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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

4 Things to know about a 2nd trimester massage

4 things about 2nd trimester massage

1. Positioning on the table changes

Short Answer: As the belly starts to “pop”, laying flat on the massage table gets more uncomfortable, so an assortment of pillows and bolsters are used to allow for laying semi-reclined when laying on the back and supported laying on the side instead of face-down on the table.

More details: Just because the body shape is changing, doesn't mean that massage can't happen. There are a number of different cushions, pillows, and other propping bolsters that can be used to support and accommodate the body's changing shape while laying flat is not longer possible or comfortable. There are some products such as positioning pillows and tables with holes designed to allow pregnant women to lay flat on their stomach while pregnant, but while they seem convenient, they aren't the best products as far as safe support, so it is best to look for a therapist who specializes in prenatal work so they can explain why they position the way they do.

4 things about 2nd trimester massage

2. May help prevent muscle and ligament pain (or ease the pain already there)

Short answer: As baby starts to grow, everything in mom’s muscles and skeleton starts to change, and change can hurt. Massage can help soften the straining ligaments and muscles and keep them flexible to avoid becoming too painful.

More details: Some of the most common areas that start to get painful during this time are the round ligaments that run around and under the growing belly. The muscles in this area are designed to be supportive as the belly grows, but that doesn't mean that they don't still hurt when they stretch. The growing and stretching also can affect muscles int he low back and hips, and even up to the Quadratus Lumborum (in the sides of the back) and all the way up to the shoulders.

4 things about 2nd trimester massage

3. May enhance skin elasticity

Short answer: Muscles aren’t the only things that change as baby grows. As the body changes, skin will stretch and hormones can make that stretching leave marks, get itchy, or even painful. Massage can keep

the skin moving and supple so the stretching happens more naturally.

More details: Massage can have an effect on circulation which brings good stuff in and bad stuff out, and that includes the skin. Manipulating the skin on top of the muscles can help allow it to stretch more easily, stay hydrated, and remain elastic as it all starts to stretch. Plus, the oil or lotion used during the massage doesn't hurt either. Hormones can also make the skin drier and more itchy than usual, so massage can help keep them calm and balanced to minimize any ill effects. Sometimes scars and stretch marks are unavoidable, and sometimes they do go away when the pregnancy is over, but massage can help keep the skin toned and soft to try and minimize any lasting issues.

4 things about 2nd trimester massage

4. You might not think you need it because you’re feeling better

Short answer: After the roller coaster of hormones, nausea, and emotions of the first trimester, the second can feel almost “back to normal”. However changes are happening every day so getting into a regular massage routine before things get too painful is a good idea to stop things from getting too bad too fast.

More details: The second trimester is usually the one where most pregnant women describe "feeling almost normal" - despite the growing belly and other pregnancy-normal issues and changes. The najority of morning sickness has hopefully subsided, and the initial fears and concerns or the beginning of a pregnancy have changed to anticipation and excitement as feeling kicks and the growing 'bump' starts appearing. Nonetheless, stuff is changing and moving, and will keep going so even though mom might be feeling better than previously, the second trimester is a good time to start getting massage into a routine to get the muscles prepared and anticipate the upcoming and ongoing changes. Massage during this "easier" time will help prepare the body to tackle the 'difficult and uncomfortable' third trimester where everything gets heavier, stretchier, and more frustrating.

4 things about 2nd trimester massage

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