In the third trimester, everything hurts. It hurts to stand, and hurts more to sit for a long time. My lower body did not get the memo that this baby has more growing to do, and my back is constantly threatening to quit. It is no longer a stretch-and-yawn lament of “I can use a massage” but a desperate cry of “I actually need a massage” (mostly when woken up at 3am by a well-aimed kick in the ribs by my passenger, and then using immense effort even to toss and turn).
My preference has been what my massage therapist calls the “side-lying massage”. Suellen, one of the amazing prenatal therapists at Oasis Day Spa in Manhattan, performs the massage on a regular table outfitted with a gigantic, over-stuffed version of the Snoogle pillow. I lie down on my side wedged within the pillow while my belly, arms, and legs are fully supported, and Suellen is able to work on my back and legs for a glorious 60 minutes. Not only do I doze off during the service, I’m treated with a few nights of uninterrupted sleep, as well as better posture while sitting for hours at work. My swollen ankles and feet also return to normal after a massage – even when I’d been lucky in that I have not yet truly been afflicted with badly swollen extremities (knock on wood!), a massage after traveling, or even a high-sodium meal, has been immensely helpful.
…And then my belly grows by another 5 pounds. Time to book another massage.