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Massage in Pregnancy

Massage in Pregnancy for Self Care

photo credit: Darcy Elizabeth Photography

The benefits of prenatal massage include a wide range of physiological, emotional, and psychological benefits.

Ariana Vincent

Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Instructor

A Second Pregnancy

I found out I was expecting my first child, two weeks into my course of studies in massage therapy.

As a massage student, I was giving and receiving massages daily as part of the curriculum and practice. DAILY massages – it was wonderful!

Receiving massage throughout my first pregnancy was a gift – well worth the cost of tuition, in fact! In my second pregnancy, though, I didn’t have access to daily massage. Having studied the benefits of massage in pregnancy coupled with my personal experience I made an important decision…

Massage Therapy is NOT a luxury, it is an important piece of a self care regimen in pregnancy.

Benefits of Massage in Pregnancy

Any single massage therapy session will offer the expecting mother the following benefits. For a more detailed description, visit this article.

  • Alleviates stress on weight bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures
  • Soothes many common discomforts during pregnancy
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Stabilizes hormonal levels and mood
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Assists in maintaining good posture
  • Offers emotional support through nurturing touch

When massage is received as part of an ongoing regimen, these benefits build on each previous session. In addition, as Mother moves closer to birth, she will have practiced attuning to the sensations in her body at each massage session; noticing which areas feel relaxed, which areas are sore or tender, and how these sensations change from week to week. In labor, this practiced attuning benefits mother and child, as the mother’s kinesthetic awareness is practiced and strengthened through massage.

My Homestretch Prenatal Massage Package

I have created a “Homestretch” massage package with the needs of mom-to-be in mind. You will receive a 90 min prenatal massage at 34 weeks, a 60 min prenatal massage at 36, 38, 39, and 40 weeks, a 60 min prenatal massage TWICE weekly at 41 and 42+ weeks, and finally a 90 minute postpartum massage. All prenatal massages up to and including 40 weeks are guaranteed and if baby arrived before you are expecting him/her, you will receive any unused sessions as additional postpartum massages.

I purchased Jane’s pregnancy package and it was worth every penny plus some. It’s really a great deal for the amount of massages you get and really kept me comfortable through my pregnancy. I still go back and see her postpartum and I’m never disappointed.

Christin D

Prenatal Massage Package Client

Jane really cares about the pregnant woman and wants to make sure you feel like a goddess throughout your pregnancy. Thank you, Jane! I can’t wait for my next massage!

Sara S

Prenatal Massage Package Client

If you’re looking for a nurturing prenatal and/or postpartum massage experience, this is it! Jane has a kind and gentle spirit that helps create a relaxing and supportive environment. Highly recommended!

Jen S

Prenatal Massage Package Client

Every time I had just about lost the will to be in an upright position, I would remember I had an appointment with Jane coming up. It was just the treat I needed… and it really let my husband off the hook!

Carmen B

Prenatal Massage Package Client

June Discount From Pure Touch Massage

The value of the Homestretch Prenatal Package is $640+.

Last week, I ran a discount on this package on Instagram (check me out over there if you haven’t yet!). Because of the huge response I’ve received, I decided to keep the discount running through the end of the month. I regularly price the Homestretch Prenatal Package at $545, a 15% discount on the value of the services. Through the end of June, I am offering a deeper discount, bringing the price point down to $495, nearly a 25% discount.

Use promo code JUNEHOMESTRETCH to receive your discount at check out.

Email me at jane@puretouchmassage.com with any questions.

 

For Mom, with Baby

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.

Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Song for a Fifth Child

For Mom

I discovered my interest in prenatal and postpartum massage just before the birth of my second child. While on maternity leave, over several months, I added my certification and set up my service menu. During that time, I reflected often on my own experience in pregnancy and postpartum to arrive at just the right offerings.

What did I need?

I needed gentle care through massage therapy. In the newborn period, my body was producing sustenance for my newborn through breastmilk. My endurance was being tested in the form of sleep deprivation. The muscles in my arms, neck, and back were strained because of the holding and love-gazing – the essential bonding I was engaged in with my newborn. All the while, my body was still recovering from the demands of pregnancy and childbirth.

