As a maternity massage therapist I was surprised to hear the reaction to pregnant Coronation Street character, Leanne Battersby, having a pregnancy massage. Many fans reacted with shock accusing writers of a massive blunder.
The character was taken to a spa as a treat by her sisters and during her visit she enjoyed a back massage. Viewers expressed their opinions on twitter.
One wrote on Twitter: “Erm, how did Leanne get a back massage when she is heavily pregnant #Corrie” while another added: “How has Leanne Battersby just laid on her front for a massage?” A third agreed, writing: “How can you get a back massage with a massive bump?” Others speculated how she managed to have a back massage, with one writing: “Just how is Leanne going to get a back massage with that giant pillow stuffed up her? Is she going to stand or what?” Viewers were baffled how a heavily pregnant woman would be able to get her back massaged without hurting the baby. One fan even expressed how she felt massage would bring on labour "Massaging a pregnant woman? Doesn't that usually, er, prompt a delivery?"
I though maternity massage was quite a mainstream therapy, but it seems I am very wrong! The myth that you cannot enjoy massage in pregnancy is clearly still commonly held. This is really sad as it must be preventing so many pregnant women from enjoying and benefiting from massage.
Massage and other therapies such as maternity reflexology can be very supportive during pregnancy, helping to manage the many changes taking place both physically and emotionally. After the first scan at around 12 weeks is a great time to explore maternity therapies. It is important to visit a therapist training to work with pregnant clients and tell your midwife about your plans first.
As one twitter user guessed: “do you think Leanne lay on her side for her back massage? #practicalquestion #corrie”. Yes, pregnancy back massage is usually performed in a side lying position with cushions to support the bump. The massage tables available with holes in to accomodate the bump are not advised as they put unnatural pressure on the uterus and surrounding muscles.
If you are in the Kidderminster Worcestershire area please do contact me to discuss any questions you may have.