First, I'd like to get the most popular myth of pregnancy massage out of the way right from the beginning: Pregnancy Massage is perfectly safe during the first trimester. This was, and still is in some cases, taught in massage school but without any scientific basis or research. There is absolutely zero evidence or experiences of massage causing any problems including miscarraige. Unless your physician has identified a specific concern, feel free to make your appointments!
What are the benefits of Pregnancy Massage?
- Lowered anxiety
- Decreased back and leg pain
- Improved sleep
- Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
- Increased levels of the "feel-good" hormones serotonin and dopamine
- Decreased levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress
- An overall improvement in mood
If any of the following apply to you, please consult with your physician before scheduling a massage.
- High risk pregnancy
- Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
- Previous pre-term labor
- Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
- Recently gave birth
After a thorough intake where we'll discuss your specific condition and any concerns you may have, you'll be directed to disrobe to your level on comfort while I am out of the room washing my hands.
The table I have is extremely comfortable and is also a pregnancy table. The advantage is that are no body cushions to deal with and if you are capable, it has a belly sling that will allow you to lie face-down and relieve pressure from you back. For some expectant mothers, lying on their back can put too much pressure on the vena-cava, which may make it difficult to breath and relax. In my 13 years of doing this, I have only had a few clients who needs to be lying on their side for the session.
For the most part, your massage is going to be very similar to any other one you have had. As your pregnancy progresses, more attention will be given to your hips and lower back as they adjust for the upcoming delivery.
I received very thorough instruction in pregnancy massage during massage school beginning in 2003 and was working with pregnant clients during my rotations in two semesters of student clinic. I have completed continuing education as a follow up and have lost count of how many moms-to-be I have worked with. One of my first clients came to me when she discovered she was seven weeks pregnant after having an auto accident and could not receive physical therapy. We saw each other twice a week from her 8th week until several days before her delivery. Her doctor credited the massage with helping her labor to be brief and the delivery was natural.