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Prenatal Massage Safety Guidelines from Cherry Creek Wellness

July 6th, 2016

Pregnancy is a time when you need extra care – body, mind, and spirit. The bigger the baby bump, the bigger the problem with muscle and joint pain. Many women struggle with sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, causing lower back pain and tension in the legs. Regular prenatal massage can ease muscle stiffness and nerve pain like nothing else can. Here at Cherry Creek Wellness, we know that with regular therapeutic massage during pregnancy, the mother-to-be can experience a greater sense of well-being.

Many women, and indeed, some massage therapists are concerned with prenatal massage safety, but according to the American Pregnancy Association, prenatal massage can “reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.” The fact is that a massage, in pregnancy or otherwise, is only as good as the person giving it, and pregnant women can make massage therapists untrained in prenatal massage nervous. That's why all of our therapists are medically trained and have completed prenatal massage courses.

Massage can do so much to lessen the stresses of pregnancy – physical, mental and emotional. It stimulates the “feel-good” hormones, dopamine and serotonin, and can help reduce elevated stress hormones associated with pregnancy. As cortisol and norepinephrine levels ease down, anxiety dissipates. Regulating emotion-influencing hormones wards off depression and improves cardiovascular health. 

Here are some general prenatal massage safety guidelines:
  • The American Pregnancy Association recommends choosing a therapist certified in prenatal massage. Again, all of our therapists are trained in prenatal massage.
  • Check with your OB/GYN and/or midwife before scheduling your first massage during pregnancy. Massage may be off-limits for high-risk pregnancies.
  • Avoid deep-tissue massage during pregnancy. Swedish massage, with its lighter touch, is the recommended massage technique for pregnancy.
  • Body position on the massage table is important. It is recommended that when pregnant women lie on their side, it is best to use pillows to support the belly. Later in pregnancy, prolonged time on the back can cause the baby to place pressure on key blood vessels. We use massage tables with a center cutout that allows the expectant mother to enjoy her treatment while lying facedown.
  • Listen to your body and communicate with your massage therapist. Pregnancy can cause increased sensitivity to massage pressure. Prenatal massage should not be painful.
  • And for comfort, rather than safety's sake, you may want to forego aromatherapy during your session, but only because you may be too sensitive to smells.
Also, massage is not indicated if you are experiencing:
  • Severe morning sickness that inhibits scheduling around the nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Reduction in fetal movement over a 24-hour period
  • Excessive swelling in hands or feet
  • Restriction to bedrest
Here at Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we know that prenatal massage promotes relaxation, improved circulation and relief of common discomforts. When you are relaxed and pain-free, the baby benefits as well. Additionally, massage therapy during pregnancy can help relieve headaches, reduce fatigue and stress, ease backaches and leg cramps, reduce swelling, increase muscle flexibility, and provide overall comfort for your changing body. Contact us today at 303-333-3493 about scheduling your relaxing prenatal massage.