If you’ve ever gone for a good massage, you can probably attest to how relaxed you feel afterward. And if you’re looking to combat tension and fatigue while pregnant, a prenatal massage may be just what you need.
This type of massage therapy is specially designed for pregnant mothers, and adapted for the physical changes you will face during pregnancy.
We’ve outlined what to expect, how a prenatal massage can benefit you as well as the best places in Singapore to book a session.
How does a prenatal massage differ from a normal one?
If you’ve gone for a conventional massage, you’ve probably spent half the time laying on your stomach so the therapist can massage your neck, shoulders and back. The other half of the session would be spent facing up, with your legs, stomach, arms and forehead being massaged.
In contrast, a prenatal massage will usually have you lying on your side. Obviously, lying face-down isn’t possible with a baby bump, and lying on your back may put excess pressure on your abdomen, thereby restricting blood flow.
As such, your body will be properly positioned for the safety and comfort of you and your baby. The therapist may also give you cushions, pillows or bolsters to support your back, knees and feet.
Is it safe to get a prenatal massage?
Prenatal massages are usually safe after the first trimester. During the first three months, a massage may trigger dizziness or exacerbate morning sickness. The risk of miscarriage is also higher at this stage.
You should check with your gynaecologist before going ahead with a massage. Certain pregnancy complications or health conditions may make a prenatal massage risky, including:
- Blood clots
- Increased risk of preterm labor
- Abdominal pain or bleeding
Be sure to do proper research on the massage establishment as well. Seek out well-trained, certified and experienced therapists, who know which techniques are safe to use and which areas of the body to avoid.
Benefits of prenatal massage
A prenatal massage has numerous benefits, including:
Your growing belly, as well as ensuing posture changes, can result in stress on joints and muscles in your lower back, legs, neck, shoulder and pelvic area. A prenatal massage can help soothe these aches.
Swelling in the ankles, legs and feet may happen during pregnancy. This is a result of fluid build-up, as your growing uterus puts pressure on veins in the legs. A massage can help stimulate soft tissues, thus reducing the collection of fluids in swollen joints.
A prenatal massage may also boost one’s mood and mental well-being. In fact, studies (University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute) found that expectant mums who received weekly massages had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and higher levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormones serotonin and dopamine.
When pregnant, many mums may have trouble sleeping due to stress, anxiety and physical discomfort. A prenatal massage supports the release of serotonin, a hormone promoting deeper sleep and boosting sleep quality.
The strokes of a massage activate the nervous system, resulting in blood circulating more freely. This enhanced circulation improves oxygen in the blood, heart and arteries.
Preparing your body for labour and birth
A prenatal massage can help ease delivery by keeping muscles toned and relaxed. This makes it easier for the birth canal to open up and accommodate your baby’s movements.
Where to get a prenatal massage
There are numerous places in Singapore offering prenatal massages by certified therapists. Here are our top picks.
Babies - Bellies is all about affordable and effective pre/post-natal massages. Session may be held at either your home or the spa’s premises. All therapists are highly qualified, with experience ranging from 4 to 25 years. In-house training is also conducted to standardise massage treatments.
Location: 10 Sinaran Drive, #04-39-44 Square 2, Singapore 307506
Price and duration: Contact the spa for details
Contact: 6356 6623 / 9228 6372
Beauty Mums & Babies
Established in 2004, this pregnancy care centre is backed by a team of WSQ-certified therapists who are well-trained in caring for pregnant mums. The prenatal massage here also integrates TCM elements to relieve stress.
Location: 290 Orchard Road, #14-11/12 Paragon Shopping Mall, Singapore 238859
Price and duration: From $159 for 60 minutes
Contact: 6235 0688
This spa offers specialised massages for pregnant woman and new mums. The prenatal massages can be bought as gifts for fellow mums-to-be. If you want to pamper yourself, ESTHEVA also offers a prenatal spa package with a soothing body scrub.
Location: 390 Orchard Road, #16-04 Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871
Price and duration: From $212 for 90 minutes
Contact: 9221 1387
Joyous Mummy Care
Available as part of Thomsonbaby.com’s range of maternity services, Joyous Mummy Care focuses on home-visit lactation and pre- and postnatal massages. Their postnatal massages are especially beneficial for mums who want to improve breastfeeding letdown, or those recuperating after a C-section. Expect a full spa set up with music and a professionally-trained therapist.
Location: Client’s home
Price and duration: $138 for 60-minute lactation massage, $888 for 5 days postnatal massage (90-minute sessions)
Contact: 6350 8848
While the specialty here is the Sengkak womb massage which helps boost fertility, the therapists are also experienced in prenatal massages. Mummy’s Massage is well-reviewed too, so you can trust you’re in the hands of experts who know what they’re doing.
Location: 371 Beach Road, City Gate Mall, #B1-60, Singapore 199597
Price and duration: From $308 for 3 sessions (contact the spa for more details)
Contact: 3138 1909 / 8124 1506
This popular massage place is known for its unique spa containers where massages are carried out. The ‘Rock-a-Bye Mummy’ massage is designed to ease tension in your shoulders, neck and head, and will have you sleeping like a baby as its title suggests.
Location: 66 Eng Watt Street, #01-28 Tiong Bahru Estate, Singapore 160066
Price and duration: From $84 for 60 minutes
Contact: 6438 3933
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