Eileen Monaghan, LMT​

Frequently Asked Questions

Prenatal Massage

Is it safe to receive massage throughout your entire pregnancy?

If you are having a healthy pregnancy and are considered low risk, there is no reason for you couldn’t receive massage regularly. If your doctor considers you high risk, I may take extra steps to ensure your safety. There are several reasons, from mild to severe, that you could be considered high risk. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t receive a massage. Talk with your doctor/midwife to see if they have any objections. Massage is generally safe even if you are high risk. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss it further.


Can I lay face down during my pregnancy?

Although lying face down is not the best option during pregnancy, it is possible. During your first trimester, your belly hasn’t grown much but once it has gone past your hip bones, it’s time to start talking about other positions. I do have a bolster that allows you to lie face down during your massage. We can discuss whether this is the right position for you prior to your session.


How often should I get a massage?

It’s best to have your massage follow your most recent doctor’s visit. That way any new issues can be addressed immediately. Once a month for the first and second trimester is a good start. Once you hit the third trimester, you should consider twice a month. The last few weeks of your pregnancy, every week is great to help keep your muscles relaxed, help you get sleep at night and curb your overall discomfort.


Should I ask my doctor if massage is safe?

It is always a great idea to talk with your doctor before starting anything your body isn’t familiar with during your pregnancy. Most OB/GYN doctors are very familiar with the wonderful benefits of massage during pregnancy. Any concerns you have can be addressed.


How is Prenatal massage different from a regular massage?

The biggest difference between a “regular” massage and a prenatal massage is the positions that you are in during your session. You will lie on your side majority of the time. If you are less than 22 weeks, you can also lie on your back with a wedge under your right hip to help keep the baby off of your large blood vessels. After 22 weeks, I may use a triangle wedge under your back to keep you elevated while you lie face up and we will have pillows under your legs to keep them elevated. Your body is also going through something it may not have gone through before. There will be new issues that you are dealing with that you wouldn’t if you weren’t pregnant. The intake looks slightly different but helps me know how your body is handling your pregnancy.  


Do you offer an induction massage?

Induction Massage or, more appropriately, Labor Encouraging Massage is a session pregnant women may seek out once they've hit their 38th week and their Doctor/Midwife has essentially said, "Any day now!" This massage session typically consists of using essential oils that reduce anxiety and ones that are known to assist with female hormone regulation and hitting acupressure points that are considered "off limits" during pregnancy because they have been deemed "labor-stimulating".


Now, you are probably thinking "Wow, she is using a lot of quotations!" You may also be wondering if this works. Well...yes and no. In the end, your body will go into labor when you and the baby are ready. Your body is under a tremendous amount of stress at this point. You are probably anxious to get this party started but also nervous about this new journey you'll be on. Getting a massage can reduce anxiety, ease muscular aches and pains, encourage a bowel movement, and help you get a good night's sleep. Everything your body truly needs at that time. If your body is relaxed and ready, labor could be closer than you realize and a massage could just tip the scales. It is good to also understand that this isn't a 100% guarantee that it will work. There is this other factor that must be recognized and that's the baby. Baby also needs to be ready and this is the first of many realizations that baby has it's own schedule and we are just along for the ride.


I will always encourage getting a massage at the end of your pregnancy for all the reasons I described above. I also encourage going for walks, sleep (if you can get comfortable), spend time with your partner and family; go do things you love to do. But it is important to emphasize that there isn't a secret button that can be pushed to start labor. Enjoy this time you have and prepare your body as best you can for when your baby is ready to come earth side. 


Postpartum Massage

When is the best time to come back after having my baby?

I will see the most women about a month postpartum. This gives you time to get your schedule down with your baby so you feel comfortable leaving. It's hard to say when YOU will feel the most comfortable. You must listen to your body. Some women will come in earlier than a month postpartum.


Is Postpartum massage safe?

Massage is safe any time postpartum as long as you are having no complications. If you are unsure whether or not a massage is safe for you, please feel free to contact me or contact your doctor.


When can I get massage if I had a C-section?

C-section is a little different. This is a surgery and your incision needs to heal before you receive a massage. This is also true if you had any other incisions that need to heal (episiotomy or tearing). Your doctor will usually have you come in 4-6 weeks postpartum to check your incision. If you doctor clears you to exercise, then massage can resume.


What are the benefits of Postpartum massage?

There are a wide variety of benefits of postpartum massage. First and foremost, it allows you to rest and recharge. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Postpartum life can be very draining. If this is your first child, it can be overwhelming. You are mourning your old life and trying to adjust to your new life. Self-care is a big buzzword nowadays but it is so important. You can't pour from an empty cup. Take good care of yourself and you will be able to take good care of others. Here are some other great benefits:

  • Reduce postpartum swelling
  • Promote healthy sleep patterns
  • Helps with breastfeeding
  • Relieves stress, promotes relaxation
  • Helps with balancing hormones
  • Relieves muscular aches and pains
  • Aids in labor and delivery recovery

What techniques are used in Postpartum massage?

A Full body session that focuses on recovery and "closing the gate" in the hips and ribs. Your body has gone through an amazing transformation. Help it heal with a massage tailored to your new postpartum self! I use castor oil packs and abdominal massage to help your digestive system get back on track, Hot stones and a heat pack to soothe and "close the gate" in the sacrum. Other techniques that may be used are reflexology, craniosacral therapy, manual lymph drainage, myofascial release and soothing Swedish massage strokes. Aromatherapy can be added at no extra charge. I have a variety of synergy blends from Simply Earth that can be very beneficial to the new Mom.