After the sacrotuberous ligament has been released during the prenatal massage session and the sacrum is free to move as it should, there are several muscles in the area that also need some attention. Some of those muscles are called hip rotator muscles. They are deep inside. I’m under the Gluteus maximus and they go and their job is to externally rotate the hip and they are also a part of the pelvic floor. Speaking of the pelvic floor, a good prenatal massage therapist will have the ability to release this area of the body in a professional and effective manner. During a prenatal massage session, the client is always clothed and should always feel comfortable with the things that the prenatal massage therapist is doing. The professional prenatal massage therapist will never ask the client to remove clothing that will expose the breasts or genitals.
There are several of these muscles in particular that the prenatal massage therapist needs to pay attention to. One of those is the Piriformis muscle and it attaches on the outside of the hip and goes inside too. The sacrum, it attaches not on the outside of the sacred like the other muscles, but it attaches on the inside of this sacrum. So taking the tension off of the Piriformis is going to directly affect the quality of the pelvic floor. And so that will make it a better and a safer environment for baby and it will also make it so that mum can carry the baby’s weight there better. The other one that we want to pay special attention to is a muscle called the obturator internus. Now again, this muscle is also a part of the pelvic floor. It’s actually the bottom sling of the pelvis and if the obturator internus is tight, there’s going to be a lot more tension in the pelvis and in the hips, so we want to pay special attention to that and make sure that this muscle is part of what is released during the prenatal massage therapy session. When these hip flexors have been released, it is going to allow the pelvis to open up more easily and more fully to provide a better transition for both mom and baby. Once we have released the hip flexors, we also want to, I’m sorry, the hip rotators. Then we also want to pay attention to the hip flexors. Two muscles in particular are very, very important here and those are the psoas muscles and the iliacus muscles. These muscles, the psoas in particular, they provide a way for the baby to navigate down the birth canal. The psoas muscle is a long muscle. It attaches on the spine to the lowest part of the spine and then it attaches on the inside of the femur. It is a muscle that is used for walking and it’s also muscle that is used for bending over and it kind of acts like guide rails for the baby to go down when she is descending through the birth canal.
If these psoas muscles are tight, they are going to not act as a guide but they are going to somewhat inhibit the baby from going down the birth canal. Also, there may be one muscle that is tight and one muscle that is loose. This will cause the baby’s head to turn to tend to want to turn to one side or to the other. So it is important to have these muscles that are relaxed and also in a balanced state. So the one muscle is not pulling to one side and the other pulling to another. Another major benefit of working with this muscle is that it will take tension off of mom’s back. I mentioned earlier that it connects to the lower part of the spine. It connects to the lumbars and it’s kind of unique in that it connects both to the vertebrae and it connects to the discs and when it’s tight it is going to be pulling those vertebrae and discs together and it’s going to be pulling them forward. A prenatal massage will always pay special attention to the muscles and ligaments of the hip. This is important for mom to feel better and also for the baby to have a better environment.
So there’s already enough things going on with trying to maintain and control the baby weight and the new balance and the new center of gravity that she’s got going on there. If we add a tight, so as muscle to the mix, that’s just going to complicate things. So it’s important that during the prenatal massage therapy session that the psoas muscle be released as well. There are a couple of different ways of releasing this. So as muscle during the prenatal massage session, one way is to actually touch the muscle and use a little bit of movement in order to ask it to release. Now when mom is particularly big and pregnant, obviously her belly is partly in the way and so we can’t access the entire muscle. If we’re going to do manual work, there’s another way to access the psoas as muscle and that is to use mom’s breath. It’s a little bit of a complicated thing that I have a little bit of trouble explaining over a podcast, but in essence Mom is going to breathe in and out and we are going to use a little bit of a pumping action in order to ask that muscle to release and relax.
So you can see that a good massage therapy session, a prenatal massage therapy session is going to include all of these things during the prenatal massage session. It is important not just to make mom relaxed for a little bit, but actually to make changes to her body so that her body feels better and is able to take better care of her and her baby.