Pregnancy is a time of great change, both physically and emotionally.Along with tremendous physical transformations, hormone fluctuations and mixed feelings of excitement, anticipation, and worry, a mom-to-be can experience many ups and downs along the way.
A pregnancy massage therapist can be a trusted helper on this journey.
Often a client’s first massage experience is during pregnancy, and this is a special time to feel cared for and supported. During this time she is open and willing to do the best she can for her growing baby and truly wants to know how to feel her best, so her baby has the best environment to thrive.
Many massage therapy schools will touch on pregnancy massage, but due to the various symptoms, discomfort and complications that could be present, it is imperative that additional training and certification be obtained.
This additional training provides more insight into the changes women experience, specific positioning techniques and overall training to ensure safety for the client and baby.
The mom-to-be is certainly not fragile, but it is important to understand the physiological changes that occur in order to provide the safest and most appropriate services.
Prenatal massage should be incorporated into routine prenatal care. Maintaining a consistent schedule of massages during pregnancy will provide the most benefits to mom and baby and helps alleviate many issues associated with the changes your client is facing.
When using the appropriate techniques, prenatal massage can address anxiety and depression, relieve muscle aches, reduce sciatic pain discomfort, reduce swelling and even reduce the risk of preterm labor.
Often clients receiving prenatal massages are in serious pain. Knowing the appropriate amount of pressure to apply and where to apply that pressure is essential in client satisfaction.
Another word of caution is to carefully consider the products and ingredients used on pregnant women. Even natural products should be carefully examined, as some essential oils and other ingredients are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Visit the site of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy for more specific information.
This is important for those who are providing services to the client, but also for the staff at the front desk to know there are certain products that should not be recommended.
All of your staff including the person answering the phone and greeting guests need to be part of making this a wonderful experience for your pregnant clients.
Finding the sweet spot for client comfort is key to providing an exceptional prenatal massage. Think about all the details in the room that influence the client experience. Pregnant women are often bothered by certain smells, and have fluctuations in their core body temperature, so be sure to ask about candles, sprays, lotions scents and room temperature.
It is recommended to ask about this each time you see the client, as this sensitivity often changes throughout the pregnancy.
Often the mom-to-be has a difficult time getting comfortable on the massage table and knowing different positioning techniques, while maintaining the necessary safety precautions is extremely important. It is through understanding and thinking through the client’s eyes that you can provide a nurturing and therapeutic massage experience.
Above all, get to know your pregnant client and truly attempt to understand her journey. Be sure to ask a lot of questions.
About the Author
Allyson Osborne is manager of Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound and has been working with moms before, during and after pregnancy for more than 10 years. Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound is currently based in Mason, Ohio, and is expanding nationwide through franchising. For more information visit becomingmomfranchise.com.