Pregnancy is a joyful, and a stressful time. Your body is changing quickly to meet the needs of your growing child. Pregnancy (or pre-natal) massage focuses on some of the unique physical needs of the parent-to-be and is much more than just a luxury.*
It provides relaxation by relieving stress on joints, easing pain, and helping with the postural changes associated with the progressing pregnancy. Massage therapy is also believed to stimulate the endocrine system, which helps to stabilize hormone levels and relieve nervous tension. Massage oils and creams that contain vitamin E may help keep the skin supple, which can reduce the discomfort caused by the stretching belly.
Pregnancy massage is usually done in a side-lying position with plenty of pillows or cushions for support. I use a patented bodyCushion™ System, for your comfort and safety. This cushion system may allow you to lie face down until sometime in your third trimester, depending on the size of your baby belly, and how you are carrying.** The massage addresses the neck, the arms and hands, the back, the hips and pelvis, and the legs and feet.
Why should I have massage during pregnancy?
Pregnancy massage is effective for relieving stress, pain, sinus congestion, round ligament pain, some types of breathing restrictions, lower back pain and edema you may experience during your pregnancy. If your body is relaxed, you may have an easier and healthier pregnancy, and perhaps even an easier delivery.
Massage therapy is not only good before childbirth, but also afterwards. Postpartum massage focuses on helping to restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition. Massage therapy plays an important part in restoring the abdominal muscles and the hip and core muscles to a normal, healthy state of stability. It relieves muscle tension and stress from everyday activities, especially new parenting duties.
Besides the physical benefits, the special attention and quiet time during massage can also help to balance your emotional state. The loving touch of hands can provide a time to relax and reflect for a new parent, and may help with postpartum depression.
During pregnancy we avoid deep abdominal work, for obvious reasons. After the fourth month, general and gentle abdominal massage can be enjoyable for both you and baby, and can help a great deal with discomfort around and below the ribcage, and along your center abdominal line.
If you have certain medical conditions during pregnancy, such as excessive edema, hypertension or preeclampsia, we will need a doctor’s approval before massage.
Massage for your baby
New families may also want to learn some basic massage techniques to use on the new baby. Firm, gentle massage is thought to improve the infant’s sleeping patterns, learning, digestion, adaptability and growth rate, among other things. New parents who use massage for their baby may also feel a deeper, calmer bond with their child. For information on infant massage, and to locate a certified infant massage trainer or practitioner, please visit the CIMI Loving Touch® website.
Pregnancy massage is available in 60 or 90 minute sessions. Discounts are available on three and six session purchases.
*Pregnancy and postpartum massage at Breathe Bodywork is trans-friendly. You will never have to explain, validate, or justify your gender identity. All expectant parents are entitled to the same high quality of care. back to top
**Please note that although the bodyCushion™ is designed to allow face-down positioning through the end of pregnancy, I take a more conservative approach and may not provide this positioning in late third trimester. back to top