I needed a quiet and peaceful escape. It was new to have a tiny life that depended on me 24/7. It was an adjustment! Taking a moment to rest, to reflect, to be the cared-for instead of the care-giver was a deep need at this time.

With Baby

When I was a new mom, I loved the poem “Song for a Fifth Child,” I still do. My aunt told me that my grandmother sang it often.

It highlights for me, the last need that I felt during this time. One that was much more difficult to find in a massage therapy setting: I wanted to be with my baby.

It quickly became a non-negotiable for my menu of services. So, baby is welcome in my studio during mom’s massage session. I also waive my mobile fee for mothers in the newborn period (3 months postpartum) so if mom prefers to stay in her home environment she can remain there.

That is not to say that all mothers feel this way – some new moms still very much want their quiet escape to be without baby. Each mother will know what she needs and can choose accordingly.

Postpartum Massage Session

Last month, I had a postpartum client arrive with her new baby girl. Baby girl was fussy. Mom said she had been fussy quite a lot lately. She told me that while it was tough, they were managing. I could see the love in mom’s eyes as she told me this.

We made a safe space for baby on the table, next to mom.

Once the two were settled, I began the session. Dark room, soft music, quiet space. It was just like many of the sessions I have with new mothers. Then, toward the end, mom shared, “Jane, thank you so much. I will remember this forever.”

I could feel her gratitude. It was palpable. I was grateful, too.

Immediately, I was transported back to those early days. The days when it was new. When my body was still healing and my brain was still adjusting to the idea that this new little life was in my care. To the tiredness. To the physical demands on my body. To the simple yet overwhelming need I felt to be with my baby.

For this moment, I created a space for my client to relax into it all during her session.

I created this postpartum service with this client in mind. A gift to mom. A gift to baby.

A gift to me.

Postpartum Services

Postpartum massage is beneficial for the new mother. Body, mind, and soul are rejuvenated, leaving you at your best. Newborns are welcome at the postpartum session. The mobile fee is waived for postpartum mothers in the newborn period.

Schedule today.

photo: my *babies*  photo credit: Jeana Marino

Learning to Play

Let’s Play

I popped into Galaxy Cafe to pick up lunch for our family last weekend.

I had my 3 year-old with me and there was a line, which usually spells disaster. I was committed to grabbing food that was good for my body that day, though, so we stayed.

I handed a menu to 3 at his request, as I was grabbing one for myself, and he proceeded to pretend he was ordering food, “I’ll have a lollipop and a special treat and healthy food.” I watched him pass the time by spinning in circles and walking up and down the aisle feeling the texture on the wall where we were waiting. Lots of movement. A lot of unpredictable-ness.

Normally, my anxiety would be through the roof in this parenting scenario.

Instead, because I have been practicing, studying, looking for playfulness, I was able to see that this child was actually… brilliant! It’s boring to stand in line and wait your turn. Instead of living in boring, he was able to find the fun hiding in the line.

It was a amazing! It was so simple! He is so clever.

Instead of feeling the anxiety that usually rises up, I studied him. I found ways that I could engage that were playful and fun and felt good. He was my teacher in this moment. I was his student.

I don’t always see it this way. In fact, this was the first time in recent memory that I picked up on it. It really clicked. It felt great!! Connected. Fun. Loving. All the feelings. We were just waiting in line and we were doing it together. With ease.

I want to find more ease in parenting!

I am a part of a year long program called: Evolve 2016. The beautiful and brilliant mastermind behind the program, Carrie Contey, PhD, asks us all the time, “what are you learning?”

It looks like I am learning to let go of unpredictableness as a trigger for anxiety. I am learning that my children have a bunch of really beautiful stuff to teach me. I am learning that play is a really cool way to feel good in any moment if you know what you’re looking for… and that getting close to a child is a good as way as any to open your eyes to it.

A Signature Gift

Baby On The Way

There is no better news that hearing a baby is on the way!

Not in my mind.

You can imagine my delight to learn that my dear friend Sara was expecting last Spring. Sara and I met nearly 6 years ago when we were pregnant together, both with our first child. A girl for her, a boy for me. We were in the same childbirth classes at the time.

