Prenatal Massage FAQ’s

Prenatal Massage FAQ’s

Prenatal massage is a great way for expecting moms to get some reprieve from all the ailments of pregnancy (and there are many).  Here are some common questions surrounding prenatal massage. 

1)       How soon (or late) can I get a massage when pregnant?

With a Certified Prenatal/Postpartum Massage Therapist it is safe to get massage throughout your entire pregnancy up to and beyond your due date.  All therapists at The Nurtured Mama have had additional specific training in prenatal and postpartum massage techniques.   In fact, research as shown that massage throughout pregnancy has been linked to reduced labor times, reduced use of Pitocin and birth interventions and is associated with lower cesarean rates.

 2)      Side lying or Pregnancy Table?

This answer to this question is partially personal preference.  There is a massage table that has holes cut out for the breasts as well as the belly.  The belly is slightly supported with a sling, or mesh material.  Some moms love to be able to lay face down in order to get the “traditional” back massage.  The issue becomes positioning and being comfortable.  The table cannot be tailored to each woman, so the positioning of the breast holes may or may not be comfortable for each woman.  Same with the belly. Because of this, there is a risk of reduced blood flow to the baby.  Lying face down when you are pregnant is not natural.  Moms may not feel comfortable and therefore cannot relax. If mom is uncomfortable, baby is uncomfortable.  From my own experience, my breasts became so large when I was pregnant, there was no way they were going to fit into the holes. 

 The side lying position is superior because it is a more natural way for moms to lie down.  There is no risk of any pressure on any ligaments or breasts.  Using a series of pillows and bolsters, moms are propped on the side.  This also is a great way to reach the hips with firm pressure with no added pressure on the belly.  A therapist trained in the side lying position can also use passive stretching and other techniques to help alleviate common aches and pains in the hips, neck and shoulders.

 3)      How often should I get a massage?

 To maximize the benefits of massage for mom and baby, consistency is most important.  Typically, moms tend to need a massage well before they start complaining of aches and pains.  Starting early can even help prevent symptoms from occurring.  Moms typically begin monthly massages in the second trimester and continue until the baby is born, but as stated earlier, it is safe to get a massage your entire pregnancy.  It is also strongly recommended to plan for a postpartum massage as well.   The first few weeks after birth can be very difficult, and massage can really help moms emotionally.

 4)      Who is The Nurtured Mama?

The Nurtured Mama is a private, local business serving moms and women since 2012.  You can reach them at (480) 208-9773 or www.nurturedmama.com

Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum Mood Disorders

A big misperception of Postpartum Depression (PPD) is that it only consists of feeling sad and lots of crying. These “baby blues” should go away by 6 weeks after birth.  In fact, the term Postpartum Depression, although a buzz word lately, does not accurately describe the myriad of emotions in the postpartum world.

Crying and sadness are emotions that can be associated with PPD. However, the truth is there are many different ways PPD can present itself.  It can manifest months even a year after child birth. 21% of women are affected with some sort of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. These symptoms are detectable but sadly, screening for them isn’t happening as much as it should be.

Here are some common symptoms and terms that may help identify a mood disorder.

Postpartum Depression – generally encompasses sadness, irritability, change in eating habits, inability to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, disinterest in the baby.

Postpartum Anxiety – extreme worries and fear of the safety of the baby, panic attacks, dizziness, inability to sleep, racing thoughts

Postpartum Panic Disorder – a specific form of anxiety associated with recurring panic attacks, chest pain, heart palpitations

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – persistent, repetitive thoughts or mental images of the baby that are typically horrifying; thoughts of harming baby; Hypervigilance, fear of being left alone with baby, Checking and rechecking doing things, obsess about cleanliness

Postpartum Psychosis – the rarest of these disorders.  Common symptoms included delusions, hearing things, hallucinations, inability to sleep, sometimes trouble communicating

This is a very short list of common symptoms.  The important thing to remember is that all of these disorders are treatable.  Seek help and support.

The Nurtured Mama specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage therapy and has been trained in perinatal mood disorders. To participate in a support group in North Scottsdale or to book an appointment please contact Melinda Leon at info@nurturedmama.com or view their website www.nurturedmama.com.   

For more information and symptoms on perinatal moods visit www.postpartum.net.  If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms call the warmline at 800.944.4773.