Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissue to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy modalities, including Prenatal Massage! Prenatal massage can be a great way to relieve minor aches and pains, help with pregnancy induced insomnia and even help with pregnancy-related edema and water retention.
Massage by Trimester
- First Trimester: There are a lot of questions and confusing information regarding massage in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. If you are given the green light by your medical provider, there really isn’t much to worry about. If it is comfortable to you, you may safely lay on your belly, but make sure you are well hydrated and stay clear of “deep tissue massage”.
- Second Trimester: During the second and third trimesters, massage can be a great tool to help relieve muscle cramps. The second trimester is similar in regards to massage during the first trimester, except by this time you will more than likely be less comfortable laying on your stomach. Some therapists will have you lay on your side and move you around as needed for comfort. Other therapists may offer to have you use a prenatal bolster that will allow you to lay face down. Both are great options and will depend on what the therapist has and how comfortable you are.
- Third Trimester: By the time you make it to your third trimester it may become hard to lay any other way than on your side. This is also when it’s a good idea to check in again with your medical provider to ensure that prenatal massage is still safe for you. Conditions like hypertension, pitting edema and diabetes can become an issue and it’s important to communicate any condition you may have with your therapist.
Misconceptions About Massage and Pregnancy
Will massage induce labor?
- It was previously thought that prenatal massage induced pre-term labor, but this belief was proven to not be true.
Will massaging my feet induce labor?
- Having your feet massaged during pregnancy is completely safe and won’t induce labor.
Can I lay on my stomach during a massage?
- As long as you are comfortable, laying on your stomach during a massage will not hurt your baby.
How to Choose a Massage Therapist?
Communication between you and your therapist is very important. When looking for the right therapist, word of mouth can be a great referral source, but make sure you look for someone with prenatal massage experience and always make sure your therapist is up to date with their license, insurance and state certifications.