Pre-Natal/Pregnancy Massage


preg belly and blue sky

Prenatal Massage

Because of the many inherent differences anatomically specific to a pregnant woman and being that every pregnant women’s’ body is unique, very refined techniques and releases are utilized. Our pre-natal massage therapist will provide a tailor-made massage that is truly beneficial for you and your baby, while easing the pain and discomfort of pregnancy, delivering a safe, relaxing, and effective massage. The goal of pre-natal massage is to give special attention to the mother-to-be and nurture the new life growing within her.

 Benefits Of Prenatal Massage:

  • MENTAL HEALTH CARE: Helps with stress, insomnia, increases energy, lowers anxiety, and hands and preg bellydepression, stabilizes mood
  • CARDIOVASCULAR/CIRCULATORY: Reduction of swelling and edema, assists in circulation
  • IMMUNE FUNCTION: Strengthens immune function through stress reduction
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL/PAIN: Pain in muscles, tendons, and tissues, sciatic pain (burning or shooting pain in hip and down leg), carpal tunnel, stress relief on weight bearing joints (ankles, lower back, and pelvis), and alleviation of neck, back, ribs, side, ligament pain, relief of pain associated with headaches and migraines, relief from leg cramps
  • LABOR/DELIVERY: Preparation of birthing muscles used during delivery, facilitate shorter/easier  labors, assists in re-positioning breach and posterior presentation, assists with cervical dilation, and helps with efficiency of uterine contraction patterns

Massage and Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Prenatal massage helps to relieve pain through improving circulation, reducing muscle tension, reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing oxygenation of the soft tissue and muscles.


The sciatic nerve stems from the low back and extends all the way down to the feet.  In late pregnancy, sciatica can be caused by due to inflammation in the sciatic nerve.  This can  result from swelling and water retention in the body and growth of the uterus and baby.  These things combined, aid in increased pressure in the low back and pelvic floor.  Massage can address the inflamed nerve by releasing tension in the surrounding tissues and muscles.


Rounds ligament pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy.  Round ligament pain is caused by the increased weight of the uterus and its impact on the tendons.   Hormonal changes also  effect the tendons by softening them throughout pregnancy in preparation of childbirth.  Prenatal massage can help manage the pain associated with round ligament pain through helping to release the tension in the ligament and soft tissue surrounding the ligament.


Carpal tunnel is a common condition in the second and third trimester of pregnancy.  It is caused by a build up of fluid in the tissues that causes pressure on the median nerve.  This can cause numbness and tingling in your fingers and hand.  Some women may experience difficulty gripping objects due to the numbness.  Massage is very effective at reducing pressure on the nerve, decreasing swelling, decreasing inflammation, and increasing the circulation.

Stress Reduction Through Massage During Pregnancy

透明感のあるハスPre-natal massage is designed to focus on the evolving physical, hormonal, emotional changes occurring in the mother.  The changes that pregnancy can bring are profound, powerful, and exciting.  These changes can however create stress, anxiety, and sleep issues.  Pre-natal massage provides safe, gentle and effective ways to address common pregnancy related conditions. They can help women avoid medications and other forms of treatment that may have potential side effects, risks, or complications for their growing baby.

Pre-natal massage has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety through lowering stress hormones like cortisol and increasing mood enhancing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.  It helps helps women to feel nurtured and taken care of during a transitional time in their lives.

Edema & Swelling 

Women produce up to 50% more blood and fluid throughout pregnancy in order to facilitate the needs of the developing baby.  This extra fluid aids in preparing the pelvic tissues, tendons and joints to soften to help facilitate labor.  Due to this exponential amount of additional fluid in the body, swelling in the hands, feet, legs ankles can be very normal.  Massage can activate the lymphatic system to help the body drain away excessive fluid build up.

Labor Preparation With Massage

This massage is specific to women at 38 to 40 weeks gestation or those who have gone beyond their due date.  Labor preparation is a gentle but effective way to nudge the body to get ready for labor.  It will not force the body to go into labor, but instead work with where the body is naturally to help get the body and baby ready and or help facilitate the process.  Studies have shown that stimulating the acupressure induction points help raise oxytocin levels (hormones needed for labor) to stimulate the body to shift into labor (however, the body and baby must be ready for induction massage to stimulate labor).  If the body or baby is not ready, the induction massage will help the cervix to ripen, efface and dilate, but labor will not begin until baby and the mothers body is truly ready.




Research On Pregnancy And Massage

Research and prenatal massage Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body.

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). Women find relief from achy, swollen feet and legs; hand numbness and reduced function.

A 2010 study found that foot massage has a positive effect on decreasing the normal physiological edema of late pregnancy. The study group had a 20 min foot massage daily for 5 days whereas the control group did not receive any intervention beyond standard prenatal care. Compared with the control group, women in the experimental group had a significantly smaller lower leg circumference (right and left, ankle, instep and metatarsal–phalanges joint) after 5 days of massage; the control group tended toward increased circumferences.

1Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (D-820), PO Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101, USA.

Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun;25(2):115-22.

Field, T. (1999). Pregnant Women Benefit From Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mar;20(1):31-8.

Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun;25(2):115-22.

Howell ,Julie, NMT, PMT, Prenatal Health Through Massage Therapy: For Women and Their Babies. Article accessed online 10/18/2007.

The results of “Effect of foot massage to decrease physiological lower leg oedema in late pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial in Turkey” are running in the International Journal of Nursing Practice (Int J Nurs Pract. 2010 Oct;16(5):454-60). – See more at: 

Studies from the Touch Research Institute (University of Miami) |

Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C. & Burman, I. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 20, 31-38.

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