Prenatal massage comforts, relaxes the body


During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes dramatically to make room for the new life growing inside her.

A woman’s posture shifts. Her feet and ankles swell. The lower back aches and feels tight or sore. Sciatic pain might radiate down her legs and make it difficult to walk after a long day. Sharp pains can shoot through the pelvic ligaments, called round ligaments, which stretch to make room for baby.

For many pregnant women, massage aids in reducing many of these symptoms. Massage can help the mom-to-be to sleep more soundly and feel more rested. Prenatal massage is known to boost mood, too.

What to expect

A prenatal massage is slightly different than a regular massage. The prenatal massage incorporates a light to firm pressure and focuses on areas of discomfort. At Massage Concepts of Del Mar, the goal is to relax the body by relieving muscle strain and back tension and to improve circulation and to create a feeling of renewal.

Massage therapists are careful to avoid areas of the body that promote contractions, such as pressure points around ankle, and to stay clear of massaging the abdomen.

It is important for the body of the mom-to-be to be supported properly during a massage for both comfort and safety. Pillows, bolsters or padding often are used to support the back, knees, legs and feet.

In order to massage the back, the massage therapist will ask the mom-to-be to lie on her side and to hold a body pillow for support. In order to avoid pressure on the vena cava the mom should not lie in her back. In this case pillows are propped behind the mom-to-be and under her knees as she sits in a partially reclined position.

Some essential oils should not be used during a prenatal massage, because they can stimulate contractions. Clary sage, rosemary and cinnamon should be avoided. Safe massage oils generally include coconut oil and almond oil and are preferred essential oils for many therapists.

A common complaint of pregnant women is tired and swollen feet. Foot massages are safe and can help relieve these symptoms. There are acupressure points that can stimulate labor on and near the feet, so it is important to see a massage therapist trained in prenatal foot massages.

Consult your doctor before scheduling a pregnancy massage treatment, especially if you have any medical issue such as high blood or gestational diabetes. Massage Concepts Del Mar requires clients to fill out a medical history form before a massage begins. Additionally, if you have any concerns discuss them with your massage therapist.

Prenatal massage is offered in 60-, 75-, 90- and 120-minute sessions at Massage Concepts.

For more information on services or to make an appointment, call (858) 847-2777 or go to