Common Questions About Prenatal Massage

Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked prenatal massage questions. If you have any other questions not addressed here, or would like to get more information, please don't hesitate to call us. We would be happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

All therapists at Ellicott City Massage Therapy are certified in Prenatal Massage. Book an appointment today! Contact Us Now

Are All Massage Therapists Qualified to Perform Prenatal Massage?

In most cases, a massage therapist will receive some education during his or her general massage studies as to how to provide massage to a pregnant client.

However, this can vary greatly from school to school, and most states have different requirements regarding massage therapists' education. For this reason, it is wise to seek out a therapist who has taken extra courses in prenatal massage and is certified through a pregnancy expert providing this education.

At Ellicott City Massage Therapy, all of our therapists ARE prenatal certified, and have done so through the Bodywork for the Childbearing Year course, taught be Kate Jordan, a renowned expert in the field.

Is It Safe During the First Trimester?

Yes! Getting a massage during your first trimester is absolutely safe. The only thing that is necessary to avoid completely is any work over the abdomen . You can still receive a massage in the usual positions (face down or face up) and you can still receive deep tissue in any areas that need it, although deeper work should be used sparingly and avoided in the legs. The notion that it is unsafe to get a massage during the first trimester is because many spas will refuse to work on a woman during this time, as it is the most likely time that a miscarriage may occur. They are simply covering themselves from a legal perspective. There is no medical reason why massage should be avoided during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and massage does not "cause" a miscarriage. If you have any doubts about your personal case, or have been labeled as "high risk" for any reason, definitely consult with your doctor before booking your appointment with a certified prenatal massage therapist.

Is It Okay to Get a Massage as I Approach My Due Date?

Not only is it okay, it is recommended! The end of the 3rd trimester is likely the time that you will be the MOST uncomfortable and in need of some massage. It is perfectly safe to get a massage during this time, even in the early stages of labor! The techniques we use can help with your low back/sacrum pain and reduce swelling in the legs and feet. Again, if you have a high risk pregnancy, double check with your doctor before coming in for an appointment. If you have been put on bed rest, it will be best to wait and schedule a massage after you deliver, or wait until your condition changes and bed rest restrictions are lifted. 

How Will I Be Positioned During the Massage?

As mentioned above, during the first trimester you can still be face up or face down during your massage. However, accommodations can be made if you are experiencing any early pregnancy symptoms that might make you uncomfortable (such as breast tenderness or nausea). In that case, we may work on you from a side-lying position, or simply place a pillow under your stomach to take pressure off of the chest. Once you are into your second trimester, the safest way to be positioned is on your side, bolstered with pillows to make you more comfortable. This will be the position used throughout the rest of your pregnancy as well, as it is the safest way to get to your back and legs. We may also put you face up in a semi-reclined position. We will use pillows to keep you propped up, as you cannot lay flat on your back anymore. Some therapists use a special pad for the table with a hole cut out for the belly. We do NOT recommend this as it places more strain on the uterine ligaments and, likely, the low back as well. Plus, bellies are not one size fits all, so it is hard to imagine a hole that would be comfortable for every woman!

Do I Need to Get a Note From My Doctor?

In general, no. Massage done by a prenatal certified massage therapist is safe and a doctor's approval is not necessary. However, if you have been labeled as high risk for any reason, or you have an underlying heart problem, uncontrolled or pregnancy induced high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes, we will need a green light from your doctor before proceeding with a massage. 

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