What is Prenatal Massage?
Prenatal Massage, simply defined, is massage therapy specifically tailored to meet the needs of pregnant women.
However, it’s much more than that!
Massage therapy during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for healthy, low-risk moms. High-risk moms can benefit too, and we’re happy to work with your prenatal care provider to make sure you get the benefits of massage with any special considerations. Since prenatal massage is our specialty, our therapists know which precautions to take and they know how to handle the many changes that can arise during pregnancy.
Don’t trust your body and your baby to just any massage therapist – come to the prenatal massage experts.
Do you have those special tables with holes cut out for the belly?
No. Tables with holes are not the best way to do massage on a pregnant woman. They are not adjustable for the various shapes and sizes of women, bellies, and breasts, nor do they allow for adequate support. We do not use those “pregnancy massage tables” nor do we recommend them.
Most places that offer “pregnancy massage” require the woman to lie on her side, while supported by pillows and bolsters. However, most pregnant women don’t find that comfortable.
We utilize special orthopedic body support cushions that allow you to lie face down, comfortably and safely, without pressure on your belly or breasts, for the face-down portion of your massage. Or, if you prefer, you may lie supported on your side as well. 99% of our clients love the face-down option.
When it’s time to turn over, 1st trimester clients are fine to lie flat on their backs like a normal massage, and 2nd and 3rd trimester clients are positioned in a reclining position.
Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?
In this video, Rebecca Overson answers the question “Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?”:
Do you only work with pregnant women?
Although our name is “Salt Lake Prenatal Massage”, we are happy to work with women throughout their childbearing years and even beyond. Although our expertise is massage during pregnancy, we can also:
- help support conception (yep, it’s called Fertility-Enhancing Massage)
- support you during labor and birth (Doula Services)
- work on you after you have given birth (Postpartum Massage)
- work on you at any time thereafter, whether you are pregnant or not
We are a family-friendly massage clinic. We welcome clients in all stages of parenthood…even Dads or Partners! As long as it works for you and your child, you are welcome to bring older children with you to play in our kid-friendly waiting room while you have your massage. We’ve also given many massages to moms while their newborn infants sleep next to them in our bassinet! We even make trips to homes or hospitals to give massage therapy to women in recovery or on bedrest. We love pregnancy and birth and we are here to support YOU!
Massage during pregnancy can help in the following ways:
- Ease general aches and pains, including chronic low back pain, hip pain, neck/shoulder pain, headaches, and aching feet.
- Help you get better sleep, get some rest
- Help balance your ever-changing posture
- Relieve normal swelling of hands, legs, feet, ankles
- Relieve crabbiness/moodiness
- Ease emotional stress
Not only does prenatal massage feel good, but it actually creates a chemical shift in the body by suppressing the release of negative stress hormones and increasing the production of positive, feel-good hormones. This means that your baby also feels the benefits of nurturing touch during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding. Proper diet, exercise, and yoga are helpful, but regular massage during pregnancy is the ONLY thing a woman can have done for her during pregnancy that is totally supportive and nurturing.
Our clients tell us that regular massage during pregnancy is what “gets them through” to the end. It’s the only time they get relief from the aches and pains!
In this video, Rebecca explains our Staff’s qualifications, training and experience:
Our staff members are licensed massage therapists in the state of Utah. While most massage schools do not include special training in massage for childbearing women, our therapists have done post-graduate trainings, workshops, and internships that give them the skills and confidence to work on pregnant women. Some of us have had a few children of our own!
How is prenatal massage different from regular massage?
Massage during pregnancy will feel similar to massage that you receive when you are not pregnant, with a few major considerations:
1. No deep work on the legs – but that’s usually not what you’re craving anyway! Most women need the deep work on the back and hips. We avoid deep work on the legs simply because during pregnancy, your body has nearly 40% more blood circulating, and this leaves pregnant women more susceptible to blood clots which usually appear in the legs. Deep blood clots and massage can be a dangerous combination, so we just take extra precaution. We will work on your legs gently, and save the deep work for those areas of your body that really need it.
2. Positioning. Because you have a little belly growing there, our options for positioning you on the massage table change trimester to trimester, week to week. Since NO body is designed to lay flat, we use orthopedic body support cushions (“bodyCushions”) that allow you to rest face down, comfortably, without any pressure on your belly or breasts. Truly! Even full term! We’ve used bodyCushions for 15 years on ALL our clients, pregnant or not. They support spinal alignment, encourage optimum positioning for baby, and give you a nice alternative to laying on your side. We’ll introduce you to the cushions at your first session, show you how they work, and make sure you are situated on them properly and comfortably.
If for any reason you are not comfortable face-down on the bodyCushions, we can also use the cushions to properly support you to receive a massage while lying on your side. When used in a side-lying position, you’ll have minimal pressure on your shoulders and hips, and you won’t feel like you’re falling over. You’ll be supported, cradled, and relaxed… so much that you’ll probably fall asleep.
Aren’t there certain acupressure points or areas of the body (feet, belly, etc.) you are supposed to AVOID touching during pregnancy because they’ll cause contractions?
Ummm, no. Well, yes and no. It’s not that simple. Yes, there are acupressure points that should be avoided during pregnancy (unless you are intentionally trying to encourage the onset of labor, which is something we do when that is appropriate). NO, nobody can make your body go into labor by accidentally pressing an acupressure point. Acupressure points and massage are not magic buttons. To create changes in the body with acupressure requires focused attention and intention. It is a total, complete myth that a foot massage, for example, will cause a woman to go into labor.
Belly massage is wonderful too, and conditioning for the skin as it stretches and stretches…and stretches! By the way, we will always ask first if you’d like us to work on your belly. It’s personal, and it’s totally optional. All we do is gently rub Vitamin E oil on your belly for about a minute for your skin’s benefit.
We are happy to work with moms in all ages and stages of pregnancy. It’s never too early or to late in pregnancy to have a massage. Whether you are low-risk, first time mom, fifth-time mom, scheduled c-section, natural birth, home birth, high-risk, twins, triplets – you name it – we are happy to support you with our skilled hands and loving hearts. Just let us do all the work so you can relax and feel wonderful!