I had some prenatal massage training for continuing education required to maintain my state license, but I did not do enough massages to be comfortable enough to offer them on an ongoing basis. I was also really busy with postpartum massages at that time. Eventually I decided to do the Certification training, which was a much more intensive program - and I LOVED it!! That training finally gave me the confidence I needed to offer Prenatal and Labor Stimulation Massage anytime/all the time.
I want to start by saying the Prenatal Massage is SO beneficial throughout the pregnancy. Massage provides relaxation for Mom and Baby, which is so important to overcome various stresses that come with pregnancy - not to mention those from outside sources as well. Managing stress is SO important, especially during pregnancy. Prenatal Massage provides relief for various pains that come along during different stages of the pregnancy, and also helps with the tight muscles and stiff joints, blood pressure issues, and swelling. Prenatal Massage increases circulation while promoting relaxation, which circulates the needed hormones and helps overall metabolism, including digestion. Prenatal Massage will often improve sleep quality and overall mental state and outlook.
Many places will not offer Prenatal Massage during the first trimesters of the pregnancy, I have even heard some say that it is not safe. This is NOT true. Prenatal Massage will NOT harm Mom or Baby during the first trimester. The problem lies in the fact that if something is to go wrong with a pregnancy, it most commonly occurs during the first trimester. The first trimester is also when there is most of the morning sickness and nausea, which does not make for a very relaxing session for anyone. The general thought is that if we give a massage during the first trimester and then Mom goes home and experiences problems later that day, or the next day, or even the next week, she or someone else may get to wondering if it could have possibly been caused by the massage. Many therapists do not want to risk the possible association, or blame in that kind of situation. I have done many Prenatal Massages during the first trimester, and have not had any problems. I also did have a situation where someone inquired about a massage while still in the first trimester, and I was working at a place that did not allow them. I explained the situation and scheduled her appointment for after 13 weeks, but she had to cancel because she lost her baby a week or so before the appointment. So, it really does happen, and she could have been left wondering if it was caused by the massage. It can be a very delicate situation, for sure.
I never imagined this would become such a passion for me, but working with new moms and helping them through and after pregnancy is definitely where my heart is.....