Good morning everyone! This weekend I finally broke down and got a prenatal massage. Let's back up and I'll tell you the whole story:
As I began to show around week 20 - 22....like significantly showing, I started feeling some back pain (pretty common) and hip pain (again, common) and shoulder pain from sleeping on my side, and neck pain from sleeping on my side, and generally, pain. Just pain. This is not the same for every woman, so if you're not pregnant, have never been pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant, please don't think this is will happen for you like it did for me. I also have some old injuries in my lower back and shoulder that were re-activated due to the inevitable gravity shift and hip widening as well. The shoulder injury was re-activated due to the pressure of sleeping on my side.
When I talked to my doctor she mentioned the following things to help with this: yoga, stretching, the 'belt', heating pad on your back only, and prenatal massage. In fact, she actually waved her finger at me and said "Go get a prenatal massage, that will help you. Go." For those that don't know, the 'belt' is some kind of contraption a woman can wear that redistributes the weight of your belly. I am not interested in this, so I haven't even googled what it looks like.
By the time I had actually talked to her about it, I was in pain basically all day, everyday, and sleeping had become a joke. I made the prenatal massage appointment and when I arrived, I had no idea what was going to happen. I'm a new mom, everyday is a new adventure, and I get nervous about doing things that I can't control the outcome of because I'm worried about how whatever it is I'm doing will effect my baby. But after I left I realized it was the best thing I could have done.
I walked out feeling lighter, without pain in my back, hips, shoulder, or neck, and overall relaxed. Here's some of the questions I had going in:
Q: Is it worth the worry and the money?
A: Absolutely. I'm not even sure what I was worried about. It was probably the money, to crazy google crap I'd read, to 'is it worth it' ratio I was sporting walking. Well, guess what? My massage therapist is a mom (in fact we even have the same doctor) and she knows what she's doing. She even talked to me about being nervous and I immediately relaxed.
Q: Massage therapy is the only thing that works on my back, is it going to work now that I'm pregnant and my body is literally changing shape?
A: The logical side of my brain said, 'duh Candice'. The illogical side of my anxiety-ridden brain said 'omg, it's not going to work, you're going to be in pain, why bother?'. Hi, I'm here to tell you to shut that side of your brain up, because it works, really well. I will say that by the end of the night some of my hip pain had come back and I believe it's because at 28 weeks my hips are starting to widen and it's just the way it is. But I had an entire day of being pain-free, and that to me, is totally worth it.
Q: How does it even work? I mean, I can't be on my back, so everything is on my side?
A: Here's a giant help: the massage table tilts. Who knew right? When I got in the room, my therapist asked where I thought I needed the most work and then tilted the table, but a knee pillow under blanket for my support under my legs and left the room so I could get undressed. When she came back, she asked how the tilt was, and if I was comfortable. I needed a little more tilt to feel more comfortable, so she tilted it forward and bit and voila. I was incredibly comfortable, and just being able to lay flat on my back, even though it was at a tilt, immediately started doing wonderful things for me.
Q: So, what actually happens there?
A: My therapist started on my neck (told me I was way too tight) and shoulders. We talked a bit more than usual, just about pregnancy, and how I was feeling and I felt she was really trying to get to know me and my pregnancy. Once everything had been discussed and established, she began working on my arms, the tops of my legs and feet. Then it got interesting. For the rest of the massage she helped me turn on my side, and provided a body pillow and memory foam therapy pillow for my entire body to rest on. She then began working on the top half of my back, side, shoulders, and my bottom leg so I could keep my hips aligned. Then we switched sides and eventually the massage ended on my side.
You guys, I can't tell you enough how great massage therapy works, and if you're pregnant, or when you become pregnant, don't wait as long as I did to schedule a prenatal massage. Make sure you talk to your doctor before hand to make sure prenatal massage is okay for you, but after she gives you the okay, make the appointment. I made a second appointment for next month as I walked out. It's an amazing way to give your muscles a break. I will say, I ended up with a headache because I didn't drink enough water, I've found that you have to essentially double your water in take for anything while pregnant, so make sure that you drink at least a liter of water after massage, I'd say. It helps to wash out all that lactic acid and the toxins that were released from the massage.
I did do other things this weekend, but this post is long enough! Enjoy your week!
Linking up with B Loved Boston to share about my weekend!