A Beginners Guide to Prenatal Massage

A Beginners Guide to Prenatal Massage

We get a lot of questions about how our prenatal massages feel and compare to a regular Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage.  Our go-to answer: wonderful and completely different.  Below we answer a few of our commonly asked questions:

I see at some local spas that prenatal massages are not allowed during the first trimester. Why is that? 

Since there is a higher chance for miscarriage during the first trimester, many spas and therapists choose to avoid that time and protect themselves.  Our therapists are specially trained in prenatal massage therapy, and understand the how your body is changing during the early weeks of pregnancy.  Furthermore, we do not treat our clients as fragile patients, but rather strong individuals who understand what their bodies need.  We trust that our clients are in communication with their medical team and understand what is best for their individual care.

When do I need to start side lying? And how does that change the massage?

Side-lying will occur when you do not feel like you can lay comfortably on your stomach. This will vary client to client, but we recommend generally in the second trimester you shift to the side-lying position to help reduce the pressure on the vena cava, which can impact the blood flow to mother and baby.  

I have seen some massage therapists offer massage tables with a hole in the middle so that I can still lay on my stomach. Why do you not offer that?

Although it does sound lovely to be able to comfortable lay on your stomach, we do not believe that there in the “one-size fits all” approach.  We have noticed that while those tables can be very comfortable for some pregnant individuals, some do not fit properly.  Our pillows and blostering system are completely customized to your body shape to ensure you are completely comfortable.

I love deep tissue massages normally! Can I have a deep tissue while pregnant?

Of course! Deep tissue massages can feel so wonderful for the tight hips and lower back that are common with pregnancy.  Most areas of your body that you would normally receive deep tissue work to can still receive that same attention while you pregnant and side-lying, we just have to adjust slightly.  You will leave the massage feeling wonderful! 

Are there any reasons why I should not have a prenatal massage?

Short answer: not usually.  As with a regular massage, it is not recommended if you are in the acute stage of an injury and have not sought medical attention.  Meaning, you broke your ankle and instead of seeing a doctor, you came to saw us.  While we feel honored that you trust us, we do need your doctor to see you first!  Just as with pregnancy, we like to know that you are in communication with your medical team to ensure they believe a massage would be beneficial for you.  

What are the contraindications for a prenatal massage?

If you have a particular condition, your medical team will alert you if massage should be avoided.  If you are experience severe nausea, cramping or bleeding, we recommend rescheduling your massage.  On our end, we do not do deep reflexology or acupressure, avoid using essential oils, breast stimulation, and deep stretching.  

We hope that this has help you learn why massage is a vital part of your wellness routine, especially while you are pregnant.  It also helps that our Licensed Massage Therapist is also a Doula who can help talk through any concerns that you may have about your massage.  We hope you will schedule an appointment with us soon!