question:If i am pregnant

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question:If i am pregnant

Postby Sophia on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:48 am

Hi,everyone.
I am 3 months pregnant,can I go on with my career as massage therapist?Or just stop massaging?
Thank you firstly
Sophia
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby riversinger on Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:15 am

First of all - Congrats on the pregnancy & the start of your family! While your health & the welfare of the baby will of course have to come first, the answer to your question is yes of course you can do this. The determining factor is how you're feeling, mentally, emotionally & physically, while you're pregnant & afterwords.

Remember that with a little one you'll be busy at first with getting up & down throughout the night - so your sleep will be affected, then there's the daytime nursing schedule (if you're going to be breast-feeding). So don't expect to much of yourself, especially in those early weeks & months. While establishing yourself in the new role of motherhood has it's challenges it will get easier with time & you develop a support network for childcare & the like.

You can look up other threads where we've covered this subject & if I have some time later in the evening I"ll try to post some links.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Timedess on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:14 am

Congratulations, Sophia! I, too, am pregnant (6 weeks tomorrow). I plan to continue to work *according to my physical ability*. The difference for me is that this is not my first pregnancy; it's my tenth, so not only do I know how my body handles pregnancy, but I also know that every pregnancy is different, and my body is definitely not the same as it was during my first few pregnancies.

As I said, I DO plan on continuing to work, just watching myself carefully to see how well I respond to the work that I'm doing. I've never been through a pregnancy while massaging before, so I know it will be "different". I will be able to control my own schedule though (Hubby and I are both MT's; we own our own massage establishment, so my schedule is entirely based on my own decisions, and I know my clients will understand).

I say to watch yourself closely. If you notice signs of "overdoing it", back off of the number/intensity of massages you do in a day/week. If you typically do more vigorous, demanding types of massage, consider switching to something easier on your body, like Swedish. I'd be careful about what creams/oils.lotions I use, just because while exposure to ONE session's worth of rosemary-scented oil might be okay, exposure to FIVE sessions' worth per day, several days per week, for weeks on end, might be a different story. So be aware of any scents/additives/essential oils you tend to use.

You'll also find yourself needing to modify your body mechanics as your body changes to accommodate your growing baby. Not just the fact that your belly is growing and getting in the way, but also the balance/structural/postural changes that come along with pregnancy (watch out for the exaggerated lordosis many pregnant women tend to develop-- allowing that to persist through several massage sessions could spell a HORRIBLE low back pain!).

One of our members here, AngEngland, wrote an article on working through pregnancy for a summer issue of Massage & Bodywork just last year. I'd suggest doing a search for it on their web site-- it has some good info there.

Having a baby is such a special, wonderful, magical time (which is why I now do mostly prenatal massages, lol!). Many of the ladies here have worked through pregnancies too, and I hope they'll come chime in here in this thread. Please feel free to come back to BWOL if you find yourself desiring more answers and/or support. Good luck, and congrats again!
~Renee
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby pueppi on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:00 pm

Timedess wrote:One of our members here, AngEngland, wrote an article on working through pregnancy for a summer issue of Massage & Bodywork just last year. I'd suggest doing a search for it on their web site-- it has some good info there.


Here's that article. :)

Massage & Bodywork, July/August 2009
http://massagebodywork.idigitaledition. ... /7/Page65/

It takes a minute to load. Enjoy!
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Timedess on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:03 pm

thank you, pueppi-- our "search queen". :)
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby JasonE on Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:22 pm

We have had a pregnant MT. At her request, we provided longer breaks between clients, capped how many clients she would see each shift, dropped that cap whenever she needed it, and helped her migrate clients to other MTs that could provide the work she became unable to do. She took a leave of absence in her 7th month, and eventually had a beautiful baby boy!

Be open about your needs and discuss them proactively with your employer before they become a problem for you.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby JLWmassage on Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:28 am

I gave the best massages while I was pregnant. I stopped working doing massages at 7 months also and took about a 3 year break from massage so I could be at home with my daughter.

New life is always so exciting
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Sophia on Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:42 am

Thank you all of you,my friends.I will think about it carefully.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby MassageIsMedicine on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:04 am

I am so happy I found this thread. I am 10 weeks pregnant and do between 19-23 massages per week. Just yesterday I noticed LB pain during my 2nd massage of the day. It was a struggle to get through the rest of my day. I stretched between clients and did some self-care as soon as I got home. My question is are there any classes or DVD's on body mechanics for the pregnant MT out there worth getting? I plan on maintaining my schedule right up until baby comes if possible. My husband and I are trying to save as much money as we can to prepare for me being out of work for 8 weeks of babymoon ;) Cutting back is not my best option right now and stopping work completely at 7 months isn't either. Hoping to get some info on ways I can keep up my schedule with no harm to baby or my body. Thanks!
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby riversinger on Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:58 am

Being pregnant is an important time in your life, unlike anything else. The changes you experience on every level will not be static & predictable at all times, including your energy levels & the physical ability to handle a practice which includes 19 to 23 sessions each week. While making a good income & saving money is all well & good - what if you have some complications, or injure yourself due to the schedule you want to keep? I don't know if there are any classes or DVDs on body mechanics for pregnant MTs but the bottom line here is that you have to put your health & well-being as well as that of your baby ahead of everything else! Keep in mind that in the last months of pregnancy your entire center of gravity will have changed, with the baby affecting your gait & posture - no matter how good you are at body mechanics. In addition to that the ligaments will be loosening up to allow for the pelvis to move for labor - so it's much easier for all of your joints to become less stable, as well as the potential of developing carpal tunnel during this time.

