Massage Modalities

Prenatal and PostPartum Massage

Prenatal and postpartum massages are incredibly beneficial and nurturing ways to support the extraordinary changes which occur to a woman's body during and after pregnancy.

The experience of pregnancy, giving birth, and being a mother is one of the most transformative events in a woman's life. The stress from this period of dramatic structural, physiological and psychological change can lead to a number of challenges. Research has shown that massage is crucial for healthy pregnancies.

How is prenatal massage performed?

As the size changes, so does the positioning. For the first trimester the bolstering will be minimal if even needed. However, as the belly grows, the most beneficial position for the mother and developing fetus is side-lying and semi-reclined. With the use of creative bolstering, the mother is supported in every way to create an inviting and luxurious cradle of comfort.

I choose side-lying position to avoid the dangerous intrauterine pressure from laying face down as well avoids sinus congestion and decreases edema. Furthermore, the body and the doctors insist on side-lying because it helps avoid compression on the large blood vessels of the body, the abdominal aorta and the vena cava, preventing the risk of diminished maternal and fetal circulation (Super Hypotensive Syndrome), allowing maximum maternal cardiac functioning and fetal oxygenation.

Additionally, when properly supported with pillows and wedges, strain of the musculofascial structures and uterine ligaments is greatly minimized allowing for one thing a pregnant body is always grateful for: a comfortable place to rest.

Scientific research shows prenatal massage can result in:

  • Decreased stress hormone levels
  • Reduced maternal anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Reduction of stress
  • Promotion of relaxation by stimulation of glandular secretions, including endorphins that promote parasympathetic response (rest and relaxation) which is also felt by the baby in utero
  • Higher quality of sleep
  • Less back pain (70% of pregnant women experience back pain)
  • Fewer labor complications
  • Increased secretion of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production (which in turn helps maternal instinct and bonding experience between mother and child)
  • Enhanced placental function, resulting in fewer postnatal complications for the infant
  • More sensitive and caring touch of newborns by their new mothers
  • Facilitation of the gestation process through increased lymph and blood circulation for the mother, the placenta and the developing fetus
  • Decreased edema, particularly in the extremities (lower legs and feet!) by increasing lymphatic circulation
  • Increase in mother's energy by supporting the work of the heart and improving cellular respiration and nutrition
  • Reduction and alleviation of stress on weight bearing joints as well as musculofascial structures that may cause pain due to changes in weight, posture, muscle weakness, and imbalance (especially in back, hips and pelvis, legs, and feet)
  • Increases in the mother's muscle tone
  • Increases in the mother's flexibility which is beneficial for birth (the biggest sporting event of life!)
  • Positive educational and emotional support as well as physical nurturing for mothers to learn about the natural changes occurring in their bodies
  • A tapping of the innate body wisdom to ease the birthing process
  • Development of sensory awareness necessary to relax during the first stage of labor and recruit appropriate muscles during the second stage of labor
  • Decreases in the stress that can assist patience in early motherhood