Prenatal Massage Tables and Techniques, Demystified

Zeel prenatal massage questions, answered – should you use a cutout hole table?

There are two major questions about pregnancy massage that we often receive here at Zeel. The first question is “Are your prenatal massage therapists trained?” We are happy to say that we will always send you a licensed and vetted maternity massage specialist when you book a Zeel prenatal massage.

The second question is, “Do you have a pregnancy massage table with one of those holes for the stomach?” To this, we must answer no. The reason is that these massage tables are actually not recommended for pregnant women.

Why massage tables with holes are not good for pregnant women

As you might imagine, the prenatal massage technique is an especially popular Mother’s Day present. That’s why it’s even more important to ensure healthy massage during pregnancy – and that means avoiding cutout tables for massages.

As tempting as it might be to lay on your stomach for an hour, there are good reasons why experts (like the American Pregnancy Association) strongly recommend that you do not use a stomach-enabled massage table for your prenatal massage.

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Stretched stomach skin and ligaments

Massage is meant to ease aches. Tables with stomach holes cause aches. When you get on a table with a hole in it, you are pushing your soft stomach through an unyielding hole, allowing your stomach to rest unsupported. This can cause undue stress on the abdomen, and stretch out your stomach ligaments. Lying on your stomach can also exacerbate stretch marks during pregnancy.

Unsupported backs mean hurt backs

In addition, remember that the massage therapist will likely press on your sore muscles during your prenatal massage. When your stomach is unsupported (because it’s hanging free), that means that the therapist may inadvertently put too much pressure on your lower back – and cause the low back pain you’re trying to avoid.

One size does not fit all

Finally, your stomach grows throughout pregnancy – but the holes in prenatal massages tables are typically just one size. And when it comes to pregnancy, one size definitely does not fit all – a pregnant stomach at five months is very different from a pregnant stomach at nine months. Not to mention, your baby’s weight (and your body type) are unique.

The solution: side-lying pillows

The recommended position for pregnant women getting massages is side-lying. For comfort, massage therapists will use pillows to support the body and keep the pregnant woman comfortable and relaxed. Properly arranged pillows keep the uterus supported, and hips and shoulders in alignment. Some women may prefer to get a prenatal massage in a semi-reclining position, which can also be easily accommodated by the use of pillows. Many prenatal therapists will bring their own pillows, or this positioning can be easily accomplished with four standard pillows.

Image and video courtesy of Oakworks Spa Tables


The final question that people often ask is, “Where can I get a prenatal massage near me?” The short answer: everywhere Zeel Massage service is available, in over 60 major cities and surrounding areas across the US. Visit our Zeel Locations Map to book your pregnancy massage today.

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