The first trimester alone can be a time of feeling exhausted, or sick for some women - while others sail right on through it. By the third trimester you may not be getting enough sleep as the pressure of the baby on the bladder may have you getting up a few times during the night. So you may be feeling sleep deprived which will certainly affect your energy levels (This will also be a factor for way longer than just 8 weeks of babymoon! My daughter had me up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours nearly every night for 2 1/2 years!!!)

All that said some women do work right up to their due date - as I did myself - but I was working a very light schedule of 3 to 5 clients per week - so it wasn't a difficult schedule to keep. Once you become a mother - keep mind that your time & your life is no longer just your own. You will have to adjust everything you do based on your responsibilities & the needs of your little one, as will your husband to a lesser degree. While it will be a sacrifice, both money wise & otherwise, the experience of mothering is an amazing one that is well worth the changes & challenges it brings with it.

Best of luck to you & I wish you a wonderful pregnancy & birth experience as well.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby nycdanilrebel on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:21 pm

I know this is late, but somebody might find this handy for a search.

I have a six-month old, and went to school while I was pregnant.

First trimester: was rough because my teachers recommended that I neither gave nor received massage. So I had to stop attending class. I was also going through some depression as well so the thought of interacting with people was troublesome.

Second trimester: amazing. I was in tune with clients and my own body mechanics because that was the best way to prevent any pain. Clients in clinic loved me. However, I did have to work at that because I needed to figure out what made me comfortable to work.

Third trimester:pretty much like the second. I was lucky and stayed active so massage did not cause me any stress.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby MassageIsMedicine on Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:52 am

Thanks. I have lowered my client load to 16 massages per week, 4 days. I am still struggling with body mechanics. I'm not showing too much but I can tell it will be a challenge as belly grows. I read AngEngland's article in Bodywork Mag and it was great. Still looking for any info. on body mechanics for the working prg therapist. If anyone knows of anything please let me know. I am so very discouraged at the lack of info out there for the prg MT. I can't even find a maternity holster for my cream/oil. In an industry dominated by women, this really surprises me! Hmm, maybe I should make one and sell it! Could be an idea... :altwink:
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Blue on Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:19 am

MassageIsMedicine wrote:Thanks. I have lowered my client load to 16 massages per week, 4 days. I am still struggling with body mechanics. I'm not showing too much but I can tell it will be a challenge as belly grows. I read AngEngland's article in Bodywork Mag and it was great. Still looking for any info. on body mechanics for the working prg therapist. If anyone knows of anything please let me know. I am so very discouraged at the lack of info out there for the prg MT. I can't even find a maternity holster for my cream/oil. In an industry dominated by women, this really surprises me! Hmm, maybe I should make one and sell it! Could be an idea... :altwink:


Congratulations on your baby!!

I would think the holster you have would work fine. Just buckle it under the belly with the oil off to the side, on your hip. I've actually given up on the holster and use a bottle with a spout top instead of the pump, due to pumps becoming squeaky after awhile and the occasional turned pump top that made me miss my hand. :oops: I hate putting oil where I had not intended. ;)
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby staranise on Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:51 am

Hi I have just found out that I'm 5 wks pregnant and also hoping to continue working for the whole 9 months. I currently see between 10 - 16 clients a wk and would like to keep this upfor obviously financial reasons, because I will somehow have to continue to the rent and other overheads during anytime off I have. However, I am aware that things will have to change to make life easier somehow. Thank you pueppi for uploading the article, I'll have a good read of that later :D Sophia, Timedess and Massage is medicine, how are you getting on? are you coping with your workload ok?
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby MassageIsMedicine on Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:15 pm

staranise, congratulations!
I'm now in my 16th week and still doing well. I had to raise my table a notch and thanks to the suggestion in AngEngland's article, I got an excersise step thingy to keep under the table that can be used for a bit of extra height when needed. I am still working with 16 clients per week 4 days a week (4 clients a day) . For now that is ok but soon I will drop down to 12 clients per week (3 a day ) because by the end of each day I'm getting pretty tired and achey in my neck and back. Feet are also getting sore. I have found that it is imperative that I eat breakfast everyday or I will never have the energy to last. Also, I eat every 2 hours...small snack like string cheese or granola bar to keep the levels even and energy good. I have searched for any material on body mechanics while working preg. but can't find anything. It's very disappointing that in this industry there is no info. on something I would think would be more in demand. In the beginning I planned on working up until I deliver but I'm not so sure now that I'll be able to make it much past week 30. I find myself looking down at my stomach sometimes while I'm working and judging it's closeness to my table and I just can't figure out how it's going to work with a big belly there. I am stumped on how to twist my torso to make room for belly and still do most of my massage moves my clients are accustomed to, or any moves at all without compromising my back and arms. Main goal now is to save, save, save $ as it seems most likely I'll be taking a leave of absence before the baby comes as well as the regular matrernity leave :roll: It is an unexpected surprise that my husband and I have to deal with.
Good luck!
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby JasonE on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:55 pm

