I remember when I had my first request to massage a pregnant client.
Even though I had been massaging for years, I was a bit nervous to say the least.
There are a lot of misconceptions and flat out silly things floating around about what can happen if you massage a pregnant woman.
First off, if you’re a professional massage therapist looking for a resource, I highly recommend Leslie Stager’s Mastering Pregnancy Massage DVD.
Here’s some basic information on a pregnancy massage.
You can lay face down on the massage table until you start to feel uncomfortable. Usually, your belly starts to expand around four or five months, then you need to start doing pregnancy massage on your side.
Some massage therapists offer a table that has a hole in it for the belly. This is so that you can continue to get massaged face down though out your term. My experience is that most people find this uncomfortable due to the blood rushing to the belly causing pressure.
There should be a few pillows for the head and back along with one pillow for between the legs. I usually have several to help support a big belly.
One of the really common misconceptions out there is that you can have a miscarriage from massage. This comes from the fact that there is a particular point on the ankle just below the ankle bone that acupuncturists use to help induce labor when somebody is overdue.
It would be incredibly unlikely that a massage therapist could press that area hard and deep enough for a miscarriage. I personally just avoid that area altogether for my clients peace of mind.
When I was pregnant my super power was my sense of smell. Most pregnant women are incredibly sensitive to smells. I always Kukui Nut Oil, a scentless all natural oil.
Some people really enjoy it when I massage their back and belly at the same time. Often, when your pregnant you feel a bit disconnected having no sense of how expansive your body is. It’s nice to be able to feel the front and back at the same time. Always rub the belly clockwise and at a pressure she’s comfortable with.
Having your partner massage you during your pregnancy can bring you together and allow to form a connection with the baby as well.
A continued massage practice as a couple will also help you during labor and delivery. You will find a few “Go To” techniques you will want to save for the really intense moments.
Below is a great resource video.