Prenatal Massage Therapy

Prenatal "Kneads"

Prenatal massages are specifically adapted to meet the needs of a woman and her body as it experiences the changes brought on by pregnancy. The body goes through a number of adaptations during pregnancy, and prenatal massage is a tool that can ameliorate many of these:
  • The back must support added weight and compensates for this with posture modifications

  • With added weight, a variety of muscle groups become more stressed, namely the neck, back, shoulders, legs and abs

  • The body secretes a hormone that makes bones and ligaments more flexible, and prenatal masseurs are acutely aware of the stresses this can cause

The position a woman is in when she receives a prenatal massage depends on her sensitivity and how far along the pregnancy is. The breasts often become tender during pregnancy, making a face-down position uncomfortable, and a baby bulge would obviously negate this. However if the woman is in an advanced stage of pregnancy it is also not a good idea to lie on the back, as the enlarged uterus can constrict the vital femoral vein. These obstacles can be overcome with a special prenatal table to accommodate a prone position, or by having the client lay on her side with the assistance of supporting pillows. Because each woman is different, the masseur will always discuss which is the most comfortable position.

Besides addressing the physical strains caused by pregnancy, a prenatal massage also contributes to the general health of the mother and her child by:

Reducing overall stress; a recent study found a link between the levels of stress a mom experiences and the strength of her baby's immune system
Increasing lymph and blood circulation, thereby providing the baby with more oxygen
Relaxing the mother, who faces mood swings and other psychological effects from increased levels of hormones associated with pregnancy