Prenatal Massage: What You Need To Know

Expectant mother rests her hands on her baby bump.

Have questions about prenatal massage? We’ve got answers.

I’ve always heard that I can’t get a massage in my first trimester of pregnancy. What’s the story?

Most massage therapists will decline to massage a woman who is in her first trimester of pregnancy. The reasons for this are largely related to liability as opposed to any significant danger to the mother or fetus; because the risk of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester. That said, it is possible to get a massage from a certified prenatal specialist – just make sure to tell your massage therapist that you are pregnant. Your therapist will make sure to avoid your abdomen, uterus area, and certain pressure points on the legs and ankles.  Some types of massage can supposedly induce labor.

So what is a pregnancy massage and how does it work? I can’t even lie on my stomach.

A prenatal massage, also called a pregnancy massage, is designed to make your pregnant months more comfortable. During a prenatal massage, your massage therapist will ask you to lie down on your side, which is the least stressful for both you and your baby. The prenatal massage focuses on stress and pain relief and swelling reduction, all issues with most pregnancies. You will be bolstered by cushions, either standard massage cushions or cushions designed for pregnancy massage.

You may have seen some tables that have a cutout for the stomach. These massage table setup is not recommended for pregnant women. Not only does the stomach cutout not relieve stress on the abdomen, letting the stomach dangle can stretch out ligaments in the abdominal area .

As with any procedure or treatment undergone during pregnancy, check with your doctor before booking your first prenatal massage.

Pregnancy massage is great. What about a prenatal massage when you’re no longer pregnant?

Aside from prenatal massage, many mothers swear by postnatal massage, or maternity massage , a gentle massage enjoyed by brand-news mothers in the days and weeks after giving birth. A postnatal massage is great to aid the release of oxytocin (a hormone that helps with baby-bonding and nursing) and ease various post-birth issues, including swelling, back pain, out-of-whack hormones, and postnatal depression. If you’ve had a C-section, postnatal maternity massage can help your body heal faster (just make sure your massage therapist avoids the area of the incision on your abdomen, and get your doctor’s OK before getting a maternity massage after your operation.)

Can I just go to any massage therapist for my prenatal massage?

You should choose a massage therapist with prenatal certification and training. All Zeel Massage Therapists who perform prenatal massages have this background. If you get a pregnancy massage elsewhere, make sure your massage therapist is experienced and certified in this specific massage technique.

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