- $135 for three monthly 60-minute prenatal massages ($270 value)
Prenatal Massage: Bringing Up Baby, Bringing Down Stress
Massage therapists trained in prenatal massage can help mothers-to-be combat the stresses and discomforts of pregnancy. Check out Groupon’s guide on the ways of soothing both mom and baby.
Sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, anxieties about your child’s health—these well-documented hardships of early parenting can appear well before the baby first crawls out of the stork’s bundle. Prenatal massage—also known as pregnancy massage—attempts to offset these symptoms with gentle strokes designed to benefit mother and child alike. In the hands of a licensed massage therapist, this specialized modality can minimize the physical tolls of pregnancy as well as the stresses of meeting a rigid nine-month deadline.
To ensure comfort for the mother and safety for the baby, prenatal therapists tend to rely on one of two positioning methods. Some position clients on their side, cushioning the hips and belly with soft pillows. Others use special maternity pillows or a massage table with belly-accommodating cutouts so that the client can comfortably lie on her stomach. Regardless of the positioning, therapists generally favor the light pressures and gliding strokes of Swedish massage for their ability to relieve the stresses on weight-bearing joints without making extra-sensitive pressure points uncomfortable. These techniques are often used in conjunction with deep-breathing exercises to stabilize the frequently overloaded circulatory system and help stress hormones subside.
Although massage is just one piece of the prenatal health picture, in one particular case it might indeed be a replacement for traditional medicine—as an alternative to pain medication, which may be off-limits during pregnancy. And if a patient finds prenatal massage helpful, she might even consider extending its benefits into the delivery room. A 2011 study found that women receiving regular massage from their trained partners during labor reduced their labor time by an average of three hours while experiencing a significant drop in pain.