MassageIsMedicine wrote:staranise, congratulations!
I'm now in my 16th week and still doing well. I had to raise my table a notch and thanks to the suggestion in AngEngland's article, I got an excersise step thingy to keep under the table that can be used for a bit of extra height when needed. I am still working with 16 clients per week 4 days a week (4 clients a day) . For now that is ok but soon I will drop down to 12 clients per week (3 a day ) because by the end of each day I'm getting pretty tired and achey in my neck and back. Feet are also getting sore. I have found that it is imperative that I eat breakfast everyday or I will never have the energy to last. Also, I eat every 2 hours...small snack like string cheese or granola bar to keep the levels even and energy good. I have searched for any material on body mechanics while working preg. but can't find anything. It's very disappointing that in this industry there is no info. on something I would think would be more in demand. In the beginning I planned on working up until I deliver but I'm not so sure now that I'll be able to make it much past week 30. I find myself looking down at my stomach sometimes while I'm working and judging it's closeness to my table and I just can't figure out how it's going to work with a big belly there. I am stumped on how to twist my torso to make room for belly and still do most of my massage moves my clients are accustomed to, or any moves at all without compromising my back and arms. Main goal now is to save, save, save $ as it seems most likely I'll be taking a leave of absence before the baby comes as well as the regular matrernity leave :roll: It is an unexpected surprise that my husband and I have to deal with.
Good luck!


I have been thinking about your questions and have found a few things for you:

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/ ... e-Pregnant - a bit oversimplified, but it has a few useful nuggets

http://www.massageandbodywork.com/Artic ... anges.html - first-hand experience from pregnant massage therapists, with some excellent tips

http://www.bodyworkonline.com/forum/vie ... 37&start=0 - a BWOL thread on being a pregnant MT with links to other related threads

http://www.massagemag.com/Magazine/2005 ... tudent.php - some thoughts on being a pregnant MT, from a massage instructor

http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/a ... p?id=10416 - a Sandy Fritz article on rules of good body mechanics that apply regardless of your dimensions


Since your primary concern seems to be how to do massage with a big belly, I suggest that you consult with some big-bellied MTs in your area to see what works for them. They don't have to be pregnant - they just have to not be in the habit of parking their abdominal flesh on clients during massages. Some simple suggestions to start with:

1. Never do your long strokes down the client's back while standing at the head of the table. Instead, stand just to the side and focus your long strokes down one side at a time, using a longer stance so you can shift your weight easily.
2. Since bending over will become more difficult, consider raising your table height. You may not be able to apply as much pressure, but you will save your back. Don't try to make up the pressure difference by substituting arm strength... just do what you can without undue strain on your own body.
3. Incorporate techniques that require less pressure, yet which still provide a "deep" experience for your clients, such as Active Isolated Stretching, Myofascial Release, Positional Release, Connective Tissue Massage, Massage Cupping, Reflexology, Hot Stone or LaStone Therapy, etc.
4. Slow down. Spend more time on fewer strokes. Less is more. (related thread: http://www.bodyworkonline.com/forum/vie ... 32&start=0 )

For the oil/cream holster, some suggestions:

1. You could get a long piece of belt material and the plastic buckle from a craft store for maybe $3-7. Use it to replace the belt & buckle for your current holster.

2. If your holster is adaptable enough, you could just use a regular type of belt with the holster hanging on it.

3. Instead of a conventional holster, you could try using a small tool holster (see Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, etc.) on whatever kind of belt works for you.

4. You could also try using a small kitchen apron or a waitstaff apron - they typically have very long straps or string ties that will accommodate nearly any size of waist/belly.

Hope all that helps! Let us know how things progress.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Sophia on Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:02 am

thank all of you!
I am very well now.
The baby is a boy and is a little bit bigger than expected(1 week).Now he is 31 weeks (according to Ultrasound) and everything is ok.
I am keeping working 15---20 hours per week after my first post.I think the touthest time is the first trimester.
My due date is 19th,March.
Hope everything is going well.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby MassageIsMedicine on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:16 am

JasonE,
Thank you very much for these articles! I'm going to dive into them today. I really appreciate it.
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby Sophia on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:35 pm

y little boy was born on 22 Mar.weight was 3530g.very healthy.i stopped working when he was 38w
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Re: question:If i am pregnant

Postby JasonE on Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:05 pm

Sophia wrote:y little boy was born on 22 Mar.weight was 3530g.very healthy.i stopped working when he was 38w


Congratulations! I am glad you were able to work so long into your pregnancy! :grin: Do you have a plan for how long before you return to doing massage?
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