I’ve been quite lucky during my pregnancy in that I have not had any major pains or aches… other than that blip with sciatica from a couple of weeks ago. I knew that before the baby came, I wanted to indulge in a prenatal massage, especially given that with my growing belly, a regular massage would not be possible. Prenatal massages, almost by definition, are never going to be as “cheap” as a regular massage in Chinatown since they require a bit more special training for a pregnant person’s shifting gravity and specific needs. After my bout with sciatica, my doulas and my doctor also suggested I get a prenatal massage, as prenatal masseuses are also able to give suggestions for what may help, and their professional touch may help to alleviate pain/aches associated with sciatica and getting the baby in the right position for birth.
I recently downloaded the Peanut app in hopes of making nearby, local new-mom friends in the area. Peanut is basically like Tinder, where you swipe up and down for other moms in your area who could be potential friends/support/provide tiny friends for your future tiny person. Someone I had been having chats with here and there on Peanut suggested Remedy Massage on the Upper West Side for prenatal massage, and a specific masseuse there, as she was able to help with a lot of her pains throughout her pregnancy. So after reading some reviews, I made a reservation for a massage this morning, which was my day off, with a masseuse named Sharon. And I was really impressed right away. The make-shift table/bed they have you lie on is elevated with a special pillow/cushion for your belly to go into. And as soon as I laid down on it, stomach down, I felt ahhhhhhh. Soooo good. Sharon started softly but worked her way up in her firmness, and during those 75 minutes, I was in total bliss. She asked a lot of questions about my sciatica which I had noted in my original booking request, and she really focused on my IT bands and lower back, which are directly impacted by my sciatic nerve. She also suggested I get a slimmer pillow between my legs when sleeping at night, as that could actually be hyper-extending my right side, which is where the sciatica was occurring.
I totally get why people do prenatal massage, even if it is a very expensive and luxurious indulgence. It’s important for pregnant people to pamper themselves during this time since our bodies have the enormous task of growing a tiny new human. And once the baby comes, all the focus will be on the baby, and most people won’t care about how mom is doing. It’s a shame that this is yet another way that society devalues women. We have some of the hardest jobs in the world being the sole sex able to reproduce and make humans, yet our happiness, livelihoods, and health take a backseat, which is why postpartum care is significantly lacking in pretty much every western society on earth.