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Prenatal massage gone wrong

An update on my recent post on "Are all prenatal massages equal." Soon after I had posted this information, three more clients came in with stories that I think are pretty typical.

These are not horror stories. And they are really not "massage gone wrong." But they are annoying to women who have limited time and money. It is a risk to try a new massage therapist/establishment and some of this stuff shouldn't even be at play.

Here are the most recent stories:

  • One woman was given a gift certificate for one of the massage mills for Christmas. She booked her session and when she arrived they told her that the original pregnancy massage therapist was not available, so they had another qualified therapist ready for her. This mams-to-be is a well-seasoned massage receiver and on her second pregnancy; far from timid, she agreed to the new therapist and went in for her session. The therapist asked her to start laying on her back (in her third trimester!). Our mom-to-be knew better and said she couldn't lie flat on her back. The therapist reponded that they could work in a side-lying position instead. He left the room and returned and was ready to proceed, but mama was left lying on her side with no pilllows supporting her neck and head, nor her legs. She had to ask for her own leg bolster, which the therapist provided. She made no disparging remarks about the establishment, nor of the individual therapist; she was simply relating that her comfort was compromised during the entire session.

  • Another recent mama-to-be who has come to my office has her own regular massage spot that she goes to and loves, and received one prenatal massage there. Though she remains a loyal customer of this sweet day spa, she has decided to receive her bodywork elsewhere during her pregnancy. The therapists were too timid working with her pregnant body, almost as if they were "afraid to touch" her.

And here's one from a woman I saw a few months ago:

  • A woman in her 5 month of pregnancy came to see me, exhausted and feeling the aches and pains. Her boyfriend made the appointment for her and had grilled me on my qualifications. She showed up just a few minutes late for her appointment (less than 5 minutes), really apologetic and the first words out of her mouth  were, "is this going to cut into my massage time?", with a real look of worry on her face. I told her, "usually, yes, but since it is your first session, I am holding a full 90-minutes for us, so I think we  will be ok." As we got talking, it turns out she worked as a receptionist at one of the massage mills until very recently. She said that she refused to get a massage there because she was pregnant (despite enjoying employee discounts), and didn't trust the therapists and didn't think they were really certified or qualified (perhaps she meant specific to pregnancy massage). She heard their comments about clients behind their backs, and saw the therapists as completely tip-motivated. She was blown away by the contrast of seeing a private therapist who has the flexibility and time to really engage her about her body and pregnancy, spend time with her, and be present with her.

Please feel free to share your stories as well. 

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