Pre-Natal and Post-Partum Massage
Pre-Natal Massage
Being pregnant is a joyous occasion, whether it’s a first time pregnancy or not.  It’s the miraculous, yet tremendous changes
that occur within a woman’s body during pregnancy that can be challenging.  Discomforts may arise as a result of the body’s
efforts to accommodate the pregnancy.  Massage is a great way to help alleviate some of those discomforts.  Massage
helps to target and reduce stress (both physical and mental/emotional), bring about relaxation and to help prepare the
muscles of the body for a healthier delivery.  

Just as every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, even for a woman who is not experiencing a first time
pregnancy.  There are several modalities of massage therapy and the techniques used in massage each have a purpose to
help address issues presenting in the body especially during pregnancy.  Some of the conditions that massage can help
alleviate during pregnancy are:

  • Congested sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain/discomfort
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Swelling in the extremities (hands & feet)
  • Trouble sleeping

Pre-Natal massage offers the use of several varying techniques while targeting the physiological aspects of pregnancy.  By
manipulating the soft tissue of the body, massage helps to rid the body of wastes and toxins while increasing the blood flow
to the body’s tissues delivering oxygen and nutrient to maintain health.  Massage can also provide a nurturing, supportive
environment, helping the mother-to-be to experience a peaceful bond with her unborn child as both mother and child reap
the soothing benefits of the massage.  Studies have shown that massage during pregnancy may also offer the following

  • Decrease anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Decrease sleeplessness
  • Alleviate back pain
  • Reduce some complications during labor
  • Increase the bond between mother and child
  • Decrease leg pain and swelling
  • Decrease uterine stress hormones

Further studies have shown an incidence for less premature births and fewer postnatal complications for women who
receive massage regularly throughout the pregnancy.  

By receiving massage on a regular basis before delivery, a woman will actually help to increase her healing time after
childbirth.  For every mother with a new baby, there is much to be done and many tasks to be undertaken all while the
mothers body is still healing from giving birth.  Massage is a wonderful avenue to travel during this healing stage.   
Continuing after childbirth with post-natal massage helps the woman to acclimate her body to its pre-pregnancy stage by
assisting with improving blood circulation and decreasing muscular strains caused during delivery.  Post-natal massage can
also help in the event of scarring as a result of a Cesarean procedure.  And let’s not forget the wonderful nurturing, relaxing
benefits that massage will offer to the new mother as she adjusts to life with a new baby.  Post-natal massage can be
administered as early as a few hours after the delivery and continue on indefinitely.
737 Newfield Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Last Updated:
Sept. 1, 2008
Precautions of Pre-natal Massage
While massage is a wonderful gift to give ones self, there are a few situations where massage would not be advisable for
the pregnant woman.  Consulting with your doctor prior to receiving massage is always advised.  If required, a massage
therapist may need permission from the attending physician before administering a massage.  If any of the following
conditions are present, massage is not indicated at this time in the pregnancy:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Vaginal Discharge (bloody or watery)
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Diabetes (all types)
  • No fetal movement within a 24 hour period

If and when any of these conditions are no longer prevalent, massage may be indicated, and it is best to receive your
doctors approval for massage after any of these conditions has been alleviated.
Post-Partum Massage
Massage during pregnancy is a great way to keep the mothers body relaxed and helps the mother prepare for the
childbirth and recovery stage, known as post-partum.  While massage is beneficial pre-natal, it is just as beneficial after
childbirth while the mother's body is struggling to return to it's pre-pregnancy state.  While hormone levels change and
the body is relieved of the strain of weight bearing, the body is still in need of stress reduction and nurturing to facilitate
healing.  Even in cases of cesarean births, the mother can still benefit from post-partum massage as a means of
regaining balance in both body and mind and to facilitate the healing phase.  As a benefit of post partum massage, the
mother can reduce the stress caused by disrupted sleep patterns, adjusting to new responsibilities and the adjusting of
her everyday routines.  Physically, the mother can be brought back into awareness of her body as it begins to return to a
more normal center of gravity and she will feel more confident as those changes take place.  
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