Maternity Massage Therapy
One way that women can minimize the physical and
emotional discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth, and improve the quality of
this transformational time of their lives, is to receive periodic
maternity massages, a form of therapeutic bodywork. Given the complex
hormonal and physiological changes of pregnancy, it is best to seek out a
massage therapist with experience in or specifically certified in maternity
massage. Most maternity massage therapists maintain a private practice, working
in a home-based or commercial office. Others are affiliated with medical
professionals, women's health centers, or work in health clubs/gyms.
Massage can help alleviate the backaches, leg
cramps, and swelling that often accompany pregnancy. Massage therapy is much
more than a soothing back rub and has documented therapeutic value.
Massage reduces stress, induces deep relaxation,
increases energy levels and relieves muscle tension in the areas most affected
by the growing fetus and the mother's shifting center of gravity, such as the
back, neck, and pelvic area. The massage therapist assists the woman with
passive muscle stretches and joint movements to relieve cramping, fatigue, and
musculoskeletal pain, helping to increase range of motion and flexibility.
Massage stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph fluids and reduces
swelling in the lower extremities, a common symptom during pregnancy.
Massage also facilitates postpartum structural realignment and healing of
connective tissue when a Cesarean section has been performed.
What to Expect
A massage session begins with a medical history review to determine if a release
from your prenatal care provider is necessary, and to enable the therapist to
focus on areas needing relief. The therapist recommends exercises, body
mechanics, breathing, and relaxation techniques.
The bodywork takes place in a clean, private,
nurturing space, often with soft lighting and soothing music. During the
massage session, a light oil or lotion is used which lubricates the skin to
enable a gliding action across the muscle and helps replenish the skins
The expectant mother is educated about safe and
effective exercises, ways to improve posture, diaphragmatic breathing
techniques, and relaxation visualizations. She can learn effleurage, a calming,
long, rhythmic massage stroke, which can be employed during labor as a way to
relax during contractions.
Session Length and Cost
The average session lasts an hour, with costs ranging from $30-$75; many
therapists are willing to make house calls for an additional $10-$20. Some
therapists offer discounts, referral bonuses and gift certificates.
Source Acknowledgement-Lori Hermann,
Certified Maternity Massage Therapist
Local Massage Therapists We Recommend
As doulas, we use a lot of different massage techniques as we
care for women during labor and postpartum. However, we do not have the
same talent and training as some of our local certified massage therapists.
If you are looking for extensive bodywork, we recommend the following healing
Tom Valdez, Certified Massage Therapist-BodyWorks,
Wamego, Kansas-you can e-mail Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please contact
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