment for me.

Live Well were priced reasonably and have hicaps, so I get the money back from my private health provider on the spot and (as I have an great husband who kindly chauffeurs me to and from appointments as driving with sciatica is challenging) the location in Manuka is ideal. While I get massaged, he enjoys a glass of wine and hour or so with a good book, collects take away for dinner and then myself so we both have down time and treat.


Bronwen Stead

To me, massage has always been a lovely sounding luxury that has been overtaken with other things on my to-do list.

I was very lucky that a wonderful friend organised me a voucher at Baby and Bump Massage (my friend lives in Spain and was able to organise this all online!) which was such a lovely gift and even though I have used my voucher up I am continuing to have appointments as it has certainly moved up on my priorities list! There are several locations – I have been attending their location in Ainslie shops.

I started to attend my massage appointments in my second trimester. On my first appointment I met X and she inquired into my pregnancy and how I was feeling. She took a visual assessment of my body and her knowledge was evident in that she was able to identify points of tension from the way I held myself.

At the time I was experiencing very strong and constant pain in my upper back, which I was trying to manage through foam rollling and heat packs, but it wasnt until I had my first massage that I managed to have a few days reprieve and was pain free.

Chronic pain can be completely exhausting, so this was such a relief and really made me feel incredible. The room was lovely and warm, the massage bed has these ingenious belly pillows (pillow with a half dome shape missing in the middle) so you can still lie on your front no matter what the size of your tummy – they have multiple sizes, and it felt completely comfortable.

In my appointments since I have been managing some chronic tendon pain in my groin that is a result of over training. Thankfully the back pain has eased up, and I am otherwise feeling quite good. X certainly gets stuck into the sore and tense areas, but she always checks if the pressure is ok and if I am managing.

I breathe my way through this as I know it will be worth it in a few days time, and it is only for a few moments, on the whole the massages are very relaxing.

Often the next day I am feeling a bit sore, even experiencing some DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) equivalent to a good gym session (miss those days!!!) but this quickly eases off and my body feels limber and freer.

On my last appointment she was even able to visually identify Little man’s prominent position! This might seem obvious but I was so impressed by that – my baby loves to be pressed up HARD on the right side of me, and likes to use my right lower ribs as target practice. I thought I was the only one who could see how lopsided I am!

After a lovely hour of massage I feel so relaxed, and I always have the best sleep that night!



Ainslie: Baby and Bump (where Bronwen goes)

Belconnen: Club MMM @ CISAC Belconnen

Manuka: Live Well Spa and Wellness Centre (where Jo goes)

Tuggeranong: Canberra Body Clinic

Civic: Therapy Masters

Theodore: TLC Massage 

Woden: Woden Wellness Centre

Higgins: Green Lotus Therapies

Macquarie: Clinic 88

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