Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting moms, but it’s also filled with it’s fair share of aches, pains, and inconveniences (I’m looking at you, sciatica!).
Fortunately, prenatal massage is a wonderful way to manage your normal pregnancy aches.
And these massages aren’t just good for mama – studies show moms who receive regular prenatal massages may pass on health benefits to their babies as well, including healthier baby birth weights and on-time deliveries.
Many spas advertise prenatal and postpartum massages, but how do you know you’re really getting a high-quality massage that’s tailored to your specific needs as an expecting mother?
Here are three key ways to ensure you’re getting the best pregnancy massage for your money.
1 | Understand pregnancy massage safety
Massage can be a perfectly safe holistic treatment during your pregnancy. A trained therapist will always follow prenatal massage safety protocols to make sure you’re both comfortable throughout a your session.
The possibility of inducing labor early with certain massage techniques is a widespread misconception. It’s true that certain points on the body—the posterior ankle, for example—are energetic points linked to childbirth in Traditional Chinese Medicine, most massage therapists will avoid these sensitive areas during a pregnancy massage. If you’re not sure if they plan to massage your feet during the massage, go ahead and ask them before they begin.
2 | Be sure your massage therapist is trained in Prenatal Massage
Therapists are not technically required to take extra training in order to give pregnancy massage, but you can always search for a provider who has additional training in this specialty. Before scheduling your session, make sure to ask how much training the massage therapist has in pregnancy massage, as well as approximately how many prenatal clients they have experience working on and how often they see prenatal clients in a given week.
This will give you more confidence in their experience with this unique type of bodywork, and when your mind is at ease it’ll be much easier for your body to relax on the treatment table.
3 | Use proper bolsters + positioning
There are plenty of safe positions in which you can receive pregnancy massage, and using loads of pillows and bolsters for support is the best way to ensure comfort in any of the positions you and your therapist choose to use.
Most prenatal massage is done in the side lying position, using bolsters and pillows to place between your legs and under your head and arms to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the session.
You know that crazy combination of different pillows you’re using at home to get comfortable enough to sleep at night? Imagine that, but combined with relaxing music and soothing touch.
Pregnancy massage is actually the most common natural health treatment used by pregnant women in the U.S., used by up to 65% of women choosing alternative therapies during their pregnancy. Massage is a great natural method for managing pain and physical discomfort during pregnancy and after baby arrives, and it just might be the key to that elusive full night of sleep you’re desperate for.