Let’s talk about prenatal massage. In this segment I am going to outline a few different things. The first one is what is the difference between a prenatal massage and a regular spa massage? Well in most cases there’s really not a difference. The only thing is that they will give extra pillows or perhaps a different position for mom so that she can be comfortable while she gets a regular relaxation massage. And that is all well and good. It has its place. However, the work that I am doing is significantly different. And I’m going to outline a few things here over the next few sessions on why this work is different and what exactly we are doing in order to help mom be more comfortable in her own body and to promote health in the baby. First of all, I recognize that mom’s body is trying to do the right thing. She innately knows within herself how to care for her baby and what her baby needs. She knows how her body needs to grow, how it needs to change, how it needs to adapt and how it needs to nurture that baby. My job as a practitioner is to come alongside mom and to help her do those things. That’s one of the reasons we have such great success with the prenatal massage. It is because we are not doing something AGAINST mom’s body. We are not doing something TO mom’s body. We are doing something WITH her body and that makes a huge difference. So people often are wondering, is this safe for the baby? And the answer is an overwhelming yes, we are doing things that will help mom to take better care of her baby. It’s also important to note that we are working to normalize mom’s body during the prenatal massage session.
It is not the baby that we are working with directly. We recognize that mom is the best one to take care of her and we will give mom the tools, we will give her body room, we will give her body mobility, we will give us flexibility, we will take off tension and we will take off stress so that mom can take the best care of her baby. During the pregnancy, moms body is also producing a hormone called relaxin and just as the name implies, this hormone is working to help the muscles and the ligaments to release in order to make room for the baby. This is important to both while the baby is growing and it’s important what during the labor and delivery process, this is really helpful. When we are doing the prenatal massage session, her body is trying to do the right thing and I am able to come alongside mom and help her body do what it naturally knows how to do. Her body is getting ready to have a natural labor and delivery and in order to do that, her pelvis in particular is going to need to be able to open up. It’s going to need to change shape. It’s going to need to adapt to both carrying the baby and to the labor and delivery process. Particularly for first time moms. This is sometimes a little bit difficult and that’s where I can come in to help mom’s body to relax, to help it, to normalize, to help it adapt to all of the changes that are going on.
Another very critical part of this work is the element of trust. Many times when a woman comes to me, it is because her body is hurting. She’s pregnant perhaps for the first time. Her body is not used to this. It’s hurting, it’s aching. She’s concerned about how she feels, but more importantly, she’s also concerned about her baby and if she does not trust the work that I am doing, and if she does not trust me, then our results are going to be limited. So it is my job as a massage therapist during the prenatal massage session to win mom’s trust, and I do this in a variety of ways. First is through knowledge. Mom needs to know that I know what I am doing, period. We don’t just simply do the work and ignore how she feels. Mom needs to know that I know what I’m doing. We do this through communication. A lot of communication. When I tell her what I’m doing and why I am doing it and what the benefit is, she will often start to relax into the prenatal massage session. Another way is during the actual touch. There is a world of difference between hands that know what they’re doing, who have touched many people, who have felt many different situations and hands that really don’t know what they’re doing or why. When I’m working on mom, I am visualizing how her body is moving, how her muscles are releasing, how her ligaments are stretching, and through this touch, I am also able to communicate to mom that this is a good thing. This is a safe thing for both her and for the baby. This work is often done in conjunction with a chiropractor who also specializes in prenatal care. When prenatal massage is coupled with prenatal chiropractic care. The woman often feels significantly better, her body is more relaxed and she is able to go through the birthing process with greater confidence and greater comfort.
Prenatal massage in our office is particularly designed to make the pregnancy more comfortable and to help moms body to adapt to all of the changes that are going on. Prenatal massage is also designed to help mom to create a safe and comfortable environment for the baby. Prenatal massage is also designed to help moms body get ready for a safe and natural childbirth.