Pregnancy discomfort

Pregnancy has a tremendous effect on a woman’s body.  Each trimester has its adjustments and sometimes challenges.  At RMT Ottawa we employ in-home massage therapists that are trained in various methods that have proven to help many pregnant women. 

Pregnancy discomfort

There is a body of research that indicates the benefits of therapeutic massage pre and post delivery.  

Reports and Studies

The Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology recorded a study conducted in 1999.  they reported that their patients were less anxious, slept better, had less back discomfort and in general had better moods.

Gail Pezzullo-Burgs, M.D., is an obstetrician in Boca Raton, Florida.  She has adapted her practice to incorporate therapeutic massage for her pregnant patients.  Her observations include reduced anxiety and fewer cases of sciatica pain that comes from the additional weight of the baby.

The Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences reported on a small 2006 study stated that massage was beneficial in the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea.  In 2009 a study of 112 pregnant women diagnosed with depression reported positive results with a combination of psychotherapy and massage conducted over six weeks.  This report in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies compared those women to those with the same symptoms but who received psychotherapy only.

The same year, 2009, in Infant Behavior & Development, there was an article that indicated those who received massage therapy experienced less depression at the end of 12 weeks of treatment.  Additionally, that condition carried on post partum.

Expert Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology published a 2010 literature review that showed decreased depression, anxiety, plus less leg and back pain.  They also revealed that less pain medication was used, plus an average of three hours’ shorter labor.


Pregnancy has a number of physiological and psychological effects on the woman as she carries the baby and sometimes afterward.  Some of the typical complaints include:

  • Morning Sickness – Susan Salvo, Ph.D. presented a paper on massage at the 2017 AMTA National Convention.  Her recommendations are to elevate the woman’s body but to avoid rocking or shaking.  Don’t discount having an appropriate vessel in case vomiting begins.
  • Heartburn – It is found that an incline will help ease reflux and using something to lift under the abdomen while she is on her side will release tension from the gastric sphincter.
  • Varicose Veins – This is an indication of blood pooling.  Massaging on top of them can actually do more harm, including dislodging a blood clot.  It is suggested that work on the feet but avoid long strokes from the ankle to the hip.
  • Swelling – Normal edema responds to some techniques, but observe the client for excessive bloating in hands and face which can signal complications.

At RMT Ottawa our staff and in-home massage therapists follow all significant studies in an effort to help our pregnant clients through the process.  Careful intake procedures and ongoing observations are necessary to help prevent any undue complications.  Correct body placement and accurate stroking are able to provide help. 

We are happy to consult with your physician to help during your pregnancy and post-partum period.

Plan a Visit

We have made it easy to book an appointment.  With our service, you can schedule your mobile massage therapy session.  Our rates are competitive and we accept most forms of payment.  We are happy to accept private insurance clients and will be happy to help with the paperwork.