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Prenatal Massage FAQs

Overview

Certified Prenatal, RMTs, LMTs, or Massage Therapists

All Certified Prenatal, Massage Therapists have advanced education and techniques in conception, prenatal, prelabour, labour, and postpartum massage. Massage is one of the safest modalities for pregnancy. With no physiological complications or fertility issues, massage can influence and encourage conception. Stress is detrimental to the fertilization process (in both male and female); massage is an effective treatment to decrease stress. Massage can help maintain a healthier pregnancy; relieve neck, back, leg, and round ligament pain; lowers the rate of premature labour; may reduce labour and delivery times; and helps facilitate a natural childbirth.

 
Many Certified Prenatal, Massage Therapists have specialized cushions that allow mamas to lie face down from early pregnancy to full term. There are a variety of custom cushions designed to be safe for baby and mother to lay face down, sideline, and on their back. Your Certified Prenatal, RMT is educated and knows the safest positions while using the proper equipment; these RMTs care for the health of you and your baby! Massage Therapy has gained extreme popularity due to the plethora of benefits, not only for expectant mothers, but also for everyone who receives it. Medical doctors, OBGYNs, Midwives, Physiotherapist, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists (to name a few) are all referring the public to massage therapy.


Experience the comfort, care, and attention that RMTs provide to their patients. Many health plans include coverage for massage therapy; and some RMTs even direct bill! Be sure that you are always seeking the treatment of a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). These are professionals that have the education, training and experience to give you the highest standard of care. When seeking prenatal care, look for a Certified Prenatal, Registered Massage Therapist (CP, RMT). All RMTs will have introductory education on pregnancy, but a CP, RMT will have advanced education on physiology, anatomy (of mama & baby), prenatal exercises, advance techniques, and be confident and aware of prenatal care. The majority of CP, RMT will have a specialized prenatal cushion for their patients.

Prenatal Massage FAQs

Is It Safe to Receive a Massage In the First Trimester?


Is it safe to receive a massage in the first trimester? YES! As long as the expectant mother is not feeling nauseous or having bad bouts of morning sickness at the time of the massage. Certified Prenatal, Registered Massage Therapists can sometimes influence and decrease the effects of morning sickness. Massage is safe throughout pregnancy.




Is It Safe to Receive a Massage In the Last Trimester?


Is it safe to receive a massage in the last trimester? YES! It is safe to receive a massage in your last trimester, into labour and even into your six weeks postpartum. It is best to seek a Certified Prenatal, RMT throughout your pregnancy; they are educated in all stages of pregnancy, labour, and postpartum.




What is the Difference Between a RMT and a Certified Prenatal, RMT?


What is the difference between a RMT and a Certified Prenatal, RMT? All Registered Massage Therapists are taught how to safely treat an expectant mother; it is part of our basic education. A Certified Prenatal, RMT knows and understands the physiology of the mother’s changing body, fetal development, advanced positioning, high and low risk pregnancies, and advanced techniques for a variety of discomforts that pregnancy presents. A CP, RMT has taken advanced education beyond the basics that all RMTs are taught. They have a passion, empathy, and special skill set for treating a mother in all stages of her maternity process, from conception to postpartum and everything in between.




What is the Difference Between a “Regular Massage” and a “Prenatal Massage?”


What is the difference between a “regular massage” and a “prenatal massage?” A prenatal massage is a regular massage designed to be safe for mother and baby. If it is administered by a Certified Prenatal, RMT, they have the knowledge of an expectant mother’s changing body and the growing fetus. They will ensure you are comfortable and cared for while offering support and education when needed. Many CP, RMT have specialized cushions for the expectant mother to lie on, face down, that are safe for both mom and baby.




What Are Some Things That Massage Can Influence?


What are some things that massage can influence? To name a few, massage can influence and help with conception, morning sickness, aches, pains, and discomforts, headaches, TMJ syndrome, leg cramps, varicosities, hemorrhoids, constipation, stress, restless leg syndrome, sciatic discomforts, round ligament pain, lower back and sacral pain, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS – signs and symptoms are tingling & numbness in hands and arms), insomnia, shortness of breath, low or high blood pressure, and more.

Massage can also influence and potentially induce labour, please see FAQ "Can Massage Induce Labour?" Massage Therapist are not primary prenatal care practitioners and are not alternatives to Midwives, OBGYN or GPs or there recommendations.
Saskatchewan Massage Therapists Standard of Practice.




When Is It NOT Safe to Receive a Massage During Pregnancy?


