Member and insurer access
Find a therapist
The Network of professional massage therapists of Quebec brings together more than 8,000 massage therapists
Pregnancy is a time in life bringing body changes and sometimes physical discomforts. For the future mother, this period can bring a lot of questions and emotions. Massage therapy can be a way to relax and relieve these discomforts to favor a good pregnancy outcome.
Whether or not she has pregnancy discomfort, relaxation massage has multiple beneficial effects on the pregnant woman body. The comprehensive relaxation provided by the massage promotes sleep and recovery, thus controlling fatigue that can be felt, especially in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. In addition to this boost of energy, the pregnant woman can feel a relief from her stress and anxiety, which helps her to approach her pregnancy and childbirth with more serenity.
For the pregnant woman, being massaged can be a special moment to make contact with her body and focus on herself, a good way to feel good about her own body and to learn how to live the physical changes due to pregnancy.
Pregnancy causes changes in the posture of the pregnant woman that can lead to muscle tension and stiffness. In addition to hyperextensive joints caused by relaxin, a hormone secreted during pregnancy, these changes may cause or accentuate pain requiring more in-depth care. You should know that, no matter the stage of pregnancy, the massage therapist can relieve the muscular tensions and perform kinesitherapy mobilizations to favor the relief of these discomforts.
Similarly, as the pregnancy progresses, the baby occupies more and more space in the mother’s womb, which compresses her diaphragm and hampers her breathing. The massage stimulates the blood and lymphatic circulation, which promotes the oxygenation of cells and tissues, in addition to relieving certain other pregnancy discomforts such as nausea, gastric reflux and constipation.
The therapist adapts and personalizes the care to the needs of the client. Depending on the pregnancy trimester, the therapist may suggest different comfortable positions to adopt according to the facilities of his work place. Some therapists will work with tables adapted to the pregnant woman, while others will use customized pregnancy massage cushions. Depending on the trimester, the therapist will also adapt the techniques in order to respect the bodily changes caused by the fetal growth.
There are contraindications to massage depending on the health status of the pregnant woman: history of miscarriage, pregnancy at risk, diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, etc. In these situations, it is essential to obtain the advice of the doctor or the midwife who does the follow-up, before making an appointment to receive a massage.
However, a woman who goes through a normal pregnancy can be massaged at any time, even during the first trimester. For her, the best thing to do is to call on a therapist who has been trained for pregnancy massage at a recognized educational institution. This person is aware of precautions that need to be taken and will be able to perform the appropriate techniques and offer the right body positioning to ensure the comfort of the client.Find a therapist