I later had my second child 25 months after my first was born. To say adding number two was a challenge is an understatement! Some friends shy away from difficulty, but Sara wasn’t one of those. She wasn’t afraid to get right up in the chaos. Offering play dates, babysitting my oldest, setting up excursions we could take together – generally being an involved, supportive friend.

When I heard her news, I jumped at the chance to repay her kindness to me, so I offered to gift her my Signature Prenatal Massage Package. Initially, she thought it meant that I was gifting her ONE massage and was thankful. Instead, she received the full treatment!

It was a gift to me to share my gift with her.

We shared conversation and quiet, reflective space as I provided bodywork to Sara over the course of her final 20 weeks of pregnancy.  I learned of her birth soon after one of her sessions at 41 weeks. For her postpartum session, baby was new and napping quietly near mama for her 90 minute session…

It was the most beautiful, peaceful experience! Care, love, and joy – all swirling in the air.

Sara’s Story

I asked Sara if she would share with us a bit about her experience with massage throughout pregnancy.

Here is what she had to say:

This was your second pregnancy. Tell us a little about your first. My first pregnancy was pretty easy, but the birth was not. With my first pregnancy, I was in labor for 41 hours, was transferred from a birthing center to a hospital for “failure to progress naturally.” My second pregnancy was smooth and so was the birth. I had our baby at home, 11 hours after my water broke.

What are some things you chose to do during your second pregnancy that were different? How come? I was determined to have a home birth this round. I was not happy with my experience at the birth center or the hospital. I knew self-care was going to be hugely important this go round. I saw the chiropractor regularly, practiced prenatal yoga 2-3 times a week, and received massages. I also quit my job 2 1/2 months before my due date.

How often did you receive massage prior to this pregnancy? Did you consider massage a luxury or a part of your self-care? I rarely received massages before this pregnancy. Getting a massage was definitely a luxury. During my second pregnancy I realized that massage IS self-care. It was so important for my mental and physical being.

How do you feel you benefitted from massage during pregnancy? It helped me have a more relaxed, pain-free, calm pregnancy and birth. Because I took care of myself, I was able to better care for the baby in my womb and my family.

Were there benefits you received that you weren’t expecting? The overall calmness of my body and mind. I know the yoga and chiropractic work contributed also, but I think all three worked together really well to prepare my mind and body for the type of birth I was seeking.

What would you share with someone considering a prenatal massage package? DO IT! Don’t talk yourself out of it. Once you have purchased the package there’s no turning back. You’ve made the investment, now you have to take care of yourself. I took much better care of myself with this pregnancy, reduced my stress level through massage and yoga combined and that translated to a calm space for my baby to grow and be born.

A big thank you to Sara for sharing her experience with us here! …and big hugs to those cute kiddos.

Have you used massage therapy for self-care? Does it feel like a luxury expense for you?

It's Still Love

The First Love Letter

My oldest son will be 5 years-old this week!

I get nostalgic every year for my sons’ birthdays. I remember how I prepared, how I waited, how I anticipated every detail. I wondered and then, I waited. It is a difficult thing… the waiting.

While I waited for each of my children, I wrote love letters. It helped me to connect to the moment… to my heart. Simple. Short. Directly to the little one who was about to arrive.

Gavin’s letter was originally posted here. You can also find it below.

Dear Gavin

this was the first time i laid eyes on you…

i went to the first doctor’s appointment without daddy, so i got to see you first — all for myself. it was a magical moment and i fell in love with you instantly! in fact, just the sight of you brought tears of joy to my eyes.

i saw your heart beating and my doctor told me that you were “perfect”! he said we should expect your arrival about october 18, 2010. 

you are much bigger now, and still growing safe and sound.

we’ve already been getting to know each other though daddy and i are really excited to meet you face-to-face. when you are ready, we will be waiting with open arms… ready to love you with our whole hearts, protect you, and enjoy you!

i can’t wait to fall in love with you all over again!

xoxo,
mommy

P.S.

We are still in love!

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nurtured. safe. empowered.