WholeBody Massage Therapy, Inc.
Eileen Monaghan, LMT

Nurturing massage

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Positioning for Comfort during Pregnancy

Posted on June 11, 2016 at 10:05 PM

I love using the Side-lying position in my massage sessions.  I am probably not in the majority on this but it is a wonderful position to be in when you have hip and shoulder issues.  During pregnancy, once you are showing, side-lying position will substitute lying on your back.   It's a tough pill to swallow when you have no choice.  I have spent many hours trying to perfect my side-lying routine so that you will get the most out of your massage.  I doubt I will ever hear a client say that they never want to lie face down again but I do my best to make sure that you get a massage that you can be happy with during pregnancy. 

During a 60 or 90 minute session, you will have a choice of lying in a semi-reclined position (face up but your upper body is at a 45 degree angle) and side-lying or just side-lying.  

The semi-reclined position is great if you would like face massage, reflexology, and/or abdominal massage.  There are several reasons these areas should be a focus:

Face Massage is fantastic for clogged sinuses.  It's a symptom in pregnancy that doesn't affect everyone but if you do get it, you will definitely appreciate some extra work on the sinuses.

Reflexology, oh Reflexology!  I could just go on for days and days about the incredible benefits of reflexology during pregnancy.  For one, it is super relaxing.  I think I had my best sleeps during my reflexology sessions during pregnancy.  I have also had several clients report lovely bowel movements after their reflexology session.  Ok, so that might sound a bit crass but for a pregnant woman who has been constipated, that bowel movement could be like the best Christmas present EVER!

I'll be honest.  I don't ask about abdominal massage often enough.  It does feel wonderful during pregnancy.  I am not trying to manipulate any tissue.  It is just supposed to feel good.  Plus, there is a lovely move called the "lumbar lift" which can relieve some of the weight of the baby off of the hips.  It is temporary but feels so good when it's happening.  I've often felt the baby moving along with my hands during the abdominal massage which is a great experience all by itself.

The semi-reclined position is also great to get into the thighs (quadriceps).  They tend to take a beating and deserve some attention.

Semi-reclined position (Below)

The side-lying position is what most pregnant women know .  You are lying on your side with a pillow under your head and a pillow under your legs.  I give my pregnant clients a choice.  She can use the long bolster (the pillow that is typically under the knees while laying face up) under her top leg, a pillow under her head and the optional "huggy" pillow for her arm.  The second option is a body pillow for her arm and leg.  The third option would be the side-lying positioning system.  This group of cushions supports the head, shoulders and hips like no other cushioning.  It lifts your body up and off the massage table so you are not putting all of your weight on your hips and shoulders.  During my pregnancy, I was not comfortable lying on my side because of the pressure being put on my shoulder and hip.  I would automatically get numbness in my legs and arms.  This cushion stopped the numbness.  It may look a little weird but the majority of clients I have used it on are very comfortable.  

The best part of the side-lying position with me is you have a choice.  Let's find the cushioning that is right for you!

Some women have asked if I will use cushioning so she can lie on her stomach.  There are some systems out there that are made for that. I have had past clients who would bring in her cushioning system.  If you would like to bring in your own, I will work with you.  I have also been asked about the tables with the belly holes in them.  I will not invest in a table with a belly hole.  There are several reasons.  First, the massage table is not as soft as your bed.  There is only a few inches of cushioning.   Second, I apply pressure to your body.  You are dealing with your weight and mine on the massage table.  This may increase pressure on the uterus and put the baby into distress.  Third, these "belly hole" tables do not take into consideration that every woman carries differently.  It is possible for the woman's belly to be too small so the uterine ligaments are dealing with gravity (hanging out in no man's land) or her belly is too big and is being squished by the table below it.  She could also be carrying high or low and so the hole is not in the right place.

I'm looking for the position that will keep you and your baby safe and comfortable.  Come get a massage today and start reaping the benefits massage can offer.





Categories: Pregnancy

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