Prenatal Massage and Why it’s Awesome

The baby and I had our first prenatal massage this weekend thanks to a lovely mother’s day gift from my husband.  It was divine.  Really, really nice.

With the Grasshopper, I waited until the very end for a prenatal massage, which, in retrospect was a mistake.  I got so much relief from the massage that I wished I had gone in regularly throughout the pregnancy.

My current massage therapist does not use a special table with a hole in the middle for the belly.  Instead, she uses a large body pillow and has her pregnant clients lay on their sides.  She was very conscious of the temperature of the room, making sure it was never too hot or too cold for me.  She also used pure coconut oil as opposed to a traditional massage oil.  I’ve mentioned before what a fan of coconut oil I am, so I was pleased by this.

The things that I noticed the most were the sense of relaxation I felt and the relief I felt in my aching muscles.  My low back, hips, and feet have been so sore lately.  She really dug in and worked those parts out.

This was not one of those all over kind of feel-good massages either.  There were a few points where I had to use some of my hypnobabies techniques to deal with the intensity of it.  If you’ve never had the backs of your knees stripped out, I very much recommend it, but be ready to breathe through it!  Thankfully, the hypnobabies techniques that I’m learning allowed me to stay limp and loose through those parts.  It was certainly painful, but I do love some good deep tissue work.  If it’s not so bad that I can’t stay limp through it, then we’re doing okay.

She found sore spots all around.  I expected to be sore in my hips and sacrum, but I was surprised at how sore my knees, shins, and this one muscle down the middle of my feet were.  She explained that because my bones are loosening up with the pregnancy hormones, the muscles are sore from constantly re-adjusting around them.

She spent some time focusing on opening up the muscles along my flanks and through my ribs.  When I thought about it, that made good sense.  Those muscles are being pulled constantly from the weight of the baby.  No wonder they’re sore and tired!

When she finished, I felt… taller.  I felt like I could move more easily.  I felt like my body was better aligned and functioning more smoothly.  Post-massage, for me, is always a little sore, but it’s a good kind of sore.  I like a massage with some good tissue-work, where she really gets in and digs out those achy knots, and she certainly delivered on that this weekend.  I’m looking forward to my next massage.  I think I’ll try to do one of these every six weeks or so just to keep my body moving and open.

If you’re interested in prenatal massage yourself, you should go for it!  It’s wonderful.  You’ll want to find someone who is knowledgeable about prenatal massage.  There are some pressure points around the ankles than can cause contractions, so your massage therapist should avoid those areas until you’re past your due date.  My prenatal massage really helped me to feel more comfortable.  I very much recommend it, and if you aren’t pregnant right now, well, then you should just go get a massage anyway!

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6 thoughts on “Prenatal Massage and Why it’s Awesome

  1. during my HG pregnancy, I got a massage too and I remember it actually helping and making me feel less sick, which is weird, because smells and people and touch made me sick. But I was at the end of the pregnancy and the sickness had been lifting bit by bit so maybe that was it, but I always thought, I wish I’d have tried this a bit sooner….

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    1. I never got a massage while HGing. I’m sure my back could have used it since there’s nothing like bending over a toilet heaving to screw up your back, but I don’t think I could have handled being touched so much.

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  2. I am a super weenie when it comes to deep tissue and other “intense” massages, so this sounds like it would have been particularly challenging for me. However, it sounds like it was lovely and revitalizing for you, so hurray!

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    1. Yeah, Megan, you do have to find someone willing to work on your own comfort level. I really believe that if you can’t stay limp while the therapist is working the spot you should ask them to ease up. I’ve also had folks (almost exclusively in those Massage Envy type places), who really shouldn’t be attempting tissue work. There’s a real art to it. It’s not about going in hard and beating someone up, and I’ve had folks do that to me as well. That doesn’t work. That’s not deep tissue, that’s just artless and painful.

      Finding someone with the skill to do the job well is well worth the extra expense. In my experience, those kinds of massage therapists usually run their own businesses and/or work out of their home. It costs more to see them, but the difference is unbelievable. It’s like Japanese food you get at the mall vs. Japanese food you get in Japan, KWIM? The former is just a sad imitation and best left alone.

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