Getting a Prenatal Massage in NYC? Here are the top five things pregnant working women in New York need to know!
New York city is a fantastic place, full of energy. There is a reason we call it the city that never sleeps! But that same energy may not be so amazing for New York’s expectant moms-to-be. The average American work week is a bit over 40 hours a week however a report from The New York office City Controller in 2015 showed that the average work week in NYC was 42.40 hours, which is right on par with most other major metropolitan areas.
But the report also showed that New Yorkers are commuting longer than most workers to get to where they are going. With the work time and commute time combined “New York City full-time workers spend over 49 hours per week either working or commuting, giving them the longest combined work week in the nation”. This means, “The difference in the length of the work week for people living in New York City and some of the nation’s mid-sized cities is substantial. For example, the average combined work and commuting week in New York City is about 4 hours and 15 minutes longer than in Milwaukee. The result: for each workday New Yorkers have some 50 minutes less to be with family or engage in other pursuits than their counterparts in Milwaukee.”
So it’s no wonder services like prenatal massage, where working moms-to-be can rest, relax, and manage pain, are popular in the Big Apple. Women seeking prenatal massage are often dealing with balancing an active life, work and possible complications from their pregnancy. For many women it might be the first time they have sought out massage and so they are full of questions. To answer those questions, here are the top 5 things pregnant New Yorkers need to know about prenatal massage in New York.
1. Can prenatal massage aid in stress and pain management? Prenatal massage offers a lot of benefits to a new or experienced mom-on-the-go. While there are some pretty wild claims out there about what massage can and cannot do for pregnant women, it’s pretty safe to say that having a place to go once a week where they are encouraged to take time to rest, have their achy body rubbed and gently stretch things they cannot stretch themselves, is probably a great plan for stress management. And since higher stress can often amplify pain responses, you might call it a drug free pain management plan too. It means you get to say “I have somewhere to go if it all gets to be too much”.
2. Should I check with my doctor? Does insurance cover prenatal massage? For most women massage at ANY time during pregnancy is a-OK but there are a few rarely-occurring conditions that do sideline you from a little massage love, so you should definitely check if that applies to you. Since you are going in regularly for checkups in preparation for your new bundle you might as well ask. Checking with your doctor has some added benefits, too. Some folks have HSA and FSA that covers massage, so if yours does, you can have the doctor write a note and your massage might be covered by insurance. It will depend completely on your personal insurance situation, but it never hurts to ask.
3. I heard I couldn’t get a massage while I was pregnant, is this true? While we are talking about medical things we might as well mention that there are some pretty interesting myths out there on prenatal massage. The first myth is that you cannot have a massage in your first trimester of pregnancy, but as we mentioned above, so long as massage is cleared with your doctor and you do not have any medical conditions that prohibit it, that’s not true. There are also some funny old wives tales still kicking around that say women should not have their ankles and feet massaged during pregnancy because it can induce birth. Again: not true. If you love a good foot rub after your long train ride go for it. Another big one is that you cannot get a prenatal massage from a male therapist. So long as you’re comfortable with it, there is no reason a male therapist cannot give you the best prenatal massage of your life. If he is available, I would say go for it!
4. What if I am uncomfortable, need to move or only want my back massaged? Whatever kind of massage you book, know that this is your time. The therapist’s job is to keep you safe and make decisions that keep you out of harm’s way, but the actual massage, and how it is done, is up to you. Deep pressure, light pressure, only wanting your feet rubbed, or only your legs, it does not matter. It is your time, feel free to speak up about your comfort and desires. The therapist may have a fancy table that lets you lie face down, but if you don’t want to, or are not comfortable in anyway, do not do it! The majority of prenatal massages in NYC are done in a side lying position with pillows. If you’re not comfortable, speak up and the therapist will make adjustments-this includes leaving to go to the ladies room. Go ahead, we are used to it!
5. How do I know if the therapist is qualified to do prenatal massage? New York has one of the highest educational standards for massage therapy in all of the United States. The New York State educational requirements are 1000 hours so you are in good hands. To see if you are visiting a licensed practitioner who has an education approved by the state you can look up their license here; NY State Massage License look up. Finding a licensed practitioner is the best thing you can do to make sure you have a safe, enjoyable experience. Once you find someone, continue to ask a few questions. Although New York State has a much higher educational standard than other states, that does not mean your therapist will be experienced in prenatal massage. If the therapist is a new graduate the therapist could be working on a permit (before they get the results of their test) and most schools give only a cursory introduction to prenatal massage. Look for someone who specializes in prenatal services. Just because a spa lists it, does not mean that the therapist is experienced. Ask how long the therapist has been performing prenatal massage and what special training they took. Or you can go to one of New York’s many specialized treatment centers geared to prenatal massage.
To book an appointment with our prenatal specialist, don’t be shy! You can find more information about our prenatal massage here. Or check our our prenatal tips page or postnatal tips page. Give us a visit at: