Prenatal massage or pregnancy massage relieves pain, pressure, and tension in the body caused by the baby’s weight in the womb. Research has shown that prenatal massage therapy helps reduce:
- Decrease symptoms of depression
- Relieve muscle aches
- Joint pains
- Improve labor outcomes and baby’s health
But what should you wear to a prenatal massage? What is the right amount of tip you should give? Do prenatal massages cause any sickness? All of these questions will be answered in this guide.
You can wear anything to a prenatal massage. Your convenience is the practitioner’s top priority. But, to answer the other questions, you will have to read further to find out.
Before we answer all this, it is best to understand a pregnancy massage. Pregnancy or prenatal massage is a unique massage where practitioners use a pregnancy massage table. This special table is designed to accommodate the woman’s pregnant belly.
Besides that, bolsters (specially designed pillows) are used to position a woman comfortably on their side. This technique is pleasing, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy. And lying on the side is considered the best resting position.
What Should I Wear to a Prenatal Massage?
A prenatal massage requires as much or as little clothing as the woman is comfortable wearing. You can wear anything you like as long as you are relaxed. The therapists leave it on the client as their personal decision.
However, it is recommended to wear soft clothing so the therapist can work through them. Also, skin-to-skin contact is the most beneficial to receive the best massage possible. However, if you decide to wear only your underwear, you won’t be left lying wholly exposed.
The therapists use sheets and blankets to cover the body. They only undrape the body part being worked on while the rest of your body remains covered. And once they are finished with the body part being massaged, it’s draped and covered again.
None of your private parts will be exposed during any minute of the session.
So, your massage session will go smoothly without any second of uncomfortableness.
What to Tip on Prenatal Massage?
Tipping would be the last thing on your mind while you decide to go for a prenatal massage. However, since it is a gratuity and should be given, 15% to 20% tip would be the best amount. 20% tip is generous enough for the massage therapist and would ease their minds.
While 15% to 20% is the standard tip, you should consider a few factors. These factors determine how much you can tip:
- Consider your budget
- Consider if you are allowed to tip
- Consider the level of relaxation you felt (if it’s ok, tip 5 to 10% – if it’s good, tip 10 to 15% – if it’s best, tip 20% or above)
Why is Tipping Important?
Other than giving tips, you should know why it matters. Tips are highly beneficial for many massage therapists. You may think that you are paying $60+ for the massage, and all of it will go into the therapist’s pocket.
But in reality, it isn’t like that! Instead, a massage therapist only receives a percentage of that amount. So, a tip would go directly to the massage therapist, which they will very much appreciate.
Most of what a massage therapist makes (especially in a spa or salon) comes from tips. Most of these therapists are paid on an hourly basis. The hourly wage is between $7 to $9, which isn’t a lot.
If you think about working hard on someone’s body for an hour and being only so little, how would you feel? Of course, not good. So, tips help out these therapists. Massage is hard work.
A therapist performs this labor-intensive work while the client leaves the place relaxed for a few weeks. A tip, in this case, will allow you to honor their profession and professionalism.
What If You Are Unhappy With the Massage You Received?
It is human nature to tip less when something doesn’t go our way. If a massage therapist doesn’t start the massage on time and ends it before or on time, you can tip them less. If the therapist pays attention to other things (like picking up a phone call) during the massage, you will cut the tip to 10 to 15%.
However, if that is not the case and you have problems with how the massage is performed, you should speak up. For example, if the massage therapist puts too much pressure or doesn’t massage deep enough, you should speak during the massage.
Then, after your massage, you should give thorough feedback to the front desk staff about your experience. This will help the establishment set you up with a massage therapist that will better understand your body and concerns to provide you with the best experience.
But What If You Can’t Give a Tip?
It is natural to have a budget. Going out of the line may not be possible every time. Pregnancy massages are expensive, and sometimes it becomes difficult to tip on top of that price tag. You can simply say a thank you without paying any tip.
Tipping doesn’t always have to do with your experience; it also considers if you can afford it. While it is gracious to leave a tip, if you can’t afford it, you don’t have to give it. In addition, you can gift something personal to your therapist.
From a copy of your favorite book with a thank you note inside to jewelry, you can gift anything. Ideally, it is best to budget the tips. You set aside money beforehand as it takes care of your mental and physical well-being.
When is it Too Late to Get a Prenatal Massage?
Massage is safe in the first and second trimesters. You can have a prenatal massage as far as two weeks left for your EDD. Moreover, you can safely enjoy a massage after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Throughout the massage, ensure that you let your therapist know if you feel a lot of discomforts.
If you need it earlier, within the 16th to 27th week of pregnancy, make sure you consult your obstetrician or gynecologist before. There is a reason why you should skip the first trimester and not get a massage in the first 16 weeks.
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage due to numerous reasons becomes high. So, it is best to avoid stimulating your body with which it is unfamiliar. Some establishments will refuse to give pregnant women a pregnancy massage in the first trimester.
But if the pregnancy isn’t a high-risk one, some establishments will treat you with a massage. However, after the 16th week, the pregnancy is stable enough.
Moreover, in the second trimester, you will notice multiple physical changes your body will undergo. The increasing stomach size will cause back pain or pelvic pain. Getting a prenatal massage will reduce soreness and backaches.
Can a Prenatal Massage Make You Sick?
A prenatal massage should not make you sick or icky. However, if you have morning sickness and your body feels sensitive to touch, it is best not to go for a massage for a few weeks until you feel fine.
Give your body time to get past the morning sickness to enjoy the massage. This is one of the main reasons to avoid prenatal massage in the first trimester due to morning sickness.
Other than that, a prenatal massage will leave your muscles a bit sore. As the hard adhesions are broken down will release pressure and tension. But you shouldn’t worry as this is normal. In short, prenatal massage should not and does not make you sick.
Prenatal massages bring great ease and relaxation to a pregnant woman’s life.
Now you know what to wear to a prenatal massage, the standard tip rate, and how prenatal massages can’t make you sick. Book your appointment with your therapist and indulge in the best pregnancy massage you could ask for.
Now it’s time to hear from you:
- Have you had a prenatal massage before? If so, what did you wear to it?
- What should be the standard tip given to therapists, according to you?
- Did you feel any sickness after your massage therapy?
Leave us your valuable experiences and suggestions in the comments section below!