Is It Safe For The Baby
Yes, massage is generally safe for both you and your baby. However, telling your massage therapist that you’re pregnant is critical since they may need to modify their techniques. Avoid resting on your stomach or back during the massage and opt for side-lying or seated positions instead. It’s also important to drink plenty of water after the massage to help flush out toxins that were released from your muscles.
Prenatal massages are usually considered to be safer after the first trimester of your pregnancy, as long as you get your practitioner’s approval. Avoiding a massage during the first three months of your pregnancy may be something you want to do, since it can cause dizziness and morning sickness.
Generally, it would be best if you avoided massages when:
- You have a high-risk pregnancy
- You’re experiencing bleeding or spotting
- You have placenta previa
Always consult with your doctor before getting a massage to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.
Avoid Deep Pressure Especially In Certain Areas
Your massage therapist should avoid putting deep pressure on your abdomen and legs. More specifically, they should also avoid the areas around your ankles and a few of your toes namely your big, second and baby toes.
Deep pressure can cause issues if you have blood clots, Cvitkovic warns. These places have little pressure points that migrate upwards. Pushing on them might increase blood flow.
If a person who is pregnant has a blood clot, varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, pressing on those areas can also increase complications, such as inducing labor or preeclampsia. Avoiding those areas will definitely give you the least amount of risk for any of that to happen, Cvitkovic affirms.
Can I Use Massage Chairs
Massage chairs are a very easy way to enjoy the benefits of a massage. The chairs feature heat and vibration to provide pain relief. However, many women wonder if it is safe.
While much conjecture exists, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove their safety. Therefore it is recommended you contact your health care professional or doctor before using one.
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Break Through In Understanding Of First Trimester Massage
by Pregnancy Massage Australia | 5 Dec 2014
Break through in understanding of First Trimester Massage
Common misconception and myths that pregnant women should not receive a massage in the first trimester have been addressed by the AAMT with its decision agreeing to first trimester massage but only if it is undertaken by a trained pregnancy massage practitioner. Pregnancy massage specialist and trainer Catherine McInerney welcomed the AAMT decision.
Pregnant women feel frustrated and disappointed when they are refused treatment because they are in the first trimester even when they feel very well and it may be their second or third pregnancy and they are looking forward to some mum time, Catherine said.
The statement no massage in first trimester is heard from therapists across Australia, and Im pleased that this will now only apply to massage therapists without specialised pregnancy massage training and skills.
Mums attend our clinic from as early as 5 to 6 weeks and are delighted that they can receive a massage treatment specially designed to support the changes through first trimester, Catherine said.Research undertaken by Catherine and presented to the AAMT board showed it was evident that the myths surrounding first trimester massage were invalid and Australian mums had been given the wrong message.
Massage therapists and Spa and Beauty Therapists are all taught not to massage in the first trimester.
How Much Does A Massage Treatment Cost
Pregnancy massage is set at the same price as regular massage . Usually we recommend a 60-minute massage, which is £70. If you are not sure and want to try a shorter massage first, a 30-minute session costs £45. And if you think you need a little longer, a 90-minute session is £100.
We also offer a course of 5 massages at a discount of 10% per massage, which can work really well if you are planning to have regular massages during your pregnancy.
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Is Prenatal Massage Safe Throughout The Entire Pregnancy
During a healthy pregnancy, and if the Mum-to-be is generally in good health herself, then massage is safe and can also be a wonderful addition to prenatal care.
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy during the first, second, or third trimester. And in most cases, it is safe and beneficial to receive massage up to and beyond the due date of the pregnancy.
Some establishments will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because they wish to avoid any liability due to the increased risk of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, unless its a high-risk pregnancy, there is no physiological reason to avoid massage in the first trimester, as your uterus is still the size of a plum and protected by the bony structure of the pelvis.
Prenatal Massage: What Are The Benefits And Risks
It’s no secret that pregnancy can be a little uncomfortable. Discover how prenatal massage could help
Your shoulders ache. Your feet are sore. Your lower back feels like it’s been carrying around another person for the past few months because, well, it has. The discomforts of pregnancy are often overlooked, but when you’re living with them, they can make completing everyday tasks feel almost impossible. If you’re fed up with the constant aches and pains of pregnancy, you may find yourself wondering whether prenatal massage could offer some relief.
