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The Beauty Beat

What Every Pregnant Person Should Know about Prenatal Massage

Pregnancy can cause lots of aches and pain, so a massage probably sounds like a great idea. Like many aspects of pregnancy, you might wonder if getting a massage is safe. Generally, prenatal massage is a safe and effective way to ease physical and mental tensions after the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Here, we break down everything a pregnant person needs to know about prenatal massage.

What is a prenatal massage?

A prenatal massage is a full-body massage tailored to the specific needs of pregnant mothers. It’s similar to a Swedish massage - it relaxes muscle tension, improves lymphatic and blood circulation, and melts away stress. However, a prenatal massage is gentler than a traditional massage. 

Prenatal massages should only be performed by trained professionals. These professionals know how to tailor the message to the needs of a pregnant person and what techniques and areas to avoid.

What happens during a prenatal massage?

First, your massage therapist will review your intake form before your treatment, so it’s essential that you list all critical information, including allergies, health concerns, and specific areas of your body where you may be experiencing muscle aches or tightness. Afterward, you will be led to the treatment room and given privacy to get undressed and under a sheet in preparation for your massage session.

Your massage therapist will place body pillows between your knees, under your head, and between your arms. These pillows will prop up your body to ensure a comfortable and safe treatment for you and your baby. Your therapist will use a gentler massage technique than a typical Swedish massage.

When should you start getting a prenatal massage?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, women can begin prenatal massage at any point during their pregnancy. However, many prenatal massage therapists won’t accept clients in their first trimester for a few good reasons. 

The first trimester has an increased risk of miscarriage, and the increased blood flow during a massage could be harmful. Additionally, several pressure points could initiate contractions or even induce labor. For this reason, some massage therapists require doctor approval before working with people in their first trimester.

What are the benefits of a prenatal massage?

Prenatal massage provides a wide range of benefits. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends prenatal massage as a great way to relax and improve circulation.

A few benefits of prenatal massage include: 

  • Improve mood
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improvement of nerve pain
  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduce pregnancy depression and anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduce swelling in the legs

When should you avoid a prenatal massage?

If you are sick with cold or flu symptoms or are contagious, we request that you reschedule your appointment. This is for your protection because a massage can sometimes intensify illness, and it also helps keep our massage therapists healthy. 

If you have any of the following conditions, you may not be a good candidate for prenatal massage:

  • Risk of preterm labor
  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Blood clots or a clotting disorder

Prenatal Massage at Skin Spa

At Skin Spa, we offer prenatal massage treatments performed by professional, certified massage therapists. Prenatal massages are the ultimate stress-relieving treatment for pregnant mothers. 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule your prenatal massage appointment, our experts are happy to help. Find a Skin Spa location near you.

Meet the author

Katie Werbowski
Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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