When is it NOT safe to receive a massage during pregnancy? Pregnancies can be divided into different categories, low, moderate, and high risk. Those categories can be subdivided into more or less serious cases. Example, multiples (twins, triplets etc) are considered high-risk pregnancies, but can be healthy and less risk than other high-risk pregnancies, such as a single baby with a preeclampsia mother. Massage for expectant mothers carrying multiples is still considered safe, so long as there are no other complications. Position and length of treatment may have to be adjusted for those expecting multiples; this can be discussed and determined by your attending Certified Prenatal, RMT and also cleared by your primary medical-care provider.

An expectant mother should not seek the help of massage if she is experiencing heavy or moderate bleeding, extreme cramping, toxoplasmosis, preeclampsia, sudden vision change, fainting or dizzy spells, pitting edema (swelling that does not rebound) – SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if any of these symptoms occur.

If you have any doubts, discuss with your primary prenatal care practitioner to clear any conditions and receive referral notes. RMTs are more than willing to work with your doctor, midwife, OBGYN, or any other health care practitioner.




Can Massage Cause Miscarriages?


Can massage cause miscarriages? No. Typically when a miscarriage occurs it is a spontaneous abortion of the fetus before it is viable. This usually occurs between weeks 8 - 12, but can happen in the second trimester during weeks 12 - 20. Certified Prenatal, RMTs would never treat an expectant mother in a way that would pose danger to the mother or the fetus. Deep abdominal massage is contraindicated, but light belly rubs are conducive; mothers and babies often love belly rubs. Deep lower back and glute work can be implemented properly that poses no risk to mother or fetus, but on the contrary, provides relief from joint dysfunction and discomfort.

In the unfortunate event that a miscarriage does occur, your Massage Therapist is there to help provide you with the support you need. Grieving is part of the healing process and attending regular massages can help a couple cope with the tragedy of a miscarriage




Are There Registered Massage Therapists That Provide Massage or Treatment During Labour? What Can I Expect From a Certified Prenatal, RMT During Labour Support?


Are there Registered Massage Therapists that provide massage or treatment during labour? What can I expect from a Certified Prenatal, RMT during labour support? Yes, there are Labour RMTs! Not all Certified Prenatal, RMTs offer labour support though they all have training for it. Prior to being able to offer labour support, RMTs must attend a minimum of 3 labours/births before they can start offering their services. Price of services and details are determined by the individual RMT. Some RMTs may be a doula/Prenatal RMT who will also have to meet a minimum requirement before they are able to offer their co-services. *If the RMT is labour support certified this will be indicated in their title *.

Massage during labour can be highly effective for pain management with a drug- free birth; it can also help progress the stages of labour. Prior to labour, the attending RMT will meet with you and your partner to educate and show safe techniques that the partner(s) can use to actively participate in the labour process.

During labour, the attending Certified Prenatal, RMT will use a variety of techniques on the hips, sacrum, glutes, arms, hands, legs, feet, head, and abdomen of the labouring mother. Some of these techniques will be counter pressure, specific points, Swedish massage techniques (including relaxation), hot and cold therapies, and relaxation exercise. The RMT is also there to help an ever-evolving labouring mother as she tries to find a comfortable position to labour in. It is a unique situation that really doesn’t have a protocol, as each pregnancy, labour, woman, and baby is different.
RNs on labour and delivery in Saskatoon have stated that the mothers with attending RMTs tend to have shorter, easier labours – they all say “If a woman wants a drug- free labour, having a Registered Massage Therapist is the way to go!”




Where Can I Find a Certified Prenatal, RMT?


Where can I find a Certified Prenatal, RMT?

Click HERE to be relocated too Massage Therapist Directory
Axiom Career College is the only school in Saskatchewan that offers Registered Massage Therapist advanced education in Prenatal Massage. Rebecca Bekolay, RMT, is the primary instructor for this program (which is only available to RMTs). She has been an RMT for 10 years. She is an advocate for women, prenatal care, education, and the well being of expectant mothers and their babies.




Can Massage Induce Labour?


Massage can influence and potentially induce labour. Regular massage care can sometimes reduce the need for membrane scraping or stripping (may also be used in conjunction for overdue mothers). Certified Prenatal, RMTs know when it is appropriate to use induction techniques. As with all modalities for birth and labour, there is never a guarantee, but studies have shown that massage can help influence the onset of labour, progression of labour, and decrease the duration of labour encouraging a higher number of natural births. Massage Therapist are not primary prenatal care practitioners and are not alternatives to Midwives, OBGYN or GPs.
Saskatchewan Massage Therapists Standard of Practice.





 

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