Prenatal massage is a specific type of massage tailored to help relieve the strains and pains caused by pregnancy. Usually, the massage focuses on the areas of the body that are most affected by pregnancy. This includes the lower back, the mid-back, the calves, the feet, and even the stomach. However, while prenatal massage can help you to feel a little more like your old self, it does come with a few risks especially if you don’t visit a trained professional.
If you aren’t keen on the idea of massage, you can have a look at our guide for the best massage guns. Please remember to consult your doctor before using tools like massage guns during pregnancy.
Curious to learn more about whether it’s the right option for you? We spoke to the experts about the benefits and risks of prenatal massage.
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Pregnancy And Massage Online Ce Course
$45 members / $75 nonmembers 3 CE credits
As a first step in learning about pregnancy and massage, we recommend taking this course which provides a solid foundation on how the prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum phases affect women. In addition, find out how to recognize contraindications and specific needs for those with high-risk pregnancies.
When Is A Prenatal Massage Unsafe
Having a prenatal massage may be risky in a few situations, such as if:
- You have a blood clot or a bone fracture.
- You have a skin injury or condition that could be aggravated by rubbing. These include burns, open wounds, skin infections, or eczema.
- You’ve had an allergic reaction to massage oils.
If you have concerns about whether it would be okay for you to have a prenatal massage, talk to your healthcare provider.
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
ACOG. 2020. Can I get a massage while pregnant? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Field T et al. 2008. Massage therapy reduces pain in pregnant women, alleviates prenatal depression in both parents and improves their relationships. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 12:146-150.
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A Pregnant Woman Should Not Receive A Massage In Her First Trimester
80% of miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. While this number is high, it is extremely unlikely a massage would be the cause. A massage therapist that has attended a reputable prenatal massage certification will be aware of any/or all contraindications that would affect the mother. If there are higher medical risk considerations, discussing with their medical provider may be helpful to determine if massage is appropriate. A first trimester client can lay on her side, back or stomach.
Where Not To Massage A Pregnant Woman
There are plenty of areas on a mom-to-bes body that could benefit from extra attention, given the typical aches and pains of pregnancy, but there are also a few spots that massage therapists will generally avoid when performing prenatal massage.
Leg veins. One study highlighted that pregnant women are more likely to have unidentified deep vein thrombosis. Its possible that a vigorous leg massage could dislodge a blood clot, potentially leading to an embolism. Steer clear of veins, Field says.
Belly. Lightly stroking your baby bump is perfectly normal , but you dont want to actually massage the belly. Moreover, animal studies have shown that massaging the bellies of chickens led to hearing problems in fetuses, Field notes.
Ankles. While there is no scientific data showing that a foot massage during pregnancy can prompt labor, anecdotal evidence suggests massaging the Achilles tendon can stimulate contractions, though the link is unclear. Delalay says, to be safe, avoiding the ankle during the first trimester is a good idea. That area has pressure points that correlate with the reproductive organs, she says. When in doubt, an Epsom salt foot soak is a good alternative.
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Areas To Avoid Massaging During Pregnancy
First things first: Massaging certain acupressure points is rumored to trigger miscarriage or preterm labor. No evidence supports this belief, but studies show it may decrease the length and painfulness of labor.
Additionally, your pregnant body should be positioned and supported differently than a non-pregnant persons for your comfort and so that your baby is safe in utero. During your massage, you should be lying on your side not your back or stomach or sitting upright or in a semi-reclining position.
Why is this? For starters, lying on your stomach is uncomfortable. In addition, lying on your back after 20 weeks could put pressure on blood vessels, including your aorta and inferior vena cava, which can restrict blood flow. This in turn can cause your blood pressure to drop and decrease blood flow to your uterus.
You may also want to be careful on certain parts of your body:
There is a bit of research on the safety of massage for pregnant people. Talk to your doctor about your risk. There are some conditions of pregnancy when you shouldnt use massage.
As a result, your doctor might advise against getting a massage if you have:
- a risk of preterm labor
Which Massage Oils Do You Use
At TenPhysio we use grape seed oil with no added essential oils. Grape seed oil is one of the best oils to use during pregnancy, as its perfect for massage and yet doesnt leave greasy or sticky residue.
We recommend avoiding the use of essential oils during pregnancy. This is purely a precautionary measure, and is simply because you may not always know the chemical composition of the oils, or what effect if any they could have on a developing baby.
