What is Prenatal Massage? Massage therapy for pregnant women.
What's the difference between getting prenatal massage at Salt Lake Prenatal Massage vs. any other spa or place in Utah that offers pregnancy massage? A LOT. Let's put it this way: A Dentist is a Doctor too... but not the kind of doctor you should choose to deliver your baby. A few highlights: we don't require you to lie on your side for the massage, we have advanced cushioning systems to ensure your safety and comfort at all stages of pregnancy, we will work with as deep pressure as you want (we don't treat you like you are fragile), we aren't hesitant/afraid to work on you, we are SPECIALISTS in prenatal massage and have worked on thousands of pregnant women (most spa therapists have only worked on a handful), we are highly knowledgeable about pregnancy and birth and we don't perpetuate myths and misconceptions such as "I can induce your labor with foot massage" (which is hopeful... but false.)
Is it ever too early or too late in pregnancy to get a massage? Nope! The only difference is our cancellation policy for women in labor is a bit more lenient (see below).
Aren't there certain things you can't do on pregnant women during a massage? Rarely. But you may have heard a few myths: massage will stir up toxins and is dangerous, foot massage will put you in labor, you can only use light pressure massage, no deep work on your lower back, no massage in the first trimester, no face-down massage EVER, therapist can naturally induce labor or do things that will put you in labor..... these are all false. (We can tell you why, if you need further clarification). The main difference is that we don't do super deep sports-massage type techniques on your legs (but most women don't want that), and we have to position you differently on the massage table as your belly grows. If you have any concerns about the safety and practice of pregnancy massage, please contact us for clarification.
Is pregnancy massage dangerous? No. Massage during a normal pregnancy is not harmful at all. Massage supports a healthy pregnancy, and does not cause miscarriage or induce preterm labor. That being said...not all massage therapists or spas who offer prenatal massage have extensive training or experience doing it, and if you are the recipient of one of those massages, you might be left unsettled and disappointed. Specialization makes a BIG difference; a dental assistant knows a LOT about teeth, but she shouldn't be the one performing a root canal.
How often should I get pregnancy massage? Same as your prenatal care visits! Once every 4 weeks up to week 27; every other week up to week 36; weekly from week 36 on until you give birth. MANY of our clients come every other week or every week for the whole pregnancy, and for four months postpartum.
Postpartum massage - how soon, and how often? Come back in within the first 10 days of giving birth. Bring baby with you. (Giant maxi pads and leaky boobs welcome.) Then, every other week at least for the first 16 weeks postpartum. (We promise it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Why? Because women rarely prioritize self-care. Schedule motherhood around your massage appointments and you will be a better, happier mother.)
How does prenatal massage help? It will help you feel good, hurt less, and sleep better. It helps relieve pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, arms and hands, legs and feet. Overall, you'll be a happier... and who doesn't want THAT?
Do I have to lie on my side the whole time? Only if you prefer to. We know how to do that very well.
Do you have those special pregnancy tables with holes cut out for the belly? oh, noooooo. (Do they still make those???) While they are a novel idea, tables with removable "plugs" for breasts and belly do not adjust or support the body adequately. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to women's bodies. We DO have advanced orthopedic cushioning systems that go on top of a standard massage table, that enable you to lie face down (or on your side if you prefer) comfortably and safely.
Do I get to lie face-down during a pregnancy massage? Absolutely... every pregnant woman's dream come true! We are masterful in the use of special orthopedic body support cushions that are fully adjustable to accommodate your growing belly and breasts during all stages of pregnancy. Most women find them so comfortable that they beg us to let them take the cushions home! If you are carrying twins, or are obese at the start of your pregnancy, it may be more prudent and comfortable to lie you on your side after a certain point. Also, women that are petite (5'2" and under) may not fit well face-down on the cushions. But we will let you try them and decide for yourself!
Can I lie flat on my back during pregnancy massage? Only during the first trimester. After that, we prop you up like the Queen that you are, reclining on her throne, with your head/neck/back supported, your knees and feet slightly elevated too. Magically, you'll also discover that this a great position to sleep in for the rest of your pregnancy.
What do I need to wear? Come as you are. Once you get in the massage room the therapist will introduce you to the massage table and explain how to get on it. They will ask you to get completely undressed after they step out for a moment, as we prefer not to have to work around anything. You are welcome to leave undies on if you have a good reason to. It is standard massage practice to leave you covered at all times with a sheet and a large bath towel, with one area at a time skillfully uncovered to be worked on, and re-covered securely when that area is finished. You will be comfortable and modest, and the therapist will check in with you to make sure you are not too cold or too hot.
What length of appointment should I book? For "full-body massage" (where we say hello to every major muscle group), we need at least 60 minutes. 75 minutes is ideal; 90 minutes is even better, and 120 minutes is freakin' fantastic (but not recommended for massage first-timers). Shorter sessions of 30- or 45-min in length are great for spot treatments on 1-3 areas.
What if I really need a massage but I really can't afford it? We have contests every month on our Facebook page and the prize is often a free massage. Also, if you refer three clients who book a minimum of one 60 min appointment each, ABRACADABRA, you get a $75 gift certificate to spend in our office. There's your free massage. (And we all know that every pregnant woman knows at least three more pregnant women. Spread the word!)
Do you only work with pregnant women? Although 90% of our clients our pregnant, 5% come in the first time right AFTER giving birth, and the other 5% are men and non-pregnant women. We also do Fertility Massage.
