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Massage therapy can help pregnant clients in a variety of ways, like easing back and leg pain. And though there are many things massage therapists need to consider when working with these clients, there’s no doubt massage has benefits for expectant mothers.

In order for pregnant women to experience the most benefits from their massage therapy sessions, you will need to adapt your practice and individual massage sessions in order to effectively meet the needs of this population.

Having great communication skills is necessary when working with massage clients, and especially critical when working with special populations like pregnant women. Just as with other clients who may require special considerations, no two women are going to experience pregnancy the same. As a massage therapist, you have to be aware of how your client feels and what they want and need from massage therapy. You need to be in touch with each individual client’s needs.

Maintaining a comfortable environment for massage clients is very important. Some women may run a little warm while pregnant, so be sure you ask about the temperature of the treatment space and make adjustments if necessary.

When providing massage for pregnant clients, positioning is very important. Because pregnant women are not able to lie on their stomach or back, these clients will often lie on their side with pillows and wedges used for support. Alternatively, some massage therapists will invest in a special massage table with hollowed out areas that allow pregnant women to lie on their stomachs. No matter what option you choose, make sure the client is comfortable, relaxed and properly supported.

Pregnant women are often more sensitive to smells, so be careful with the oils and lotions you use, as well as any candles that you burn, and give these clients as much control over the scents (or the desire for no scents) during the massage therapy session as possible. Be sure, too, that your session room is well-ventilated.

Taking these simple extra steps will make your pregnant clients more comfortable.  This will enable them to enjoy their massage sessions and can help to alleviate any discomfort and stress they are experiencing during the course of their pregnancy.

©The Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks
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