As the weeks pass by and your pregnancy progresses you begin to get some aches and pains, and you’re seeking a pregnancy massage therapist.
You start searching on google, and then pop onto your Facebook mother’s page and ask for other mother’s recommendation. A decision is made and you book your pregnancy massage.
You present to the clinic, and you’re required to fill out an intake form – although, not specific to pregnancy. You’re therapist asks what the presenting complaint is and then on the table you go – maybe if you’re lucky they’ll let you lie face down (really, you’re not lucky at all).
4 important questions any pregnant client should ask before having a pregnancy massage are:
1. Is the therapist qualified?
Most often if the practitioner works in a multidisciplinary clinic and you ask the receptionist, the answer will be…yes, they’re qualified (this happened to a client of mine). Most often the therapist is qualified in remedial massage and may have spent a tiny amount of time exploring pregnancy massage. This is when you have to sift a bit further.
2. What extra training have they done to be qualified in pregnancy massage?
3. Who did they train with?
4. How will I be positioned in the pregnancy massage?
We have special tables and/or belly pillows which allows you to lie flat on your belly. There is a cut out for your bump and it is really comfortable.
Pregnancy Massage is NOT Remedial Massage, they are two different treatments.
On your initial pregnancy massage treatment, you will be asked to fill out a thorough pregnancy massage intake form. This is for the practitioner to understand and gain clarity of what is happening for you in your pregnancy and to ensure safety for you and baby. Questions on the intake form include things such as – Are you suffering from any of the following conditions/ailments
- Varicose veins
- Gestational Diabetes
- Edema (swelling)
- High blood Pressure
- Leg cramps
- Uterine Bleeding etc.
You will also have your blood pressure checked every treatment.
Some of the above are conditions are classified as ‘high risk’ pregnancies. We liaise closely with your obstetrician/pre-natal care provider and sometimes require medical clearance from them to give a treatment. Certain situations such as pre-eclampsia or multiple birth – twins, it is recommended to have a massage on the day of your prenatal check up.
On your initial remedial massage treatment, you will be asked to fill out a remedial massage intake form. The specific questions and ailments regarding pregnancy will not be asked, and treatment will be conducted in a remedial massage style
Up until 14 weeks of pregnancy, a trained practitioner will allow you to lie on your tummy and back.
In the 2nd & 3rd trimester, there are a few options
- Side-lying (preferred)
- Supine with pillow under right hip (only up until 22 weeks)
- Semi reclining after 22 weeks, no supine
In my clinic, I most often use the side-lying position. You are fully supported and one side will be completed, followed by the other.
Side-lying is a good position to
- Allows easy access to all areas of the body – mobilise tight and restricted hips; shoulders; ribs; arms and legs.
- Relieve gluteal lower back pain
- Allows therapist to maintain connection with client
- Sense of mother baby connection
You will lie face down followed by lying on your back. In pregnancy practitioners will use belly pillows or have tables that allow you to like flat with a cut out for baby.
When you have a treatment by a qualified and trained pregnancy massage therapist they will
- First and foremost, have undergone specific training for pregnancy massage (I trained through Pregnancy Massage Australia (and am a NurtureLife® Practitioner), I’ve also completed postnatal training with them and Partner Labour and Training).
- The intake form will be specific for pregnancy massage – questions such as do you suffer with gestational diabetes; pre-eclampsia; bleeding in pregnancy; placenta previa and so forth will be asked. Are you suffering with a low risk/high risk pregnancy?
- The consultation is thorough – questions such as when was the last time you saw your midwife or OB.
- They’ll recommend you have your massage treatments after you’ve seen your midwife and/or OB and relatively close to that appointment.
- When and if required they’ll ensure you have been given medical clearance by your prenatal care provider.
By asking these simple 4 questions you can ensure the safety and comfort of you and your baby are put first.
Elizabeth helped me through the last trimester of my pregnancy and I highly recommend her to other local mums and mums-to-be
. She’s very thorough and takes the time to listen to any issues from my obstetrician or physiother apist, checks for any changes since the previous appointmen t, and adjusts her treatment accordingly. She’s also very kind and compassion ate and, most importantl y, an excellent massage therapist! She really helped with discomfort in my hips and back, and calf cramps.
Liz is an amazing therapist.
During my entire pregnancy I did my massages with her almost every month. Her attention to detail is amazing and she will work with her magic hands to give you relief if any pain yet keeping you safe. I am looking forward to few more massages with her and then starting my postnatal massages as well. Liz keep up the good work.
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