It’s no secret that a massage is good for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. When you are pregnant, a massage can help with joint pain, relax your mind, give you renewed energy, alleviate stress, and help you maintain a healthy pregnancy. But what is an induction massage? When should you consider an induction massage, and why would you need one?

Full-Term Pregnancy

We know the days or weeks leading up to labor can be the most uncomfortable and stressful. It’s important to know that the “due date” is actually a “due window” of several weeks, and babies won’t come before they are ready! How long a woman can be pregnant varies, although pregnancy is generally thought to last 40 weeks.

In the past, full-term was used to describe pregnancy that lasted from three weeks before the due date to three weeks after, or 37 to 42 weeks. In late 2012, it was recognized that babies born at different times during that five-week window had varying outcomes and challenges, so the working definition of “full-term” was modified, with an official statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). A baby’s lungs, liver, and brain continue to develop during those last weeks of pregnancy, so it’s important to take that into account if you are considering an induction massage.

The new definition of “full-term” actually breaks “term” into various levels.

  • Early-Term: 37 through 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy
  • Full-Term: 39 through 40 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy
  • Late-Term: 41 weeks through 41 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy
  • Post-Term: 42 weeks and after

These ‘terms’ are important because a baby born during weeks 39 and 40 tend to do best and have a lower risk of breathing problems, infections, or spending time in the NICU.

What is an Induction Massage and When Should You Consider One?

You should not consider an induction massage until you have reached the full-term level of your pregnancy. If you’ve reached Full-Term, an induction massage can aid in the natural transition into labor. An induction massage focuses on acupressure points found in the back to the legs, feet, and hands which can do several things.

  • An induction massage can help release your sacrum and pelvic area to create more space for your baby to come down into your pelvis
  • An induction massage will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to stimulate labor
  • An induction massage decreases stress hormones and increases natural Oxytocin which is the primary hormone responsible for childbirth and bonding
  • An induction massage allows your body to reach a deep relaxing state while stimulating these points so your body can do what it naturally is designed to do

Why Should You Consider an Induction Massage?

An induction massage is a good option for pregnant women who are fearful of acupuncture or who are suffering from stress, anxiety or fatigue. There is no guarantee that an induction massage will induce labor, but because it relaxes you, it can put you back on the labor path and encourage labor.

Before you decide if an induction massage is right for you, it’s important to discuss this with your Doctor or midwife. At Motherhood Center, our massage therapists are trained to give induction massages, and love to help soon to be moms reach the point where they are laboring, and the new baby is welcomed into this world. Before you book an induction massage at Motherhood Center, we do require authorization from your Doctor or midwife, and you must be full-term or 39 weeks.

Interested in learning about one of our massage therapists’ experiences with induction massage? Read this article!

If you are ready to schedule an induction massage or have questions about the process, contact us at support@motherhoodcenter.com or call us at 713-963-8880. We would be happy to have you speak to one of our massage therapists and answer all your questions or book your appointment!