Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as back pain, sciatica, stiff neck, leg cramps and headaches.
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to reduce tension -- which can aid in better sleep.
Prenatal massage is also customized to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and our therapists are trained in specialized prenatal massage skills.
What is prenatal massage? Prenatal massage is a type that's similar to regular massage – it aims to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But prenatal massage is also customized to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and therapists trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly.
Do I need to fully undress? You need to undress to your comfort level in the areas you would like massaged. Most patients undress to their underwear. During a session you will be fully covered with a table sheet/blanket, only the area of your body that is being worked on is uncovered. Before and after the session, you will undress and dress in complete privacy.
What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy? Research on the therapeutic benefits of massage for pregnant women is limited, but small studies suggest that prenatal massage may:
Improve mood and lower stress levels
Improvement of nerve pain
Reduced back and joint pain
Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
Getting a pregnancy massage can also put you in a more relaxed state of mind to help you cope with all the big changes that are going on in your life.
When can I get a prenatal massage? Our policy is that we don't offer prenatal massage during the first trimester of pregnancy. Anytime during the second or third trimester is safe depending on the health of the mother to be. Women in high-risk pregnancies should consult their doctor or midwife before beginning one of our massage therapy programs.
How do I lie on the massage table when I'm pregnant? During your pregnancy as your belly starts to grow and your body changes, it may be uncomfortable to lie face down. You can lie on your side with pillows under your belly and between your knees for support. We have a special prenatal massage cushion that the massage therapist can use to accommodate your belly and breasts, so you can lie face down if you wish.
If lying face down on a special pregnancy massage pad stresses your lower back, try lying on your side or ask your therapist to help you find a comfortable position.
Can I still get deep pressure on my back? Deep or pointed pressure should be avoided certain areas. These areas include the abdomen, insides of the legs, lower back, and certain reflexive or shiatsu points which can promote uterine contraction. The abdomen, however, can be massaged in a gentle manner which can be of great benefit to both mom and baby. Our massage therapists have specialized training in order to provide a safe but effective massage to help alleviate your aches and pains.
If you experience discomfort at any time during the pregnancy massage, tell your therapist immediately.