Many of us LOVE massage right? I do! When you are growing a baby there are so many changes your body makes to ensure that happens perfectly. Sometimes these changes can cause some discomfort for Mom. If you have had questions about getting any form of bodywork while pregnant this will be helpful.
How often should I receive massage when I am pregnant?
Each pregnancy and each body is different, so I can not answer this for everyone. I like to recommend once a month for the first and second trimester and then, more often during the 3rd trimester. Many Moms opt for one per week for the last 4-6 weeks. Listen to your body, it is very much up to what you feel you need most.
What About Due Date Massage?
Massage when approaching your estimated due date is wonderful for you and for baby. I like to call this a Labor Encouraging Massage. There are many great benefits of massage at this time especially. General stress relief, relaxing tight and tense muscles, as well as working on those points that could encourage the body to be ready for your baby to come. Many women like to schedule something on their due date to have something to look forward to, other than a baby of course. Massage is a lovely way to prepare your body for the experience of your baby’s birth day. Always consult your provider if you have special circumstances.
Can I Get a Massage During the First Trimester?
You will be glad to know that YES you can. You may have heard it can be unsafe to have specific points massaged during this time. As long as you have a therapist trained to know how to avoid these points or avoid specific oils be used safely there is nothing to worry about. There are points both on the hands and on the feet that may encourage labor to begin. This is often why some avoid pedicures/manicures during this time as well. In the first trimester you are still able to lay in any position on the massage table to receive your treatment and that in itself is very relaxing. As your baby grows, laying on your stomach becomes more uncomfortable.
All of that being said, if you are anxious about receiving a massage during the first trimester, you should wait until you are comfortable with it. We never want you to be stressed on the table. If your pregnancy is considered high risk or you have special conditions that massage may be contraindicated please discuss with your provider before coming in for your session.
What Position Will I Be In During the Massage?
In the first trimester, like we discussed earlier-laying on your back or stomach are both very relaxing on the massage table. After that, it becomes more difficult to lay on your stomach. I like to begin the massage with a pillow under my clients head/neck while they are lying on their back ( as long as they are comfortable this way) – this way we can focus on shoulders, arms, legs and feet. When its time to focus more on the back of the body I invite my prenatal clients to lay on their side (side-line position) and I am able to work the low-mid back, shoulders and legs again. This is a very comfortable position as well, as I bolster the body with pillows to their comfort level.
Do You Require a Note From My Doctor?
In most cases I do not. I do like for you to mention to your prenatal care provider if you plan to receive massage and they are often very happy with that. If a prenatal client of mine may be on bed rest or have other high risk circumstances we discuss the safest options during the massage before hand. If you ever question whether the massage will be safe please don’t hesitate to ask your care provider.
How soon can I come back after the baby is born?
I like to give massage soon after the baby is born, it often aids in recovery time. This can be difficult though as you want to be with your baby often and baby needs you. In most cases, I like to bring my table out to the new parents home if we are scheduled with the first few weeks. Another option would be to have someone bring your baby along, they can wait nearby if baby needs to be nursed OR I have even had clients have their baby in the room with us during the massage. Mothers who have had a Cesarean-section usually need to wait a few weeks until their provider is comfortable with them having some body work done.