Prenatal Massage or Pregnancy Massage
Research shows that both mother and infant receive health benefits when regular massage therapy is integrated into prenatal care. Pregnancy massage is especially recommended during the second and third trimester. Please see below regarding important health concerns and the importance of getting your doctor's permission before scheduling massage while pregnant.
When calling for an appointment, be sure to mention you are pregnant so we can book you with a massage therapist who has special training.
At Lotus Center, there is no surcharge for prenatal or pregnancy massage.
Pregnancy massage is similar to yet different than regular massage. It shares many goals with regular massage but also gives special attention to the unique needs of pregnant women. LMTs with training in prenatal massage are familiar with the typical discomforts of pregnancy and can help you find relief. As with any massage at Lotus Massage & Wellness Center, new clients complete an intake form, and before each hands-on session, your therapist will sit down to listen to your concerns.
In a prenatal session, your massage therapist may use pillows and bolsters to support you in a side-lying position. You are not asked to lie flat, but may receive part of your massage in a semi-reclining position. At Lotus Center, your preference and comfort is the deciding factor for the positions used during massage.
During pregnancy, massage therapists emphasize techniques from Swedish massage but also draw from other techniques in their repertoire of skills. Your LMT has studied areas and techniques to avoid during pregnancy. As always, you can communicate at any point during your massage about adjusting the pressure, techniques, or positioning to be completely comfortable for you.
Benefits of massage for pregnant women
reducing back and neck pain – Changes in an expectant mother’s weight and center of gravity can stress muscles and structures of the back, neck, abdomen and shoulders, a situation exacerbated by hormonal changes that relax ligaments and make joints less stable. Massage can help alleviate back pain, a stiff neck and related symptoms.
controlling blood pressure – Massage therapy reduces blood pressure during and after a massage. Maintaining normal blood pressure helps minimize varicose veins as well as contribute to a healthy pregnancy overall.
enhancing circulation – Massage therapy stimulates circulation and thus helps the body process waste products. Enhanced elimination of waste helps reduce fatigue and build health and wellness.
reducing muscle tension – Massage helps alleviate typical pregnancy complaints like muscle tension, stiffness and cramping; and lower overall muscle tension is a benefit to the mother during labor as well.
hormonal adjustment – Hormone changes during pregnancy, coupled with necessary lifestyle changes, can lead to depression, anxiety, or mood swings. Long proven to significantly reduce stress hormones, massage can be helpful for these problems. Lower levels of stress hormones are associated with fewer complications during pregnancy and birth, as well as reduced risk of low birth weight.
controlling headaches – As in other contexts, regular massage therapy can reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of headaches.
reducing edema or swelling – Lymphatic massage can help a pregnant woman’s body process excess fluids and reduce swelling.
improved self-acceptance – Many women struggle with body image during pregnancy and with adjusting to new pains and discomforts in their body. Caring touch helps the mother-to-be with these psychological concerns.
relaxation and stress relief – Massage is universally respected as a profound tool for relaxation and stress relief.
better sleep and reduced fatigue – Reducing aches and pains, combined with the complete relaxation provided by massage, facilitates deeper, longer, more restful sleep and a better energy level during the day.
nourishing the fetus – Less research has been done in this area,; but some health professionals believe that by improving overall circulation, massage therapy enhances fetal health by helping more oxygen and nutrients reach the developing fetus.
during labor and birth – Research shows that women who receive massage frequently during the second two trimesters experience reduced perception of labor pain, fewer complications, less anesthesia, and fewer premature births.
post-partum – Continuing massage therapy after birth will continue the benefits above while helping the mother’s body return to its previous norm and adjust to new activities.
Before your prenatal massage appointment
Prenatal massage sessions are typically started after the first trimester. We strongly encourage all prenatal clients to discuss massage with their health care provider before calling to schedule an appointment. If any of the following are present, you must obtain explicit approval from your medical doctor:
• high-risk pregnancy
• pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
• previous pre-term labor
• vaginal bleeding
• abdominal pain
• sudden severe headaches
• severe swelling
• severe high blood pressure