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August 12, 2014

Pre-Natal Massage: Just What the Doctor Ordered

I think it's safe to say: many people don't treat themselves nearly enough in life. Moms and moms-to-be are definitely in this group. I can tell you when I was pregnant the first time, while I certainly had more time to take a little time for moi, I rarely did. Being 32 weeks pregnant with a toddler at home is a whole other ball game; I know it's important, but treating myself often takes a backseat.

One area where I TRY not to skimp on is Pre-Natal Massage, mainly because I don't consider it a treat (it is!), but a necessity. I'm a sucker for a good massage any time of year, but when you're pregnant, a Pre-Natal Massage can do so much for your blossoming body. Everyone knows when you're pregnant, you're carrying extra weight -- and that's not to mention swelling and edema, leg cramps, general discomfort, issues sleeping, sciatica and poor circulation. Being pregnant takes a toll on your body. 

But don't take my word for it. I went to the pros at Sanctuary Day Spas, specifically RMT Audrey, to get some more information on why Pre-Natal Massage is so beneficial. 

Audrey joined Sanctuary in May 2013, and has quickly gained a faithful following of clients that regularly seek relief from pregnancy-related symptoms, low back pain, neck and shoulder work-related stresses as well as relaxation massage. Her treatments are individually customized to focus on your specific needs and requirements, employing Swedish massage techniques enhanced with Eastern and Western massage philosophies.  Audrey is certified in pregnancy massage, which she gained while working in the High Risk Pregnancy Unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.    

Q: What's the difference between a pre-natal massage and an ordinary massage?

A: The key differences between pre-natal massage and an ordinary massage are the proper positioning of the pregnant client on the massage table for maximum comfort and support. Pre-natal massage focuses more on symptomatic areas where expectant mothers typically feel the most discomfort.  Firm pressure can still be applied during a pre-natal massage, but it is recommended that deep pressure be avoided in certain regions of the body.

Q: I've never had a pre-natal massage. Are there things I need to know?

A: The first thing to know is that pre-natal massage is perfectly safe, and has many physical, physiological, and even emotional benefits for both mother and baby. The second thing is that you can receive a pre-natal massage at any time during your pregnancy. Lastly, since Registered Massage Therapists often have their own specialties and areas of expertise, it’s best to request an RMT who specializes in pre-natal massage to ensure that you have the utmost confidence in your massage therapist and that you get the most out of your pre-natal massage.

Q: I'm in my first trimester. Can I have a pre-natal massage?

A: Absolutely! Pre-natal massage is suitable at any stage of your pregnancy. However, it is always a good idea to get approval from your doctor to receive a pre-natal massage should you have any pregnancy condition that is a cause for concern.

Q: This is my first pregnancy and having really bad lower back pain. Can I speak to my therapist about concentrating on a particular area?

A: Before your massage begins, your therapist will ask you about areas that you would like to focus on and what pregnancy related symptoms you are experiencing. In this way, your pre-natal massage treatment will be specifically customized to target your areas of concern. However, it is important to know that your massage therapist will also need to work on other areas too, not just the one requested area. This is because all of the muscles, joints and soft tissue in your target area are interconnected with its surrounding areas, all of which need treatment in order to get the full benefit of the pre-natal massage.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?

A:  There is no real preparation required, but be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.  This will give you ample time to fill out the necessary health history paperwork, enjoy a glass of spa water and use the restroom. You will enjoy your massage so much more if you are calm and not rushing to get to your appointment. Then all you need to do is relax and let your Sanctuary Massage Therapist do the rest!

Q: Being pregnant, I'm a bit self-conscious about my body. What do I wear for my treatment?

A:  Your privacy is of utmost importance throughout the entire massage treatment. Before the massage, your RMT will give you privacy to undress and to get on the table and under the sheets before they re-enter the treatment room. 
During the massage, you will be lying under a sheet and blanket at all times, and your Massage Therapist will only uncover and massage one specific area at a time during the treatment.  At the end of the massage, the therapist will exit the room and give you time to get dressed. You don’t need to wear anything special for your massage; just comfortable clothing and underwear. 

Q: How often should I receive a pre-natal massage?

A: The frequency for receiving pre-natal massage will be determined by you and your massage therapist.  It will be based on your individual pregnancy-related concerns and how you are feeling. In general, we recommend treatment every 3-4 weeks during the pregnancy, but if you have specific issues then we may recommend more frequent visits.  I have had clients come once a week for the last 10 weeks of their pregnancy to help manage their severe low back pain. We also recommend a post-natal massage once you have had your 6-week check-up to help your body recover from the stresses of the delivery and the demands of being a new mother.

Q: Can massage induce labour?

A: Essentially this is a myth. It is highly unlikely that a massage will induce labour. There are certain acupressure points that are thought to induce labour if stimulated by applying pressure for extended period of time, but a massage treatment does not concentrate on one specific point for more than a few seconds.  However, if you are still concerned about the remote chance of inducing labour, you may specify any area of the body that you do not want to receive massage.

Q: Do you have male and female RMTs who can do a pre-natal massage?

A: Since each of our RMTs at Sanctuary, both male and female, has various specialties ranging from pre-natal, low back pain, deep tissue, relaxation, therapeutic hot stone, you can specifically request a massage from an RMT that specializes in pre-natal massage.  It is best to call in and speak to one of our receptionists who will help pair you with the most suitable RMT from our team that will best meet your massage therapy needs.

Sanctuary Day Spas is offering Simply Suppa readers the chance to experience a sensational RMT massage with one of their pros. If you're never had a massage, or have been neglecting treating yourself, now's the chance to enter this AMAZING contest. 

Special thanks to Audrey and the team at Sanctuary for answering our pre-natal massage questions. 
For more information on Sanctuary Day Spas or to book your own RMT treatment, visit

Good luck!

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Disclosure: I am a Sanctuary Day Spas Brand Ambassador and receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions expressed on my blog remain my own.


  1. No I haven't!

  2. when I was pregnant with my 2nd child I did for siatic nerve was wonderful!!!

  3. Yes I did - I have had 1 this pregnancy and it was soooo good. Hoping to have another maybe next week!


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