Pregnancy Massage: Stomach or Side?
We’ve heard from many of our pregnant clients that they initially didn’t consider prenatal massage therapy to be safe or all that comfortable. It wasn’t until during their pregnancy massage at Soma Studio that they became more informed about how we approach this special type of massage.
Safety, comfort and therapeutic effectiveness are foremost in any certified prenatal massage therapist’s mind. Positioning of your body is critical to all of these. While many therapists feel it’s better to position a pregnant body on its side, our Vancouver massage therapists feel it’s more beneficial to lie on the stomach (or ‘prone’). Here’s why.
Massage in the Stomach Position
Lying on the stomach in pregnancy massage is more restful and allows the therapist to better access your back and hips for a more therapeutic full body massage. When a pregnant body is pillowed properly and consciously, the spine is in neutral position and the back is longer. Similar to swimming, this position takes the weight off and makes you feel like you’re floating. After over 20 years of relying on this position and hearing consistently positive feedback from repeat clients, we know that it works.
Massage with a Pregnancy Pillow
A good pregnancy massage pillow support system can accommodate a growing belly as well as enlarged breasts. Soma Studio’s pregnancy pillows consist of several pieces: two large pieces with a half-moon ‘dip’ to support the belly as well as smaller rectangular pieces to support the shoulders—watch our pregnancy pillow video to see how these work. Our prenatal massage therapists work with each client to carefully adjust each pillow, ensuring the back isn’t in extension and for maximum comfort before starting the massage.
Massage in the Side-Lying Position
Many prenatal massage therapists choose this position because they don’t have access to a good pregnancy pillow system. In the past, some therapists have used tables with a hole for the belly, but the hole wasn’t padded or adjustable, causing the abdomen to dangle, stressing the lower back and creating discomfort with the stretching of uterine ligaments.
While Soma Studio’s massage therapists prefer to use the pregnancy pillows, you still have the option of lying on your side—especially if your breasts are too tender or you’re suffering from nausea or congestion.
No matter what position you’re lying in, your body will always let you know if it’s uncomfortable, with symptoms like nausea, overheating or pins & needles. Trust and listen to your body, and do what you feel is right for you.