Pregnancy massage is an umbrella term for any applied massage techniques performed during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal massage).
A pregnancy massage
typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, we can use a pregnancy-bolster designed to accommodate a woman's pregnant belly. Alternatively, we can ask you to lay on your side, which is often the most comfortable position. By using pillows positioned under your head, between your legs and stomach, which helps especially during the later stages of pregnancy
, gentle massage is applied to your back, arms, hips, legs and neck. Pressure varies from light to moderate depending on the body area and your preference.
There is limited research focused on massage in pregnancy, therefore no definitive benefits have been established to date. However, according to a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine, massage therapy might have several positive effects ranging from lowering stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting mood. Moreover, massage can help with pregnancy-related back and leg pain and reduce swelling.
Due to limited research findings on pregnancy massage, and no clinical guidelines in place, many Doctors advise a conservative approach, and discourage all pregnant women from having a massage. If you consider a pregnancy massage, we would advise to obtain a clearance from your doctor before you book, especially if you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or morning sickness; if you are at high risk of miscarriage or if you have a high risk of placental abruption (where the placenta slightly detaches from the wall of the uterus) or preterm labour.
A massage therapist may require written consent from your doctor and a liability waiver from you before performing pregnancy massage.