SidE-Lying Treatments

After a certain point in pregnancy, usually around 7-10 weeks, it is no longer comfortable or safe to lie on your stomach and the way you typically receive a massage will change. I have lots of fluffy pillows and bolsters that I'll use to help you get into a very comfortable side-lying position. You may have heard of massage therapists using a pillow system that allows expectant mothers to lie on their stomachs (essentially a pillow with a cutout for an expanding belly) for the duration of the massage, but research has shown that this is not ideal. There is already so much pressure on the ligaments and uterine wall that lying facedown with pressure applied to the back via massage may be harmful to ligaments, muscles and the placenta. For this reason, I only provide prenatal treatments in a side-lying, reclined or seated position. You will still be modestly draped for your session, but bringing a pair of loose, comfortable shorts to wear in session has been something some of my clients have done.

Prenatal Massage

There have been many studies done regarding massage therapy and pregnancy, and the benefits to mom and baby are numerous! The National Center for Biotechnology information (NCBI) website (linked to PubMed Central) has some great information if you're looking to learn more, but here is a short list of how I can help you and your new baby via therapeutic massage...

Massage Magazine summarizes these benefits best; Regular massage throughout pregnancy can:

  • Assists in remedying many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy: lower-back pain, upper-back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, tension, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, varicose veins, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and constipation

  • Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity

  • Stabilizes hormonal levels and helps with depression and anxiety caused by hormonal changes

  • Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at ease, and will also sleep more easily and more deeply

  • Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight. Massage increases muscle tone and flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry this extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms

  • Eases the load on the heart and helps keep blood pressure in check

  • Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues

  • Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta. With the enormous demands placed on the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood volume may increase up to 60 percent compared to pre-pregnancy levels. As pregnancy progresses and the uterus enlarges and presses deep into the pelvic bowl, venous return to the heart is hampered

  • Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery with its sedating effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief

  • Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief, since taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child

  • In addition to the physical benefits, prenatal massage provides expecting women with the emotional support and nurturing touch provided by nonsexual human touch.

 

I have taken several hours of continuing education and have been specially trained to follow all safety guidelines while providing treatments to expectant mothers.

You Should Know...

 

When you come in for your first appointment, I'll have you fill out a "New Client Intake Form" so I can learn about your health and lifestyle. We'll have a short chat before your massage so I can tailor your session specifically to your needs. I want you to get the most out of your treatment so you can experience the full benefit of receiving therapeutic massage.

 

During this short consultation, I'll ask you a few questions regarding your pressure preference, where you've been experiencing any pain or soreness and if you need me to focus on any areas (ie: more time on the neck and shoulders, deeper work on the feet, shooting pain in the lower back, etc). Please share any details about your day to day life (ie: requently carrying a baby, sitting for hours at a time, arduous physical activity, etc) so I can provide the best possible massage treatment for you.

 

And of course, please let me know if you're uncomfortable during the massage in any way. I'll check in occasionally (more often for new clients) but if the music is too loud/quiet, the room is too warm/cold or the pressure of the massage is too light/deep, or anything else you can think of, let me know. This is your time, and your treatment should be tailored exactly to your preference.