PRENATAL & POSTNATAL/ POSTPARTUM MASSAGE
For appointment requests within 24-48 hours, please text us at 646.494.4251.
Prenatal and Postpartum Massage FAQ
How soon can I get prenatal massage? You can get a massage any time during your pregnancy. Our therapists are especially trained to treat people at ALL STAGES of pregnancy. During the first trimester we will be extra gentle. Early pregnancy can be easy for some, but many face a lot of discomfort. Massage can ease nausea, swelling, neck and back pain, and exhaustion. We will not use heavy pressure on the abdomen, sacrum (back of hips), or put pressure on certain acupressure points on your inner ankle, webbing of your thumb, or on a particular point on the top of the shoulder during early pregnancy. While it is generally safe to be touched anywhere, we want to be extra careful.
How late can I get a prenatal massage? As late as you want massage and your doctor says it is safe! Many birth workers, such as doulas, massage their clients during labor. And while you may not want to travel during early labor, massage is absolutely safe, and can in fact help promote an easier, more comfortable labor and post-partum period. In particular, many birth workers and midwives recommend regular (weekly) massage for the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait! Receiving massage throughout your pregnancy helps with common pains, circulation, cramping, shortness of breath, fetal positioning, and much more.
Can I lay on my stomach during the massage? At Love Child, we treat pregnant people who are past 16 weeks on their sides, and/or on their backs at a 45 degree incline. Side-lying is especially beneficial because it allows the therapist to provide deep pressure (as desired) on the hips, low back, and neck, which often are uncomfortable in pregnancy. We use a specific set up of pillows and supports that creates proper alignment during pregnancy, which is difficult to achieve face-down, even with a “pregnancy table” (usually a table with a hole in the center). We can treat you on your stomach and flat on your back up to 16 weeks, but if you feel in any way uncomfortable we are happy to adjust positioning, and will never make you stay in a position that feels uncomfortable. We have guidelines that tend to be comfortable, but we always take direction from you!
I am considered a “high risk” pregnancy. Can I still receive massage? The best thing to do is to ask your doctor or midwife. Our practitioners are highly trained, and are comfortable treating people who have been assessed with high risk pregnancies as long as massage is indicated by your primary obstetrics practitioner. Massage can be very beneficial to relieve stress, help reduce symptoms of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, pelvic pain, and other common concerns.
How soon after I give birth can I receive massage? It is generally safe to receive massage any time after giving birth, however, most doctors and midwives recommend staying as close to home as possible for at least the first four-six weeks after giving birth, to allow your body time to heal. As soon as you are comfortable travelling, you can come receive massage, and many people find this very beneficial. If you are having acute pains that your primary provider says can be helped by massage, but are not able to travel, we may be able to provide a home visit depending on your location.
I had a cesarean section, can massage help? Massage by a professional as well as self-massage can make an enormous difference in healing a cesarean incision! We wait until the incision is healed (typically 6-8 weeks) before applying direct pressure, although you might find that applying vitamin E oil, calendula oil, or olive oil yourself even earlier can ease discomfort. It is also NEVER TOO LATE to start treating a cesarean incision scar! We have had success treating scars as long as 40 years after the incision, with massage making a significant difference, especially with the addition of home self-care.
Can I bring my baby to the massage? Being separated from your baby, especially early on, can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. We support all parents, and are happy to treat you with your baby up to three months old. It is easiest to treat parents with breastfeeding babies who are not yet crawling, as the baby tends to breastfeed a bit during the massage. However, parents in all situations are more than welcome, and we are happy to help in any way we can to make you and your baby the most comfortable. We often treat you side-lying with the baby next to you, or we can treat you inclined on your back with the baby resting on your chest. Some babies even sleep in a carrier or a stroller the whole time.
ALEXANDRA VALERIO is a NYS licensed massage therapist. She graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and is also certified MaMassage® prenatal/postpartum massage therapist. She is known for her vibrant energy and her firm relaxing touch. Through “listening” to her client’s body and thoughtful communication, she has a collaborative approach of reaching the therapeutic goals of her clients. Her passion for working with new parents and parents-to-be keeps her day's schedule very busy at Love Child.
SOMALIAH WILLIAMS offers focused therapy in prenatal care and reproductive health as a certified prenatal massage therapist and doula. Somaliah has been working not only as a birth worker since 2013 but also as a Reproductive Justice Worker providing childbirth education, prenatal support, meditation, prenatal nutrition, lactation support and pain management to the incarcerated pregnant women at Rikers Island Rose M. Singer's Women's Jail. Somaliah’s love for body work is coupled with treating the pregnant individual and their families in all stages of pregnancy including conception support, pre, post natal and infant massage. Somaliah treatments also encompasses an Eastern approach. And has additional certifications and trainings from Thailand that include Thai Hara Massage which is a massage technique targeted at an array of issues associated with digestion, urinary, reproductive health, and deep emotional blockages. Other trainings include Thai herbal compress and vaginal steam treatments. Working as a doula coupled with years of administering medical massage has given Somaliah a deep connection with how people perceive pain and integrate healing into their bodies. “It can’t be said enough, healing is truly a holistic experience that requires the mind and body to be attuned”. She feels that the biggest aspect of healing begins with our need to be affirmed, our need to be seen and to be heard. “That’s why as a therapist our most important tools are our ears”. Somaliah gives full-spectrum holistic care to her clients with technique and attunement, which are the basis of her practice.
VALERIE CARIO is a graduate of the Swedish Institute and has been working as a NYS licensed massage therapist since 2013. Valerie combines medical massage with her background as a yoga teacher, certified Ayurvedic consultant, and reiki practitioner to be able to tune into the work her client’s bodies need. For the past several years, her primary focus has been in pre and post natal work including preparing clients for IVF and other fertility treatments, working with painful fibroids during pregnancy, repositioning breech babies, minimizing swelling and inflammation, and helping to orchestrate the return of the pre pregnancy body post delivery. Valerie believes that our bodies are communicating with us all the time, and when we slow down and listen, Valerie’s intuitive touch encourages release and creates space we need to be more comfortable both physically and emotionally which is especially important before, during, and after pregnancy.