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Preparing To Meet Your Baby
It is strongly recommended to make your massage appointments more regular in the later weeks of your pregnancy to help get you through to the most exciting milestone of all and the main event- meeting your baby.
Prenatal massages from week 36 help you and your body prepare for the physical stress of childbirth, and can also help you to simply relax and unwind before the real work begins.
Prenatal Massage As Part Of Prenatal Care
The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement shown to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.
Want to Know More?
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Is Massage Safe During Pregnancy
A heavy belly. A sore back. An emotional rollercoaster. Welcome to pregnancy! Many women ask whether massage therapy is a safe way to relieve these physical and mental stressors. The answer is: Generally, yes.
Massage therapy during pregnancy has been shown to provide many benefits, including a sense of wellness, improved relaxation, and better sleep. But certain techniques and trigger points in the body can cause contractions and premature labor, so seeking expertise is vital. Prenatal massage is a specialized certification, and massage therapists who practice it receive advanced education in safe techniques for pregnant women.
Before you schedule a massage, visit with your doctor and follow specific guidelines to protect yourself and your baby. Ive invited Bridgette Young, a massage therapist who also is a mom-to-be, to share insights about things to consider and the benefits of prenatal massage.
What Positions Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
You should avoid lying on your stomach, especially when your baby bump is prominent. Unlike postnatal massages, you wont have to lie on your tummy in a pregnancy massage. You can still massage your back to treat the hip and back aches, but you only have to lie on your sides.
All in all, just remember not to cut any corners or take unnecessary risks, especially regarding you and your soon-to-be-born baby. Knowing is just half the battle. Since you know what NOT to do, it is time to do what you should!
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Pregnancy Contraindications To Massage
The following are pregnancy complications which are contraindications to massage, according to experts:
- Pre-eclampsia: This condition, which develops after 20 weeks, can also damage blood vessels and cause stroke or even death. Massage may be performed in affected clients with a doctors permission, experts note.
- Deep vein thrombosis : Check pregnant clients for DVT by looking for differences between the left and right legs, including swelling or heat in only one. If there is a DVT diagnosis or a positive screening, the massage should be postponed until it resolves.
- Placenta problems : These rare conditions involving the placenta can lead to dangerous bleeding. The massage should be postponed unless a physician okays it.
Can You Get A Prenatal Massage At Home
Most people will go to a spa for a prenatal massage this kind isnt very common in hospitals.
Every massage therapist at a spa is medically licensed, Cvitkovic explains. They all perform medical massage. However, there are traveling massage companies that can come to your home if youre unable to get to a spa.
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Prenatal Massage Safety Tips
Prenatal massage is meant to nurture you, both physically and mentally, so to fully enjoy it, youll want to put your mind at ease knowing that you and baby are safe. A massage during pregnancy doesnt differ all that much from a regular massage, but there are a few safety tips to keep in mind when youre expecting.
Starting in the second trimester , lying on your side, possibly propped up by pillows, is the optimal position during a massage. Lying on your stomach is of course no longer a comfortable or safe option, and according to the APA, massage tables that feature a belly cutout can still apply pressure to your abdomen plus, having your belly dangle can also cause the uterine ligaments to stretch uncomfortably. Lying on your back once youre in your second trimester can also be unsafe, as the weight of your growing belly can compress an important blood vessel in your back and interfere with blood flow.
Many massage therapists dont offer hot stone massage for their pregnant clients, as raising your core temperature isnt recommended in pregnancy. Many also decline to perform deep tissue massage, since too much pressureespecially near veins in the legscan potentially dislodge a blood clot, which expectant moms are at higher risk of developing. According to Field, moderate pressure that moves the skin is optimal.
The Benefits Of Prenatal Massage Therapy
Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Research shows prenatal massage therapy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Prenatal massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage.
Swedish Massage aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts.A distinction should be made between therapeutic prenatal massage and perineal massage, the latter referring to the practice of manually stretching the tissues surrounding the birth canal to help reduce the risk of episiotomy or trauma associated with childbirth.
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Improve Symptoms Of Anxiety Depression And Postpartum Depression
“Women who enjoyed regular massage sessions during their pregnancy not only reported reduced depression and anxiety in the prenatal period, but also had reduced rates of postpartum depression,” Gilchrist says.
Several studies back this up. A 2004 study found that receiving two 20 minute sessions a week beginning in their second trimester reduced depression. A 2020 study found that massage may be more effective than other forms of therapy for pregnant women with depression.