What is a Prenatal / Pregnancy Massage?
Prenatal massage is quite like Swedish/Deep Tissue massage. The difference is that we get you into a comfortable position lying on your side. We stabilize you with pillows – one under your head, one between knees, and one to hold in your arms – and then massage proceeds like the familiar face down/face up treatment style.
Is it OK to get a massage while pregnant?
How early should you get a prenatal massage?
What are the benefits of prenatal massage?
You can get a massage at any stage in your pregnancy. Massage performed by a trained RMT does not pose a risk to a normal, healthy pregnancy, and it can be quite beneficial to your comfort and wellbeing.
Massage can promote activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest), and this helps reduce muscle tension, improve circulation and digestion, and reduces the amount of stress hormones in your system. As your pregnancy progresses and the new life grows, your body mechanics necessarily change. Massage can be a great way to balance out and reduce tension in overworked muscles as you adapt to a constantly changing centre-of-balance.
If you have special conditions or health concerns, it is best to check in with your doctor before receiving massage. You can always feel free to reach out to Liam by email, text, or phone call with questions.
Is prenatal massage better than regular massage? Are prenatal massages safe?
Prenatal massage is the default when you are pregnant. It is not a style of massage so much as a consideration of needs, goals, risks, and benefits associated with pregnancy. It is no better or worse than non-prenatal massage, and it generally involves the same sets of techniques to address your goals.
The main difference is that we do not have you lying on your stomach or back as this presents risks during pregnancy. The most important risk is compression of your abdominal aorta – a vitally important conduit for blood flow. The abdominal aorta runs vertically behind your fetus, so lying on your stomach or back can compress your bodyweight, the fetus, and the abdominal aorta together in ways that are potentially dangerous.
Liam gets you into side lying position and stabilizes you comfortably with pillows, so this prevents compression of your aorta. Some RMTs use a special massage table with an indent for your belly, but since these tend to be one-size-fits-all and do not necessarily prevent risks associated with lying on your stomach or back, Liam chooses not to use them.
Are prenatal massages covered by insurance?
If your insurance company covers massage therapy, then prenatal massage by an RMT should also be covered. Each insurance plan has its own characteristics, so it’s best to check in with your provider if you’re unsure about massage coverage.
Are prenatal massages safe in third trimester?
Yes, prenatal massage is safe right up until term provided there are no special health conditions associated with your pregnancy. Massage can be a great way to help improve comfort and reduce stress in those final months. If there are special health considerations, it’s best to check in with your doctor before getting massage. You can also feel free to reach out to Liam with questions by email, text, or phone call.
Can prenatal massage cause miscarriage?
Massage provided by a trained RMT carries no known risk of miscarriage. Massage can be quite helpful in mitigating some risks, such as stress, that are sometimes associated with miscarriage. If you have any concerns, it is always good to check in with your doctor before massage therapy.
Can a prenatal massage induce labor?
There is no evidence that massage can induce labour, however there are acupuncture/acupressure points that are thought to influence inducing labour. Since Liam is not an expert in this field, he avoids using these pressure points in prenatal massage.
Does prenatal massage help with sciatica?
Sciatica is a general term denoting compression somewhere along the sciatic nerve and its branches. The sciatic nerve exits through your lumbar spine (low back), travels under your hip bone, then under your piriformis muscle (under your gluteal/buttocks muscles), then under the muscles of the hamstrings in the back of your thigh, then supplies your lower legs and feet.
A compression can happen anywhere along this path, and different structures of the body might be causing that compression, so we assess to determine likely locations and causes before treatment. If muscles and other soft tissues are involved, as they often are during pregnancy, then massage can be very helpful in relieving symptoms. For example, the lower back muscles and the piriformis are commonly very high-tension and overworked during pregnancy, so relaxing these muscles may be quite helpful.