Pregnancy & Massage Therapy 

Pregnancy massage is a hands-on massage therapy during and after pregnancy.  One hour pregnancy massage can help support your physical and emotional well-being during this special time.  Massage positions for pregnant mothers are mostly sidelying position and semi-reclining position.  

 

Maternal Development Changes In Your Body

During Pregnancy

 

1st trimester ( weeks 1-13 )

enlarged tender breasts/ emotional and hormonal adjustment/ fatigue/ frequent urination/ morning sickness/ all day nausea/ vomiting

 

massage positions: supine ( face-up ), prone ( face-down ), sidelying, semi-reclining, or seated

 

2nd trimester ( week 14-26 )

increased weight/ back, pelvic, hip, and leg pain/ round and broad ligament pain/ stretch marks/ skin and hair changes/ varicose and spider veins/ constipation/ heartburn

 

massage positions: sidelying, semi-reclining, or seated

 

3rd trimester ( week 27-40+ )

eagerness and anxiety/ weight gain/ increased back, pelvic and hip pain/ heartburn/ constipation/ hemorrhoids/ edema in feet and legs/ varicose veins/ urinary frequency

 

massage positions: sidelying, semi-reclining, or seated

When to avoid prenatal massage?

Please avoid prenatal massage if: 

- you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or morning sickness.

- you are at high risk of pregnancy such as diabetes, cardiac, liver or renal/bladder disorders, chronic hypertension, asthma or other pulmonary disorder, etc.

 

Are you at high risk of pregnancy?

Before scheduling a massage, please ask your doctor if massage therapy is safe for you.

 

Benefits of Prenatal Massage Therapy
 

Regular prenatal massage therapy can help you:

- enhance immunological function.

- increase oxytocin production.

- reduce maternal blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate.

- reduce fear and anxiety.

- reduce labor time and complications.

- increase uterine blood supply to enhance fetal health.

 

 

Benefits of Postpartum Massage Therapy


If no complications have occured, it is ideal to start getting a postpartum massage in the first 24 hours to a week after delivery of your baby.  

 

Regular postpartum massage therapy can help you:

- provide nurturance and emotional support.

- reduce residual pelvic and back pain.

- encourage pelvic floor and abdominal healing.

- prevent strain and pain from childcare activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it safe to get a massage during my first trimester?

A: It is safe to get a massage in your first trimester.  There is no evidence that massage increases the likeliness of miscarriage.  As most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, many massage establishments avoid it for liability reasons, which is unfortunate.  We skip foot reflexology massage during the first trimester to avoid stimulating your organs. 

Q: How many sessions do you recommend during pregnancy?

A: Up to 36 weeks of pregnancy, we recommend two sessions per month.  From 37 weeks to 40+ weeks, getting a massage everyweek is beneficial.  We are happy to serve you at any interval that works for your schedule and budget.

Q: How often can I get a massage after baby arrives?

A: The postpartum period lasts at least a full year.  Coming in every month for a year can help you improve the quality of postpartum life. 

Q: I had C-section.  How soon can I start getting my scar massaged? 

A: The best time to work on your scar is between 8-20 weeks postpartum.  This gives your body time to fully heal the scar, but not so long that the scar tissue solidifies.  You can self-massage the scar at home as well.  If the massage is too painful, please back up and wait till you feel more comfortable.  C-section scar massage creates significant lower back and pelvic pain relief. 

 

For massage therapy without abdominal area, we recommend you to wait for at least 2-3 weeks after C-section and see how your body feels.  This is to ensure that your body is not exposed to infections post-surgery.

Wishing you the very best during this special time!

Emi Hata, CMT