In this session of writing about prenatal massage, I would like to give some specifics on what exactly a woman can expect during her prenatal massage session. Now every woman is going to have a little bit of a different situation and while these things are common, we will also be focusing on whatever particular needs the woman has at the time. The very first thing that we will often do is a squat test. I don’t want to go into this work blindly. The purpose of a prenatal massage session is to help correct problems and the squat test will tell us exactly where those problems are. Now, as you might expect, a squad tests involves the woman getting into a squat position with a little bit of help from me. This will tell us some significant things about her body. If she struggles a little bit at the beginning of the test, that will tell me that her lumbars are having a little bit of trouble. If she struggles a little bit in the middle of the test, that will tell me that her sacrum is not moving quite the way that it should be moving and if she struggles a little bit at the end of the test, then that will tell us that the pelvic floor is not opening up quite the way that it should be opening up.
We will usually do this squat test at the beginning of the prenatal massage session and then again at the end of the prenatal massage session. Very often the woman will notice an immediate and significant difference in the way that she is able to do the test. Another very helpful thing about the test is that it can also be done at home with her husband. This is not only a test, but it can also be an exercise. Something that will help her body get ready for the labor and delivery process and teach your body how it needs to move and how it is to open up during the birth. The second thing that I will often do is introduce myself to the baby. You see, there are not just two people in the room. There are three people there. There’s me, there’s mom, and then there’s the baby. And even though the baby is in utero, even though she’s small and very dependent, I still treat her as a real person.
This baby has feelings, this baby has emotions, this baby has senses and this baby is about to get its environment improved a little bit. And this should be a comforting and a restful thing for the baby. It should not cause the baby distress in any way. And part of that is respecting the baby as a person and simply introducing myself before I start doing the prenatal massage. And as we are introducing ourselves to the baby, it is natural to go right into a little bit of gentle work with the uterus. The uterus has been stretching out and it has been working extremely hard to accommodate the weight of the baby, to accommodate all the extra fluid and all these other things. It would love to have some of that tension released and some of that tension taken off. So what I will do is I will take some of that tension off of the uterus. I would give it a little bit of a break so it can relax and when it relaxes, you will often expand as well. Creating a little bit more room for the baby, creating more comfort for mom and overall just creating a better environment in general.
With all of the growth inside mom, her organs are being moved quite significantly and there’s often quite a bit of upward pressure on her diaphragm. She might have trouble breathing, she might have trouble taking a deep breath and when she does take a breath, she may feel a lot of pressure building up. One of the things that is very helpful during this time is to release the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle and it can be released just like any mother muscle can be released. We can take the tension off of it, we can allow it to relax, we can give it some room to move and all of a sudden mom feels better her, her diaphragm can move her, her, her belly can move. She can take a deeper breath and she’s more comfortable in her own body and when mom was more comfortable, these feelings are passed directly on to the baby. The baby knows when mom is stressed, the baby knows when mom is hurting and the baby also knows when mom is comfortable and when mom is feeling safe and comfortable, these feelings are passed onto the baby and are during this growth process. This really illustrates what I mean when I say that, during a prenatal massage session, my primary work is with mom. She, in turn, is able to take great care of her baby. Now it is time to do a little bit of general organizational work on mom and by organization I mean that her body has been changing shape quite dramatically and things are being pulled in places that sometimes they shouldn’t go.
Sometimes her back is going to hurt. Her shoulders are going to be pulling forward, her neck is going to be hurting because of the different tension lines in the body. So my job is to help her body get into a more natural position, a more relaxed position, and a more comfortable position so that even though she’s pregnant, she can still be walking around in a comfortable manner and not in a stressful manner. In the next few segments, I’m going to give some specifics on how exactly a prenatal massage can accomplish this organization and what a prenatal massage will do for moms body.