Pregnant woman side-lying for pregnancy myotherapy and massage treatment at Pure Body Health Lang Lang.

We’ve been getting asked this question a bit lately. So thought it was a good time to pop up a blog post explaining why. So here it is, the reasons why we choose to provide pregnancy myotherapy and massage treatments in side-lying. We recommend this position from approx. the second trimester onwards. Of course, sometimes earlier or later, depending on your needs.

Firstly, I’d love to chat about “tummy cushions.” We get asked occasionally if we use tummy cushions for our treatments . You may have seen these before. They’re like a big pillow that the client can lay down face-down on, with a cut-out for the pregnant belly. While these types of cushions may be suitable for shorter treatments, for instance 10-15 minutes with your physio. We do not believe they’re a wise choice for longer style treatments, such as massage and myotherapy.

We find that extended periods laying face-down with these cushions can have adverse effects. Here’s why.

Adverse effects of using “tummy-cushions”:

  • Increased intrauterine pressure.
  • The curve in your lower back being accentuated (increased lumbar lordosis).
  • Increased shortening of the lumbar extensors and multifidi muscles.
  • Increased strain on uterine and pelvic ligaments.

Ultimately, as health professionals, our role is to make sure we keep you and your baby safe and comfortable. We will always assess your signs and symptoms and choose the optimum position for your treatment. In most scenarios, this will be side-lying with supportive and comfy pillows and bolsters. To give you an idea of how we set-up the treatment table for pregnancy, please see the infographic below.

Pregnancy myotherapy and massage treatments provided in side-lying has many benefits. Here are some of them.

Side-lying pregnancy treatment benefits:

  • Supports and eases the lumbar spine.
  • Supports the pelvis.
  • Reduces strain on uterine and pelvic ligaments.
  • Reduces strain on muscles of the lower back.
  • Decreases sinus pressure.
  • Minimises breast discomfort.
  • Supports the increase in joint laxity.
  • Allows for treatment of the gluteal and lower back muscles. Without increasing uterine pressure.
  • Ideal position for rib release massage.
  • Provides great access to the shoulder girdle for both massage and mobilisation.

Additionally, not only is side-lying ideal for most pregnant clients during the second and third trimesters. It is also beneficial for others too. For example: after abdominal surgery, people with sensitive breast tissue (hello breastfeeding mums!) and those with sinus discomfort.

At Pure Body Health, all our Remedial Massage and Myotherapists have completed extra training for pregnancy. This includes the Certificate of Pregnancy Massage from Pregnancy Massage Australia. We are trained and experienced with treating pregnant mummas during ALL trimesters of pregnancy.

So there you go. That’s our reasoning behind why we choose to provide our treatments in side-lying. If you’d like to know more about our pregnancy myotherapy and massage treatments please have a look here. Or alternatively, contact us here. We are always happy to answer your questions.

Infographic displaying side-lying treatment table set-up for pregnancy myotherapy and massage.


Pregnancy Pillow Talk. By Catherine McInerney. Pregnancy Massage Australia. Accessed 2/12/2020.

Why do we Choose Side-lying for Pregnancy Massage? By Emma Brackstone. Enliven Remedial and Pregnancy Massage. Accessed 2/12/2020.