What is prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage is a type of massage designed to be used during pregnancy. Also called pregnancy massage, it can help relieve some of the aches and pains of pregnancy. Performed by a trained professional, it is safe and effective. It helps you prepare for the birth you want and postpartum recovery. And research hints that it's good for baby, too.
What happens during a prenatal massage?
A trained prenatal massage specialist will adapt the massage to you and you pregnancy. At some point in pregnancy, you can no longer lie face down like you would in a traditional massage. Instead the therapist will use a range of specialized equipment to position you strategically for the massage. Below are common options:
1) Supported Side-lying. This is the most common position. You will lie on your side with a specialized pillow system that supports every inch of your body. Most ideal for back and hip massage.
2) Semi-Seated. You will be propped up on pillows in a reclined seated position (kinda like you are lounging in a recliner). Often your therapist will have a giant wedge pillow for you to lie back against.
3) Face down. Some therapists will have special pillows or a special massage table with a belly cut out that lets you lie face down. This is not recommended by the experts, but can be helpful for some pregnant women. Make sure the massage therapist is a specialist and screens your pregnancy thoroughly: this option is not safe for every pregnancy.
Is it too early? Too late?
We will work with you wherever your scar is in the healing process — from a few months old to 10 years later (or more!).
After the initial scar is created, our body continues to remodel that scar for the first year (and sometimes up to three years). Our job together is to tell your body how to remodel the scar through touch and movement. This influences tissues directly at the surgery site and throughout your body.
Is prenatal massage safe?
Research shows prenatal massage therapy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor. Massage helps you relax and minimize the impact of stress on your body. Therapeutic touch relieves many of the aches and pains that accompany your changing body. Safe for both mom and baby, research shows that massage promotes healthier moms, shorter labors and healthier babies.
While many women seek out massage when the discomforts of the last few months of pregnancy become most intense, the real benefits are gained from more regular sessions throughout the pregnancy. While all relaxation techniques are beneficial, touch therapies have the strongest impact. Women who receive regular massage have measurably reduced levels of stress hormones and report less mood swings and physical discomforts.