How can a prenatal massage help with organizing mom’s body? A prenatal massage can do a few things. First of all, it is important to know which stage of pregnancy mom is in. Women who are in the very early stages of pregnancy are usually quite comfortable lying on their back with the proper pillows underneath them later on during the pregnancy. Mom is not going to be comfortable on her back and actually should not be on her back for long periods of time so it is important to know where mom is at and to keep checking in to make sure that she is doing all right.
One of the things that we want to release are her shoulders. There is often a significant amount of tension that is pulling on the front of her body. Her abdomen is extending quite a bit and these lines of fascia are pulling into her chest and actually into her shoulders as well and tend to roll the shoulders forward. It is often the case that the muscles in the back are trying to hang on. They’re trying to maintain the good posture. They’re trying to keep her upright, but they are hanging on for dear life as it were so we want to release the muscles around the shoulder and help the shoulder move back and down into a more normal and natural position. Another way that a prenatal massage can help with organizing mom’s body is to work with back and neck tension. This is a very common thing throughout pregnancy, again, taking off the tension from the front of the body can have a very, very significant effect on how the back of the body is feeling. So working on the back muscles, working on some of the muscles in the front is going to help her back to relax. It’s going to help her back to get into a more natural position and it’s going to allow her a greater deal of comfort. So this is one of the ways that a prenatal massage can not just make mom more comfortable, but then mom can pass those feelings along to her baby.
Hip mobility is a vital place where prenatal massage can make a huge difference in how mom is feeling and in the labor and delivery process. In order to affect the hip mobility, we need to know how the hips are moving. Now we have figured out some of these things during the squat test. That test is told us if the hips able to move and is the sacrum or the tailbone able to move in between the two hip bones. So in order to affect hip mobility, we will need to hold mom’s hips in a very strong yet comfortable position and see how it is that they are moving. And if they are not moving properly than we can give them a little bit of movement in order to for them to help with the process.
Very often if baby is in a position that is undesirable, perhaps transverse or perhaps head up, then it is because the baby knows that mom’s hips are not working correctly.
If we give the correct mobility to mom’s hips, then mom is going to be able to provide a safer environment for the baby. And very often the baby will turn by itself and go head down because it now recognizes that this is a good and a safe place to be. Prenatal massage also needs to directly affect the hip rotators. The bones of the hips need to move of course, but it is the muscles and the ligaments that are going to allow those bones to move. So during the prenatal massage session, we are going to take special care to relax some of those muscles so that the pelvis and the hips have the freedom to move where they ought to move.
The prenatal massage also needs to address the hip flexors and one of the primary hip flexors is a muscle called the Psoas.
Now this so was is important because it helps you walk properly and it also helps bend your body forward. But there is another function of the so as that is even more relevant to the birthing process, the psoas is a kind of guide rails to help guide the baby out of the uterus and through the birth canal. If one side of the psoas has more tension on it than the other side, then it will tend to push baby off to the side and baby won’t be able to get through as easily. So if we release that psoas and keep it released, mom is going to feel much more comfortable in her body, but she is also going to have a much easier time in labor and delivery because her body is lined up properly and it is easier for the baby to go through the birth canal. Another thing that should be addressed during the prenatal massage session is the sacrotuberous ligament. This is a ligament that connects your sit bones to your tailbone. During the birthing process mom’s tailbone is going to need to move out of the way quite significantly in order to make room for the baby’s head and shoulders coming through. If mom’s tailbone can’t move, this is going to create a lot of pain for mom and it’s going to create a lot of tension on the baby. Releasing this sacrotuberous ligament is very important for successful birthing outcomes. So as you can see, a professional prenatal massage session is not only comfortable for the mom, it is safe for the baby as well. During all these things, our job is to normalize mom’s body so that she can take the best care possible of her baby.