Pregnancy massage questions

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Pregnancy massage questions

Postby Timedess on Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:47 pm

Ok, so I'm posting in this forum because I'd like more clarification on PROCEDURE w/ regard to pregnancy massage, as y'all understand/experience/perform it (not because I think pregnancy is an "illness" or anything like that. Just so y' know where I stand. :P )

So, I'm pregnant. *I* am the one who's been "officially trained" in pregnancy massage, but I can't massage myself (for the most part). Hubby will be taking on that task. I have a few questions, because: while I have had training and am technically *certified* in prenatal massage, I haven't had the opportunity until now (we're not counting last year) to actually *experience* it for myself, and 2) I have "issues" that we'd ordinarily be working on, but I don't know how far we can go with them! I've had something like a semi-frozen shoulder for (too long). I KNOW I won't be happy having to carry Baby around, nursing, and whatnot, after birth, if I can't get at least partial relief. Yet, how far can we go while I am pregnant?

Also, I have historically had issues with PSD (pubic symphisis diastasis). I noticed after my last birth (when Hubby was a student), that Gracilis seemed to be a pretty major player in that. I have pretty chronically tight *everything* from the hips down. Can we, through regular maintenance massage, somehow *prevent* PSD from happening again? This is a bit <ahem> challenging to admit on a public forum, but my pelvis pops-- a lot. Even when I'm not pregnant. When I had the miscarriage last year, I didn't get far enough along for the full "washing" of Relaxin hormone to affect me, so I believe this is a more chronic thing. I would LOVE to figure out how to not only alleviate these issues for myself (and clients-- I WILL be taking notes on what helps/doesn't help, since I know where I'm headed with this), but if possible, to completely AVOID some of these issues.

And what about varicose veins? Any prevention/help tips for that? I don't technically HAVE them, but it is lurking, if we don't find some way to head it off at the pass.

Also, Hubby wants to know: can he use the cups on me while pregnant? How much is "too much" when it comes to toxin release?

There is a good reason why I do not already have answers to these questions: I have not had ENOUGH training to have this information ingrained in my mind/body/spirit, to where it just flows. And I have only had training from ONE (very good, but still only one) teacher. I have plans to expand my training, in this and many other areas, but there is only so much time and money. And I also have not had clients with the same or similar issues as I, so I haven't had the opportunity to "work my way through" in practice. I know where my one teacher stands on certain points, and I believe that she has valid viewpoints, but I also know the value in "a multitude of counselors".

I understand the usual caveats. If you have experience either giving or receiving massage during pregnancy for these specific issues (and others-- I'm always wanting to learn more!), please share with me.
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Re: Pregnancy massage questions

Postby pueppi on Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:54 am

Timedess wrote:And what about varicose veins? Any prevention/help tips for that? I don't technically HAVE them, but it is lurking, if we don't find some way to head it off at the pass.

I have a wonderful client who recently said these maternity hose helped her tremendously. They may a bit expensive for some folks tastes, but since she stands all day at work with an intensive job (surgical assist), I figure, if she says they help, then they must be good for soemthing. They are graduated compression.

I looked at them (touch/feel). They are made very well. My description:
    The foot is a heavier compressive weight than the areas above; calf is a little less than foot; thigh region is less than calf region; maternity section is supported as would be expected by the picture.

Hope it helps. :)

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Re: Pregnancy massage questions

Postby squash_blsm on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:25 am

Anytime there is joint "instability" the surrounding muscles are going to tighten up to give support and protection.
(I wish I could discuss this with much more knowledge - but I just don't know fer sure)
When the relastin does start to really build up, this might create a problem for you.
Maybe your midwife has some thoughts?

I am thinking that massage - a lot of petrissage - will help the muscles stay healthy but that you might not want to do very much in the way of deep work on upper legs,
Same thing for shoulder - you want to at least get some work to maintain if you don't think you can make much progress with it at this time. If it were me though, I would want to get this resolved and improved sooner rather than later.

If you know someone who is lymphedema certified, you might want to consult with them. I don't have a lot of LDT training but would want to talk to someone who is highly trained, experienced with and competent to work on a pregnant body. I prefer Upledger trained over Vodder so check out the listings and see if anyone is close by.

I know you will have to take it day to day. But you might want to consider not doing massages for your last month or two becaue of some of the challenges.
We all know that baby's health is top priority!
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Re: Pregnancy massage questions

Postby Timedess on Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:17 am

Pueppi, I am "hoping" not to have to resort to the compression stockings; I will be talking with my midwife and chiropractor/doctor about it as soon as I get past the "I'm afraid we won't last that long" stage. I have a friend at a pharmacy who can order me whatever I might need, if I can't find something good locally.

Squash_blsm, thank you for your thoughts. I, too, am thinking "better get what I can get resolved as fast as possible", but I am also concerned about the release of toxins. I will talk to my chiro about that too (she is also an LMT, and will also know more about "that" part of things that the midwife, I think). Your post also reminded me that I DO know someone who is qualified in LDT, and who teaches it. I don't know her "well", and I've been hoping to be able to just let Hubby deal with most of my care since I don't have to pay him, but I do think that at least a visit with this lady for some good solid advice is in order.

I'm kind of in a catch-22 right now: Since it is so early on, I think I might have more TIME to get started and get some of these issues dealt with before they really become ISSUES, yet since it's so early on, and I've already lost 2 babies, I'm nervous about doing "too much, too fast". I think it is time to begin consulting with my advisers, on all levels.
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Re: Pregnancy massage questions

Postby JasonE on Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:39 pm

I know you love your husband and he's a good MT, but perhaps you should see another MT who specializes in pregnancy massage first. Perhaps DH could attend and observe. At the very least, consider consulting folks like Kate Jordan ( or someone like her. I've gone through her training and she is EXCELLENT.

My initial thought is that it would be very valuable to get an updated evaluation of your PSD to find out what kind of gap you have. Also have your SI joints checked. You may need manipulative (or other) therapies that your DH simply cannot provide. Start with your pregnancy doctor and get a referral. More info on PSD here: ... physis.htm

My inclination would be to minimize direct deeper techniques, focusing instead on MFR and/or Connective Tissue Massage, AIS, MET/PNF, and PRT. The shoulder could be treated immediately with those methods (note: Waslaski has some excellent methods for frozen shoulder worth learning). I'd wait on treating the pelvic/LB areas until after knowing what's up with the PSD and SI joints. Chances are good that you will need to engage in some neuromuscular re-education (targeted exercise) both immediately and throughout your pregnancy and the post-partum period. This may require PT and/or the services of a skilled personal trainer who has worked with both pelvic issues and pregnant clients. Some pilates instructors receive extra training in pregnancy work that might also be helpful.

I do not know enough about massage cupping to answer that part of your questions.

Good luck! Keep us updated!
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