What is Prenatal Massage?

You may wonder why pregnancy requires a different kind of massage therapy technique. Pregnant women are often able to carry on many of their daily activities without much adjustment to their routine. Many mothers-to-be can comfortably continue to perform daily activities such as exercise and work while pregnant without having to significantly alter their activities. What makes massage different?

During any massage there are several different body systems that are engaged. Different manual manipulation techniques can help stimulate the muscular system, joints and bones, the lymphatic system, the skin, deep and surface tissues, as well as stimulating the circulatory system in various areas of the body. 

Throughout the phases of pregnancy these systems are stressed and stimulated quite differently than they would normally be. Furthermore, these changes require specific and strategic adjustments to help make sure that the massage is comfortable, effective, and safe for you. 

Let’s explore a couple of the most important differences between a traditional massage and a prenatal massage.

Areas of Focus: Prenatal vs Traditional Massage

The areas of the body that will be focused on during your prenatal therapy appointment will be determined based on how your specific body is experiencing pregnancy. Some women experience significant discomfort in their shoulders and chest as breast tissue swells and glands are activated. Others experience tremendous tension in their hips and lower back from the added weight of belly growth and blood weight during pregnancy.

Discussing the way your particular body is affected by the facilitation of fetal development will inform the therapist about trouble areas that may need extra or adjusted attention.

A couple of the areas that have special precautions are the abdomen and the legs. These areas can also experience pain and discomfort in all phases of pregnancy. Deep pressure massage should be avoided for both areas during the entire pregnancy.