Maternity (Prenatal and Postnatal) Massage
(we do not recommend having a massage during the first trimester)
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Swedish Massage therapy with a focus on pre and post natal needs through varying techniques which aim to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to a woman’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (stress hormones), were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.
Reduction of swelling
Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.
Improvement of nerve pain
Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
What precautions should be taken when seeking prenatal massage?
As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with your massage therapist. If a pregnant womans body is not used to regular massage, we suggest to not have a deep modality.
Body position during prenatal massage
At New Image Day Spa, we use a body positioning system that allows the client to comfortably lie face down, with a cut out providing a place for the abdomen and breasts to stay comfortably positioned and supported. This unique system also allows for a face up massage, distributing pressure and optimizing comfort. If the massage system is not comfortable or the woman is more than 35 weeks, we can use a side-lying position to prodvide the massage.
Be aware of sensitive pressure points
Trained prenatal or pregnancy massage therapists are aware of pressure points on the ankles and wrists that can gently stimulate pelvic muscles, including the uterus. Massage therapists are trained to avoid very specific and intentional pressure to these areas during pregnancy. Any woman who has experienced pre-term contractions or consistent Braxton-Hicks contractions should alert her therapist to that fact so that pressure points can be avoided completely.
Women with the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:
- High risk pregnancy
- Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
- Previous pre-term labor
- Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
- Recently gave birth
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. We are recommending that a woman not have a massage during the first trimester. If the pregnancy is not high rish and the woman is healthy and would like the massage in the first trimester, we will provide it with a recomendation from their doctor.
Incorporating Massage Into Your Prenatal Care
The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement proven to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice. We do not recommend a 2 hour massage during pregnancy, it is difficult to stay comfortable for that length of time.
Classic Maternity Massage: 30 min ~ $50
Luxury Maternity Massage: 1 hr ~ $75
Ultimate Maternity Massage: 1.5 hrs~ $105