Do you only work on biological moms? (or heterosexual moms, etc.) No, we serve all mommies...and their husbands, wives, partners. We work with independent/single moms, birth moms, intended adoptive parents, surrogate moms, teen moms, young moms, old moms, and moms who have lost their babies too soon. Everyone is welcome here.
What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy? Your appointment time has been reserved for you and nobody else. It is common courtesy, and in your agreement when you sign your intake form, to give no less than 24 hours notice for cancellations or rescheduling. Though we may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, cancellations/rescheduling for any reason, within 24 hours of your appointment, are subject to a $35 cancellation fee, or 50% of the full cost of your session, whichever is greater. If we can re-book your vacancy with another client, you will not be charged at all. Cancellations/rescheduling with less than 2 hours notice are treated the same as no-shows (missed appointments with no notice), and are charged at the full session rate, unless by some miracle we can fill your vacancy last-minute with another client. If you cancel because you are in labor, we ask for a minimum of 3 hours notice. Less than 3 hours notice will be charged $35 or 50% or the full cost of your session.
We know we are dealing with pregnancy- and mommy-brain; therefore we give you a bunch of reminders and confirmation requests to support you in honoring this window of time. Please double check your calendar and set adequate reminders!
What if I'm running late for my appointment? We ask all clients to ALWAYS plan on arriving 5-10 mins early for any massage session. Unlike the average doctor's office, we actually run on time! If you are late, we will get you on the massage table quickly, and you will get whatever time remains of the session you are paying for. Just communicate with us if you are going to be late, and we'll see what we can do, but please understand that we don't usually have wiggle room in our schedule. If you are so late that you have to cancel, see policy above for no-shows. (If you are early, and your therapist ends up taking you back a few minutes late, you'll still get the full time you booked and it's up to the therapist to make up time in her schedule.)
What if I go into labor and have to cancel my appt? We are much more lenient in our cancellation policies for women who go into labor; just ask us when booking your appointment late in pregnancy!
What is required in order to reserve my appointment? Your full name, email address, mobile number, a credit or debit card on file to guarantee your appointment, as well as how many weeks pregnant or postpartum you are, and whether your pregnancy is low- or high-risk (and if high risk, for what reason).
Do you take walk-ins? No. But we sometimes have same-day/last-minute appointments. Please call/text first, or book online. Appointment is required.
Do I need a note from my doctor or midwife? Not unless you have certain high-risk conditions that could be complicated by promotion of blood flow throughout your body via massage. If you have any concerns in general about pregnancy massage, feel free to ask your prenatal provider. We are totally confident working with you and will let you know after we receive your intake form if there are any further concerns.
Do you accept insurance? You must first download our Insurance Billing Questionnaire and speak with your insurance agent to determine whether your insurance will pay for massage therapy, and if so, under what conditions. We are happy to give you a receipt for your payment so you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement. (It usually requires a prescription for massage therapy from your doctor or chiropractor.) You can also use a HSA or Flex-spending debit card with a major credit card logo to pay for your sessions. Contact us for details!
What difference in qualifications or training do your massage therapists have over a non-specialized massage therapist? We'll try to keep this relatively brief: All LMTs (in Utah) have a 30-90 min crash course during massage school on how to do a (pretty lousy) pregnancy massage with the pregnant woman propped on her side with a few pillows. Many myths are perpetuated out of fear of doing harm (ie, no 1st trimester massage, no foot/ankle massage, massage can induce labor, massage has to be light touch only, etc.) Some take an elective course in Prenatal Massage that is usually 8 credit hours, maybe as many as 16-20 credit hours. They get a lot of theory, and practice on usually ONE pregnant model. Others will go for "Certification" in Prenatal Massage by taking a weekend seminar that is 24-36 hours of instruction in pregnancy, birth, and techniques, taught by a true maternity massage specialist; they then go home and submit documentation of practice sessions on 1-5 pregnant clients. Some are taught to ONLY put pregnant women on their sides for prenatal massage, which most massage therapists aren't very good at. Practitioners are left with a lot of knowledge... but little-to-no supervised, real-life experience.
Our staff of Utah Licensed Massage Therapists usually only apply for work here if they are passionate about pregnancy and birth. After passing an initial interview and assessment of general massage skills, they complete 2-week comprehensive course that was developed by Rebecca Overson, founder of Salt Lake Prenatal Massage and previous owner. In addition to common sense pregnancy massage practice, they learn what pregnant women want, need, and expect. Not only do they learn EVERYTHING they should know about pregnancy and birth, they also get over the pregnancy fears and myths they learned in massage school. They learn that while pregnant women require special handling, pregnancy is NOT a disease, and pregnant women are NOT fragile. They learn what to do and what not to do, when to worry and when not to worry, and also dive into the culture of birth in the USA and what women are really going through during pregnancy and the many choices they must face. They learn skills and mindsets required to be truly supportive, professional, caring, and helpful for all aspects of pregnancy.
After all studies are done in level one and all homework submitted, they complete level two, which consists of 6-12+ practice sessions in our clinic, on our regular clients, who give rigorous feedback. Only after passing both levels of Maternity Massage training, demonstrating confidence in knowledge AND skill, do we allow our therapists to take paying clients. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all service.
Each of our therapists work on hundreds of pregnant clients each year. Many of our therapists are moms themselves!
Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?
In this video, Rebecca Overson answers the question "Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?":