Element Therapeutics now has a pregnancy cushion that is designed primarily for prone lying. What does this mean?
It means you can lie on your front during pregnancy safely and comfortably WITHOUT any pressure on your bump or breasts as it has different size options for supporting the belly.
This pregnancy cushion has been specifically designed with curves and contours which make it easy to get on and off the table, and it is easy to adjust, so it fits your growing bump through to full term. Of course, it is always an option for side lying prenatal massage if that is preferred.
As a massage therapist myself I have known and experienced the benefits of massage for many years. I was also able to experience the benefits of regular prenatal massage during my whole pregnancy. I believe that massage was a major factor in keeping my aches and pains to a minimum. Carrying a baby (or babies) places unusual strains on muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which massage can ease.
Many of us have had a deep tissue or relaxation massage and have experienced the benefits. The goals of a prenatal massage are essentially the same: to help you relax, de-stress, and address any areas of tension or pain so that you leave your session feeling ease and balance in your body and mind. However, there are many considerations for the therapist during a prenatal massage such as specific pressure points to avoid, how far along you are, pregnancy induced health conditions and positioning.
Some of the benefits of Prenatal Massage
1. Reduce Swelling
When your feet, legs, and hands start swelling during pregnancy, it is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels. When you are pregnant your blood volume increases as much as 40%, which can the stress the lymphatic system, and increase fluid retention. Massage can help stimulate the soft tissue, move the extra fluid, and reduce the swelling, leaving you feeling more comfortable.
2. Relieve Lower Back Pain
Pregnancy massage improves lower back pain including sciatic nerve pain by addressing the tight muscles in the affected area. Prenatal massage increases blood flow and helps release the tension that can be brought on naturally by pregnancy.
3. Improve Sleep
Getting good quality sleep becomes harder and harder as your pregnancy progresses. Prenatal massage relaxes the nervous system and releases feel good hormones. This will leave you more relaxed and let you sleep better. That is something we all need!
4. Prepare Your Body for Labor and Birth
Prenatal Massage can help you have an easier delivery, not only because it can reduce your overall stress level but also because of how well it can keep your muscles toned and relaxed in advance of the start of labor. Studies show that women reportedly had shorter hospital stays, shorter labors and less incidence of post-natal depression when receiving massages.
5. Relieve Pain Naturally
Prenatal massage offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative for pain relief. This is beneficial since the use of medications is limited during pregnancy for the safety of your baby. The increased blood flow to your tissues and the relaxation your body will experience during and after a session can significantly alleviate many of the common discomforts of pregnancy.
We are excited to offer prenatal and postnatal massage with all our Registered Massage Therapists.
The prone position in healthy pregnant women and in women with preeclampsia – a pilot study. Alicia T. Dennis, Liesel Hardy & Liz Leeton. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth volume 18, Article number: 445 (2018)
Yuichiro Nakai, Makiko Mine, Junko Nishio, Takeshi Maeda, MotoharuImanaka & Sachio Ogita (1998) Effects of maternal prone position on the umbilical arterial flow,Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 77:10, 967-969
Article written by Kristen Loewenstein, October 2023