Pregnancy & Massage FAQs

I’ve heard it’s not safe to get massage too early in my pregnancy.  How early can I safely get a massage ?
You can come for a massage as early in your pregnancy as you want.  Your therapist can address your concerns and stresses while avoiding any massage to your abdomen or to reflexology points that are contraindicated.   Points that are contraindicated include some points around the ankle and some around your sacrum, among others.  A simple Swedish massage over these reflex points will not have an adverse effect; only sustained contact with thumbs over the exact points so you can feel quite safe.  DO examine your own feelings however.  If you have any doubts, you should wait until you feel psychologically comfortable with massage during the early stages.  Finally, nausea may affect your ability to come in.  Don’t force yourself; wait until you feel better or, alternatively, pay attention to when your daily nausea cycles and try to book a massage for your normally “best” time of day.
How late in my pregnancy can I get a massage?
As late as you want, including right up to the beginning of your labor.  It will feel great and distract you from the waiting.   You could even, as of 40 weeks into your pregnancy, get a Massage To Encourage Labor session where you (or you and a partner) learn the reflexology points to stimulate your labor.
I love lying on my stomach.  How long can I do this?
Based on our experience at Sage, 8 weeks is about the limit though of course a lot of it depends upon your size and personal comfort.  You CAN extend your on-your tummy-time for a few weeks by lying in a specially designed cushion called the BodyCushion; but, we don’t recommend it past the first trimester.
How do you position me for a prenatal massage?
We have two positions, a specialized cushion (the BodyCushion) plus tons of pillows to get you into comfortable and safe positions during your prenatal massage session.  We use the semi-reclining and the side lying positions, and both are extremely comfortable.  In fact, you should learn how to set up these positions at home.  Read our instructions.  Our clients have often sworn their eternal gratitude about their improved sleep and ability to nap!
I noticed that you offer aromatherapy massage oils as part of your sessions.  Are they safe for pregnancy?
Aromatherapist Susan Stratton blends all aromatherapy oils.  If any blend is not safe for pregnancy, it will be indicated on the bottle.  In reality, all of our blends are only a 1-3% dilution of aromatherapy oils in a base of sweet almond or apricot kernel oil and are almost always safe.  In addition, we have unscented almond or apricot kernel if you prefer.  If you have morning sickness, it may be better to go with unscented in any case.
Do I need permission from doctor or midwife in order to get a massage?
If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you don’t need permission; but it’s always a good idea to ask and see if they have any input. The healthcare TEAM approach is best for you and your baby.  If you do have any health issues, injuries, are on special medications, etc., it’s ALWAYS a good idea to ask.  Be sure to mention your health issues when you make your appointment and again when you talk to your massage therapist before your session. See also High-Risk-Pregnancy contraindications
I’ve gotten prenatal massages before and they are always so light.  Can I get a deep tissue massage because I’m used to that and feel it’s what I need?
Getting deep tissue massage on your upper body is almost never a problem during pregnancy.  Sometimes deep tissue around your sacrum must be avoided because of the contraindicated reflex points there.  A well-trained, confident prenatally-certified therapist should be able to safely give you at least some of the deep tissue work you desire.
What if I have a High-Risk-Pregnancy, is it safe to get a massage?
It is a strict policy of uniquely you to require s doctor's release form in order to receive a massage therapy during a High -Risk Pregnancy, which includes but are not limited to:
  • Early labor, miscarriage threat, placental or cervical dyscfunction
  • Gestational Edema Proteinuria Hypertension (GEPH)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Pre-existing cardiac, renal, connective tissue or liver disorders/diseases
  • Fetal genetic disorders
  • Complications in previous pregnancies
  • Three or more miscarriages
I’ve heard about how common lower backache is in pregnancy.  Can massage help with this and is there anything else I should do to prevent this?
Yes, we can help and, yes, there are things you can do if you start early enough to help lessen or prevent back pain.  On the massage front, we can “extinguish” trigger points, those especially irritated areas in your buttocks, legs and hips.  Extinguish may sound a little drastic but actually fells fantastic and reduces pain.  We can also bring circulation, warmth and length to the muscles shortened by the pregnant posture, teach you a stretch or two and show you a fantastic neutral position for resting or sleeping so that your aggravated muscles can rest.
On the prevention front, you should be doing Kegels, Pelvic Tilts and Squats.  These are what we call “The Big Three” of Prenatal Exercise.
How would you describe your view of pregnancy?
We see pregnancy not as an “illness” but as a state of wellness associated with changes throughout a woman’s body as the baby develops.  We celebrate your journey to motherhood whether it’s your first or your third and we look forward to your sharing your experience with us. Pictures of your baby are eagerly anticipated.
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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