With more spas and wellness centres in Singapore offering prenatal massages, you’re probably tempted to try a pregnancy massage. After all, carrying your baby bump for nine months does take its toil on the body, and a pampering prenatal massage sounds like the right remedy for your aches and pains.
But tread with caution. We asked the experts what you must know before you book a pregnancy massage.
I’m exhausted and my aching back is killing me. Will a prenatal massage help?
Give it a shot. We can’t think of a better way to alleviate the muscle aches and joint pains that pregnancy brings.
Having a massage is also a sure-fire way to relieve stress and boost your happy hormones.
You should take some time out now, because there will be precious little time to indulge yourself when your baby arrives.
But when is it safe to start prenatal massage?
After the first three months when your baby is fully formed in the womb. The risk of miscarriage lowers as pregnancy progresses. But you should still check with your gynae before beginning a prenatal massage or any new treatment.
At Raffles Aesthetics in Raffles Hospital, the therapists will even require a written note from your doctor to ensure that you don’t have any medical complications, shares Chua Cheong Ling, a therapist at Raffles Aesthetics .
(Also read: Should you have a drug-free childbirth?)
How often can I have a prenatal massage?
Once a week during the second trimester, and twice a week or more during the third trimester, advises Dr Ho Hon Kwok, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at HK Ho Women & Fertility Clinic in Mount Alvernia Medical Centre.
A gentle rubdown by your hubby can be relaxing for you, and helps to promote bonding, too. Take him with you when you get your massage, suggests Dr Ho, so he can pick up comfort measures from the trained therapist.
Have it for 10 to 60 minutes each time.
(Also read: Healthier hawker dishes for pregnant mums)
Can I just go for a regular massage?
Prenatal massage is different, say our experts. A therapist who is trained to handle an expectant mum knows where her sore spots are likely to be and will be able to provide some relief without inflicting any pain.
There are also parts of the body that should not be massaged, such as the breasts and abdomen.
While it’s debatable, some studies suggest that pressure points between the ankle bone and heel can cause stress to your unborn baby or induce labour.
(Also read: 5 easy pregnancy stretching exercises to ease pain)
What else should I take note of?
After the 20th week of pregnancy, the weight of the baby will be uncomfortable for some mums to bear while lying flat on their back. That’s why most therapists will ask you to lie on your side.
Before you sign up for a pregnancy massage, Dr Ho suggests that you ask for a tour of the massage centre and speak to its customers about their experiences.
(Also read: 6 body changes to expect when you’re pregnant)