Pregnancy massage was an extravagant lifesaver for me


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Kelly Wilbanks

posted in Parenting

Massages are how I survived my third pregnancy. I was in constant pain between the hard winter and the harsh demands on my body. Some nights I could barely waddle to the bathroom.

Back in November, before I left on an international trip to visit my brother's family, I did three important things. I requested a prescription from my midwife for massage, I found a massage therapist who accepted my insurance, and I booked my appointment in advance.

A total of 19 hours on a plane (both ways) while 28 weeks pregnant is an experience I don't want to repeat any time soon, but spending that time with my family was priceless. After I got back from traveling to Hong Kong I began seeing a massage therapist regularly.


Not every insurance company will cover massage, but it's worth checking to see if your plan does. If it covers massage, it will often cover chiropractic care and sometimes even acupuncture. If you don't have these benefits I've found a lot of places offer a reduced fee that's just a bit more than a co-pay anyway.

I suggest arriving at least 15 minutes early to sort out any paperwork and go to the bathroom. You will have to go. Make sure to drink some water and have some ready for after your massage. My massage therapist used coconut oil and combined that with different oils as she massaged. Let your therapist know if you have any sensitivities to smells.


I was initially disappointed when my massage therapist didn't have a massage bed with a belly hole; but we got along fine using pillows for support. I've had massages with supportive pads, the belly-hole, and pillows, and I liked them all.

As my belly grew, so did my dependence on these massages to keep me sane. Each day of the week became a countdown to THE DAY when I would get to relax and enjoy my massage. With all the relaxin in my system I felt like she was literally putting me back together.

Once I gave birth I felt a lot of relief, but my joints were still loose and I still needed to take it easy with my body. My massage therapist told me to wait a month to see her after my daughter came. So, exactly 28 days later I lay on my semi-flat tummy as she worked her magic.

In my humble opinion, getting a massage is not an extravagance when you are pregnant or postpartum. A beautiful baby is demanding all your time, attention and focus. Taking a break for some important self-care will do both of you a world of good.

Tips for getting and receiving your massage:

  1. Find out if your health insurance covers massage. If not, see if your masseuse has a sliding fee.
  2. Find a masseuse who accepts your insurance.
  3. Make sure to ask if they have a massage bed with a hole for your belly or pillows for positioning if one is preferable to you.
  4. Make sure to drink lots of water.
  5. Sometimes your insurance will pay for 1 1/2 hour appointments.
  6. Be sure your masseuse knows to avoid pressure points that can trigger labor early on.
  7. Make sure to tell them when your midwife gives the go ahead to use pressure points to induce labor.
  8. Bonus tip - if you do have massages covered by your insurance tell your husband's doctor. Once he has a prescription he can get massages too. My hubby certainly deserved some after how he cared for me.

Did you get massages while pregnant or postpartum?

Images by Tré and Kelly Wilbanks and iStock

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