Foot Soaks and Massage During Pregnancy
Our Team Experience Lead, Jen Amabile, sat down with one of our very own pregnancy massage experts, Jenny Gray. They discussed the many misconceptions around and benefits of massage during pregnancy. See the transcript below or watch the video up above!
Today we’re going to talk about expectant mothers and massage and foot soaks. I’m here with Jenny Gray she’s one of our amazing massage therapist here at Wake and she’s also an expert in this area. We’ll start off with what are the benefits of massage and foot soaks for expectant mothers?
The biggest benefit is the benefit of relaxation and self-care that’s so important during the pregnant year, as it is all the time, and it also helps to take care of some of the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy as anyone who has carried a child knows. The body goes through so many changes and you’re carrying extra weight, there could be swelling, pain in the feet, pain in your neck, anywhere. And it helps to relieve all of those things.
So as far as massage goes, what kind of massage would you recommend for pregnant women who want to visit our shop?
In general, it’s not the best idea to do deep work–especially on the feet and legs during pregnancy just because of those changes that are going on. Here at Wake, our massages include head, neck, and shoulder massage, hand and arm, and foot and leg massage. All of which are very beneficial and very safe for the pregnant mom. Particularly with the foot and leg massage, that seems to be a concern that so many pregnant moms have. The massages we do here at Wake are not deep tissue massage. We’re not getting in there and really changing the feet. It’s geared toward relaxation, which can be therapeutic. But, it’s a nice, easy massage. Feels very, very good.
I know a lot of expectant mothers who are particularly further along in their pregnancy, they may have some concerns that foot massage may bring on any kind of labor, preterm labor. Can you speak to that?
Yes, I think that comes from a lot of the information that’s out there on the internet and most of that is really unfounded fears. In Chinese medicine, which often is used for in reflexology, they hold the points for a long time, it’s very deep–and there are points around the ankle that can stimulate the uterus. And that’s kind of where that myth comes from. In order to stimulate the uterus, you would have to really hold those points for a long time, it’s very deep and very specific work–which is not what we do here at Wake. During that final trimester especially, the pregnant mom’s body is going through so many changes everything from hormones that release and allow the tendons to stretch, she also has a higher blood volume and higher clotting factor. So, we take all of that into consideration with what we do here at Wake and make sure that safety is ensured. We do a lighter massage and always toward the heart on the legs. We can go in on the feet, which is usually where they’re having so many aches and pains and we can help with that. But all of our therapists are licensed massage therapists licensed by the state of North Carolina. And they really are trained in how to be that professional that takes care of every guest that we have and, in particular, pregnant moms.
How far along in pregnancy can you still receive massage?
Massage is actually beneficial from before conception until those first few important months afterward with breastfeeding. There’s no time that we’re going to do any kind of massage that would be not beneficial for a pregnant mom.
What special soak do we have for expectant mothers that are particularly safe?
We have a beautiful soak for anyone, but particularly for pregnancy, it’s formulated with lots of Epsom salt which is good for the swelling and the pains in the feet. It’s also got essential oils of lemon and frankincense. Both of those essential oils are not only usually pleasing to the nose of a pregnant mom but they’re also essential oils that have been used for ages and ages throughout pregnancy and have a lot of benefits for pregnant moms.
Can you speak to the other soaks that we have available for our guests? Are they also safe for pregnant mothers?
Yes. Any of our soaks are purely safe for pregnancy. There is a lot of information and some of it’s very valid out there about essential oils that are contraindicated during pregnancy. Largely that includes those essential oils that are taken internally or therapeutically–none of which is done here at Wake, of course. And the dilution of that should be 30 to 1 and at Wake we might put 20 to 25 drops of an essential oil into a soak that carries many gallons of water. So, they’re so diluted that they’re not really going to affect other than through the aromatherapy benefit so they’re all super safe. We also don’t use any of the essential oils that should be really looked at during pregnancy. We just don’t have those here.