Week 18: Benefits of prenatal massage

By Published On: May 13th, 2014

Having a birthday shortly after announcing my pregnancy was amazing: […]

Cashen0512Having a birthday shortly after announcing my pregnancy was amazing: not only did I receive several maternity tops, but I also received two gift certificates for prenatal massages. Since I’m terrible at delaying gratification (can anyone relate?), I wasted no time in using both gift certificates, and let me tell you, prenatal massage is amazing! I highly recommend investing in the gift of massage for yourself and your baby—the benefits of prenatal massage are many! It’s an amazing way to clear your mind of everyday stress of life and focus on what’s important.  I generally have a hard time relaxing, but when I’m at a spa with serene music playing and someone rubbing my aching feet, I can actually start to unwind.
Since I’m only 18 weeks and this is my first pregnancy, my experience with prenatal massage is somewhat limited; I realize that as my pregnancy progresses, my body is going to be different and I’ll probably need a massage a lot more than I do now, but like I said, delayed gratification is not my thing! I’ll make the case that massage in early pregnancy- once you’re safely past the first trimester- is a great way to set your mind and body up for the tremendous task of growing a life.
I have absolutely loved getting massages so far in my pregnancy. There is nothing like laying down and someone working all the knots out of my back and shoulders. It’s also been a good bonding time for me and the baby. In those times when I’m forced to slow down and be still, I have an opportunity to think about the little life growing inside me. It’s a beautiful thing!
Massages can be pricey, so here’s how to get bang for your buck in a prenatal massage:

  • First and most importantly, get cleared by your OB. Most (reputable )spas and massage studios won’t touch you before your second trimester anyway, but still get the okay from your M.D. before scheduling your session. My massage therapist asked me if I was high risk before my appointment. If I had said yes, they may have taken extra precautions.
  • If you don’t already have a spa you frequent or a massage therapist you trust, Yelp.com is a great resource to find recommendations. If you’ve purchased an online deal for a massage, view the place’s reviews on Yelp to try to get a therapist recommendation. That’s what I did for both of my gift certificates, since they were for places I don’t normally go! Both recommendations were fabulous.
  • Arrive early for your massage. Plan to get there 15-20 minutes early so you have time to fill out paperwork, change into a robe and sip some flavored water while you wait. This also gives your therapist enough time to sit down with you and talk about what you want to get out of the session.
  • Tell your massage therapist what you want. For my prenatal massages, I told them that I would love extra attention to my feet because they’ve been hurting so much lately. Giving specific preferences not only helps the massage therapist do a better job, it helps you get more out of the session of what you really want! Don’t be shy.
  • Make sure to hydrate all day long after a massage. Massages can leave you extremely dehydrated. This is true even in regular massages, but with pregnancy, when hydration is even more important, chug water nonstop to ensure you don’t get sick later.

What’s your experience with prenatal massage? Afraid to try it? Love it? I want to hear your thoughts!