What to Expect When You’re Expecting Pregnancy Massage

 Claire Gordon and Ross Ashcraft

Are you pregnant? Does your back, feet, or pelvic area hurt? Or are you stressed and need to relax? If so you might want to consider getting a pregnancy massage. Pregnancy massage can help to minimize the stress put on the body, promote the release of the hormone relaxin, increase circulation and relieve all sorts of aches and pains that may arise during the course of a healthy pregnancy.

It can also help with the following:

1.  Reduces stress

2.  Relieves fatigue, knots, cramps, and stiffness in muscles

3.  Relieves stress on weight baring joints

4.  Promotes sleep, relaxation, and restfulness

5.  Relaxes the baby

6.  Supplies the body with more blood and lymph circulation, which in turn provides the mother and the baby with more oxygen.

7.  Improve skin and muscle tone

8.  Improves skin elasticity, which reduces stretch marks

Effect on Hormones

Studies have shown that stress and relaxation hormones are significantly affected by massage therapy. Women that have massages throughout the course of their pregnancy, show signs of increased dopamine and serotonin levels, as well as decrease in the stress norepinephrine and cortisol. This translates to greater comfort and less stress for the mother.  Less stress on the mother, decreases stress on the baby.  This leads to fewer complications for the baby and labor.

What to Expect from a Pregnancy Massage

When you arrive for your first pregnancy massage, you will have to fill out an intake form containing your health history and on this form you will be able to indicate where any of your discomforts are. Your massage therapist is trained on where your general pregnancy pains are, but you should communicate where you are experiencing pain. The massage is about you. If at any time you are in discomfort don’t be afraid to tell your therapist. They are there to make you feel as best as you can.

You will most likely start the massage, face-up with pillows under you back and head.  B) The therapist will lovingly massage your head, neck and arms.  C) She’ll offer to massage your belly.  Accepting that offer will be completely up to you.  D) Finally your legs will be massaged; however, if back pain or discomfort has become a problem, you will be turned into a sidelying position for the remainder of the massage.  E) After your legs and feet, your back will be massage from a sidelying position.

At no point will you be exposed.  Your comfort and emotional well being are paramount.  Talk to your therapist throughout the massage and confirm that you are receiving the best treatment possible.

We’d love to hear from you.  What is your favorite part of sidelying or pregnancy massage?







39 thoughts on “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Pregnancy Massage”

  1. This was an informative article. I will want to research and know more before I offer my pregnant daughter-in-law a massage, however. It sounds like the benefits are many…I must know more!

  2. I can see how this can be very beneficial to pregnant clients. And it even reduces stretch marks! What woman wouldn’t love that! I know massage has lots of benefits but pregnancy massage has a lot of good ones.

  3. I think massage during pregnancy is a great idea. It seems like the norm now is to take some ibuprofen when you have discomfort, but I believe that massage can help just as much as long as the client is open to fully relaxing and enjoying the experience.

  4. I think that I am going to enjoy pregnant massage when we start the class. I wan t to really learn about how to massage a pregnant person the correct way so I will not send my client in labor. I am so ready for it.

  5. Learning how to do pregnancy massage is really exciting. I enjoy the semi-reclining position because it’s really comfortable and I like the access to the neck during side-lying. The benefits are endless and I can’t wait to actually do a real pregnancy massage to experience the joy of helping the mother and the baby. 🙂

  6. I definitely could have used a massage during my pregnancy. I enjoyed learning the hip decompression move. I know a few people who will benefit from this move so I can’t wait to try it on them 🙂

  7. I found this article pretty interesting. Pregnancy massage is something that I am definitely interested in trying out and seeing where it could go from there.
    I definitely want to know how to do it correctly so I don’t hurt the woman or the baby.

  8. Pregnancy Massage is something that I think should be includes in insurances benefits. Its great for the women and also I the therapist does a good job, what are the odds of the client coming back!!

  9. However odd or bizarre this sounds as I am a male, my favorite part of pregnancy massage for me is when my belly gets rubbed. Enough said on that.

  10. I have enjoyed pregnancy massage in class and even when I was pregnant it is truly relaxing. I was surprised to learn that many women did not know that they could get an massage while pregnant.

  11. I love pregnancy massage because it is very relaxing. When receiving pregnancy massage you are snuggled up with blankets and pillows and the work being done isn’t as “rough” as non-pregnancy massage. I like it from a therapists point of view because it is slow and relaxing on our part as well.

