We know that human touch is powerful – the benefits of physical touch go beyond social bonding and can manifest positively in the physical body. These benefits hold true for prenatal and postnatal massage. As the body changes, massage can alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy and after the baby has arrived can assist in the precious healing postpartum process.
Research studies suggest that massage during pregnancy may reduce pain and improve sleep, benefiting both mother and baby, but it is always important to check with your healthcare provider or midwife to confirm what is safe for you and your pregnancy. In general massage is considered safe during all trimesters with complications from relaxation massage techniques to be very rare. Massage can help by decreasing stress hormones, easing body tension and providing a simple sense of well being.
During prenatal massage, the body will be supported so that mom is comfortable and baby is safe. For therapists practicing with a traditional massage table, pillows, bolsters and blankets will be used under the head, between the knees, ankles and along the abdomen to give a safe and comfortable feeling while side lying. You may find a therapist with a speciality prenatal table or accessory that will allow you to lay face down with a belly cut out. If this is important to you, be sure to ask that question upon booking your appointment.
There are some conditions during pregnancy that would be considered a contraindication. Massage may not be recommended for those with risk of preterm labor, blood clots or a clotting disorder, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure – just to name a few. If you have a high risk pregnancy, it is important to outweigh the benefits versus the risks and talk with your trusted healthcare provider.
Postpartum massage may look similar to prenatal massage if lying on the stomach or back is not comfortable. Mothers who are breastfeeding may struggle to lay prone and prefer a side lying position to relieve pressure to the chest. New mothers often hold heavy tension along the shoulders and neck from holding and feeding baby. Pain in the back or abdomen may be present from cesarean or an epidural or for those who experienced a long and intense labor. The general benefits of massage will increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension throughout the body, easing mind, body and spirit.
During the sacred postpartum phase, the mother is connecting back to her body after giving birth. This can be a sensitive time for some not only physically but emotionally – the feeling of being cared for during massage may reduce the risk of postpartum depression and will increase a sense of wellbeing.
Sakom Massage & Wellness offers both prenatal and postpartum massage on a traditional massage table with the support of pillows, blankets and bolsters (I promise it is super cozy). Your comfort and safety are my top priority. Please mention any special needs at the time of your booking to ensure the space is set up just for you.
Stephanie McCutchin is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Sakom Massage and Wellness. The word Sakom is inspired by the Menominee language and translates to extending peace to yourself and others. Creating a peaceful space for clients to relax, recharge, and recuperate is the main focus at Sakom. To learn more about massage and to book your appointment today call, 608-564-5330 or click here.