Frequently Asked Questions About Prenatal and Postpartum Massage:
- How does pregnancy massage differ from traditional massage?
In many ways, pregnancy massage is not different from any other massage. It’s still a unique experience catered to the individual needs of each client. Many of the techniques are still the same and the overall goals can still range from working with specific issues to looking for general relaxation. The main difference is that Rebecca is trained in a variety of specific bolstering (table positioning) techniques for each trimester and she has a deep understanding of the physiological changes that may occur during the prenatal and postpartum phases so she may make adjustments to ensure a safe environment is created in every session.
There are a few differences that clients should be aware of before the session. If you are pregnant or up to ten weeks postpartum, Rebecca will perform three quick screening checks on the legs at every session. These short tests will check for the possible existence of blood clots and pitting edema. Please keep in mind that Rebecca is not a doctor so these checks are not diagnostic in purpose, they’re just precautionary.
- I’m in my first trimester, can I be worked on?
Absolutely. There are no contraindications that make massage inappropriate in the first trimester as long as proper techniques are used and the therapist is always mindful of the physiological changes of pregnancy. Feel free to ask Rebecca if you have any specific concerns.
- Will you work deeply on my legs?
Deep leg work is contraindicated during pregnancy as there are additional clotting factors in the blood to help prevent hemorrhaging during and after labor. This is a great thing that the body is doing, but it does also increase the risk of blood clots, most commonly in the legs. Since it is probable that massage increases circulation it’s unwise to work deeply on the legs as there’s potential for freeing up a clot.
Lymphatic Drainage, which is light but powerful work, is an appropriate technique to use on the legs and feet during pregnancy. Not only does this technique help reduce swelling in the legs, ankles and feet but it is known to relieve muscle strain and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which results in deep relaxation. Unlike kneading and flowing strokes in traditional Swedish Massage, Lymphatic Drainage is very light and involves slow, deliberate movements and short holds.
- How will I be positioned on the massage table?
Rebecca is trained on proper bolstering (positioning) techniques for all stages of pregnancy and for each client’s comfort level. Positioning may be done on the table side-lying, along with modified face down or face up, semi-seated or semi-reclined. If massage on the table is uncomfortable, seated massage is also completely appropriate and can be done in a comfortable safe way. Feel free to ask Rebecca if you have any specific concerns.
- Do you teach self-massage and/or partner massage?
Yes! Rebecca is happy to offer classes in self-massage and partner massage techniques for during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. Massage can be a wonderful way to help yourself relax and to support your parter through this important time. Feel free to ask Rebecca if you have any questions.
- I have a “high risk” pregnancy, can I be worked on?
Pregnancies can be classified as “high risk” for a variety of reasons. Many of these reasons do not contraindicate massage. In some cases, massage may need to be adjusted to meet your specific health needs and there are a few cases in which massage may be contraindicated altogether. In those cases, Reiki can be an appropriate nurturing alternative to massage. Please ask Rebecca if you have any specific concerns.
- I’m on bed rest, do you have options for me?
- I had a Cesarean, do you work on scar tissue?
Yes! Rebecca has advanced training in scar therapy. The earlier a scar is worked on the greater the chances are that it will heal flatter and smoother. However, it is never too late to begin working on scars. Along with Cesarean scars, any scars can be worked on and Rebecca is able to teach self-care techniques so clients can work on their own scars. For those who are uncomfortable having their scars worked on by a practitioner, self-care is a great alternative so clients can work privately at their own pace and to their own comfort level.
- Do you offer Prenatal Yoga?