  12. I am not going to lie I am excited for when my sister starts to have kinds I would LOVE to try this stuff on her and see if it really would help her a ton!!!

  13. Great information. Enjoy the pillows in pregnancy massage very comfy. I think if I were pregnant I would def want a relaxing massage.

  14. It’s not hard to sell a pregnancy massage! In a lot of cases, the usual issues that are present in the average massage therapy client are amplified in a mother with child.

  15. i like my legs massaged but most the time i’d rather stay prone and have my back done and the back of my legs so i guess i better not get pregnant

  16. I love learning new stuff, Relaxin is something that I have never heard about and to know that we as massage therapist have the ability to help produce this pain relieving hormone is awesome !!

  17. I enjoy giving and getting pregnancy massages. I wish I would’ve known about them whenever I was actually pregnant. It would’ve made a great deal of difference in my pregnancy. What I enjoy most about getting them is being bolstered while in the side-laying position to where my knees are level with my hips. It would’ve relieved a lot of the hip pain I had when I was pregnant. What I enjoy most about giving the pregnancy massage is that it doesn’t take as much effort on my part to give the massage as it usually does with regular Swedish massage.

  18. I had terrible back pain while I was pregnant and I would have so enjoyed a pregnancy massage then. But I did have a body pillow and it helped greatly with the pain management.

  19. I have had a pregnancy massage, and let me tell you, it was glorious. I also have a body pillow and it deffinately works those wonders! Great Blog!

  20. The idea of giving a pregnant woman a massage makes me somewhat nervous depending on how far along they are. I would want to learn it inside and out before adding it to my tools of the trade. I could imagine how beneficial it is for a pregnant mommy to be to receive such a therapy.

  21. I love sidelying it gives a great new perspective on back massage. It gives you a great position to massage the IT band and both legs. You have another great angle to massage in between her sacpula and spine. I do really enjoy this type of positioning I will recommend it to my clients whenever they need it.

  22. I’m looking forward to pregnancy massage. I want to know how being pregnant alters the body and how to help a client in such a condition where they need massage more than usual.

  23. I am a huge fan of the idea of pregnancy massage. I have never been pregnant but have received a massage and I think that it is a way better idea then take an over the counter or any kind of medication.

  24. Great post for pregnancy massage!! I simply enjoy being able to give pregnancy massage but I was really excited to learn more about ways to use side-lying massage with a variety of clients!

  25. i love this idea! i think it’s so important to have times when you really pamper yourself, at all times but when pregnant especially and who could think of a better way. i’m all for relaxation whilst i’m pregnant as before i was so busy all the time, and if it helps beat my back pain too i’m all in. personally iv’e never been more thankful for my memory foam mattress, which provides extra support and comfort, but i also love my new investment, my pregnancy pillow which gives that little bit extra i need. thanks a lot, Molly.

  26. I actually did one these over at clary. I suggest everybody stay up on this because you may end up doing a couple of them. Have Fun! MY LAST BLOG 🙂

  27. This is a great email. It does make your fears of massaging some who is pregnant go away. It sounds like good techniques and I like how they will be a lot of communication with the client.

  28. I am anxious to try this out on someone who is pregnant. Too bad I didn’t know how to do it when my daughter-in-law was pregnant.

  29. I wish I would have tried pregnancy massage while I was pregnant. I had a lot of back pain that would have been great to get rid of. If I ever do get pregnant again, I will try it!

  30. Thank you I do love giving pregnant ladies a massage. I worked L & D up until school started and I may get to return when I am finished to work on my pregnant ladies once again. This time with more knowledge.

  31. Pregnancy massage looks awesome, wished I had known about this while my daughter-in-laws were pregnant. Would of loved giving them a massage.

  32. I was not fond of receiving the pregnancy massage however I do understand the benefits. I am sure I will have to give a pregnant massage every now and then once finished with school.

  33. I absolutely love pregnancy massage! It doesn’t get much better than this. My favorite part has to be all the extra pillows that makes the massage even more comfy and warm and awesome! Plus all the wonderful benefits are a huge plus.

  34. Great blog. Complements the weeks of pregnancy massage covered at CCC very well. I cant wait to offer pregnancy massage in my own spa.