When making an appointment for prenatal massage, it is important that the therapist know and be competent in external pelvic floor work. Now when you first come into your appointment, we are going to be doing a squat test and this squat test tells us a few things about where there is tension in the body and very often we will find that there is tension in the pelvic floor. One of the reasons for that is simply because our lifestyle does not involve a lot of squatting and by nature it does not involve a lot of pelvic floor and stretching and strengthening and so we often find that the pelvic floor is a little bit tight when we do the test. Now pelvic floor work as done in our office is always external work. None of it is internal. If any internal work is needed, then there will be a referral given to a competent physical therapist.

Now it is important to note that prenatal massage work has also done while the woman is clothed. If she is wearing yoga pants or gym shorts, this will allow the therapist to do the work while still maintaining modesty. The prenatal massage pelvic floor work first of all involves releasing the adductors down the inside of the leg. When there is tension in the pelvis, that tension very, very often works its way down and manifests itself on those adductors and they are often a part of the tension pattern. So we released those adductors, those muscles on the inside of the leg and then work our way up to the inside of the femur where the hip capsule is. We want to release around this hip capsule. We want her her legs to be free, her hips to be free, and then we’ll do some work right with the bone itself. Now an interesting thing about putting compression into bones is when we release the tension that is in the bone, we also release the tension that is in the surrounding tissues. And so one of the most effective way to release the pelvic floor is to simply put a little bit of compression into the bones that surround the pelvic floor. And then lastly we will go and do direct pelvic floor work. This is done with very, very careful attention to how the woman feels – both emotionally and physically. Prenatal massage is designed to help her body to make the changes necessary for pregnancy and labor.

In order to make these changes, the woman needs to be comfortable both physically and emotionally with the prenatal massage work – including pelvic floor work. 

I respect that there has been a lot of different life experiences and a lot of different tension patterns that can show up in this pelvic floor, and so it is vital that she be comfortable with the entire procedure. As we go along. After the pelvic floor work is done, then we are going to pay a little bit more attention to the uterus and to the baby.

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After the pelvic floor work is done, the next part of the prenatal massage is to pay a little bit more attention to the uterus and to the baby. Remember that we have three people in the room. We’ve got the mom, we’ve got the therapist, and then of course you’ve got the baby and the baby really is a big important part of this work. Releasing the uterus is a very, very safe and a very, very gentle thing to do. It involves mom’s sitting on the side of the table and simply relaxing as the, as the therapist gently lifts up and takes it a little bit of tension off of her belly. This has a very, very calming effect on, on the baby. It relaxes the uterus and allows the tension to come off of the uterus so that it can expand so that it can grow so that it can make room. When there’s more room for baby, the baby’s more comfortable, mom’s more comfortable and it’s all around a good situation.

During your prenatal massage visit, especially if you are coming early on in the pregnancy, people, women often complain about morning sickness. Well believe it or not, there is something that can be done about this. What happens during morning sickness is that some of the hormones that are released during pregnancy have an effect on some of the valves by the stomach. And if we take tension off of these valves, then the morning sickness will go away. Now of course we are fighting against the hormones and so sometimes the changes are permanent and sometimes there are temporary. But there is most definitely something that can be done with them. This work is also very gentle and, and it is quite comforting, quite relieving to have the attention taken off of the solar plexus area. This work is most appropriate for women who are early on in their pregnancy simply because once the belly gets too big, then we cannot effectively get to the places that are causing the trouble.

Based on what the therapist finds during the prenatal massage visit, he will recommend some follow up work. A woman who is doing quite well and just needs a bit of a help will be recommended monthly visits. A woman who’s body is having more trouble, perhaps if she has experienced prior complications with pregnancy, will be recommended to come in for a prenatal massage more often. Of course, the woman’s preference in regard to prenatal massage will be considered as well.