I'm Pregnant: Can I Get a Massage?
From the Desk of Nicole A. Trincia, LNCMT... Pregnancy massage (prenatal and post-natal) can be a wonderful treatment to ease the emotional stress and physical discomforts during pregnancy and expedite the body's healing after pregnancy. The benefits of pregnancy massage include:
- Reduced anxiety and depression - Increased production of serotonin and dopamine (resulting in improved mood) - Reduced swelling - Improved circulation and cardiovascular health - Relief to strained muscles and joints resulting from the weight of baby and shift in center of gravity - Better sleep - Reduced labor stress for mom and baby - Improved health of baby (American Pregnancy Association)
Pregnancy massage can be enjoyed throughout the term of pregnancy as long as you are in good health and there are no complications with your pregnancy. You should confirm with your prenatal care physician before scheduling a massage. There are precautions you should consider depending on your specific health and stage of pregnancy. Abdominal massage should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may still be able to lie on your stomach at this time, as long it is comfortable for you. During your second and third trimesters you should be supported by pillows and or cushions, either in a side lying position (off the right hip and vena cava), or even more comfortable for many is lying face down on a pillow cushion system or comparable pillow arrangement. Yes, it's okay to lie on your stomach with proper support, as long as no pressure is being put on your abdomen. Using a table with a hole where the abdomen hangs is not advisable, as it creates too much pressure on the lower back and may cause strain on uterine ligaments. Key pressure points should be taken into consideration, depending on where you are at in your pregnancy. For example, just above and below the inner ankle bones, at the webbing between the thumb and index finger, and around the wrists should be avoided during first and second trimesters, but may be worked gently to encourage labor if you're close or past your due date, and your prenatal physician has recommended it. Swedish massage is appropriate during pregnancy, with no deep work, particularly to the inner thighs and calves.
Pregnancy massage can be a very beneficial component of your prenatal care routine in both easing the discomforts of pregnancy and improving the overall health for both mom and baby. Working with a massage therapist who is trained in pregnancy massage, along with the guidance of your prenatal physician, and keeping good communication throughout the progress of your pregnancy is key to the success of pregnancy massage.
Nicole Trincia, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Nicole Trincia is a Massachusetts Licensed and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist who has been practicing in the Greater Boston area for over eleven years. She graduated from Healing Touch Institute in 2000, with certification in Holistic Massage Therapy. Her training includes Swedish, Esalen, Neuromuscular, Myofascial, Sports and Pregnancy Massage as well as Polarity, Aromatherapy, and yoga. As a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), Nicole has expanded her massage into an integrative style, customized to the unique needs of her clients. She incorporates Cranio Sacral, Thai Massage, Hot Stone, assisted stretching, and Feldenkrais techniques. In 2010, she successfully completed the First Degree of the Usui System of Reiki Healing. Over the years of working in integrated wellness centers, spas and in private practice, Nicole has guided clients with intuition and compassion, out of restriction and pain, into more physically and emotionally productive living. Her clients range from professional athletes, musicians, children, the elderly, and those with repetitive stress injuries, systemic illness, special needs, and emotional stress. Having earned a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College and a M.A. in Education from Lesley University, Nicole is personally fascinated with the mind-body connection. She is committed to identifying stress patterns and educating her clients on proper body mechanics, work habits, diet and exercise. Nicole has been practicing Forrest Yoga for eleven years and has studied Macrobiotics. She has played various sports since childhood, and has overcome repetitive stress injuries through the use of massage, yoga, and other integrated therapies without surgery. She delights in sharing what she has learned through massage and overall mind-body awareness with her clients, so that they may live a more balanced, vivacious, and joyful life!