Essential Tips For A Foot Massage During Pregnancy
Foot massage during pregnancy can be beneficial but here are a few tips to be considered before going for your foot massage appointment:
- Always use a generous amount of massaging oil or lotion to reduce friction.
- Warm a bit by moving your ankles round and round to loosen the muscles before the massage.
- Keep the strokes light and the pressure should be soft. You must not feel any pain. Rub gently so the feet get warm. It will increase blood circulation in the feet.
- Squeeze the heels
- Sit comfortably so no part of your body feels any strain.
Can I Get A Massage While Pregnant
Yes. Massage is a good way to relax and improve circulation. The best position for a massage while youre pregnant is lying on your side, rather than facedown. Some massage tables have a cut-out for the belly, allowing you to lie facedown comfortably. Tell your massage therapist that youre pregnant if youre not showing yet. Many health spas offer special prenatal massages done by therapists who are trained to work on pregnant women.
Copyright 2022 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.
Are All Massages Created Equally
Not necessarily! Different states have more or less training requirements to become a licensed Massage Therapist. For example, In New York State, therapists are required to cover basics for pregnancy the massage as part of the standard 1000 hour training. Other states have lower hourly requirements and may skip pregnancy massage training altogether. In general, asking if therapists have direct training and experience working with prenatal clients is a good idea.
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How To Give A Prenatal Massage At Home
Ask your partner or a friend to use these tips for an at-home maternal massage:
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Is It Safe To Get A Back Massage During Pregnancy
A pregnancy massage, also called prenatal massage, is considered safe for women who get beyond their first trimester . However, before you get a pregnancy back massage, you should consult your doctor and find a massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage. You might want to take extra precautions or avoid a pregnancy massage if you are :
- In your first trimester
- Experiencing abdominal pain or bleeding
- Having swelling in one or both legs
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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
What Is A Pregnancy Massage Table
Many massage therapists use pregnancy pillows and a wedge to keep women on their side during a massage. This is often seen as the best position for a pregnancy massage.
However, some also employ specially designed massage tables for pregnant women. This sort of table features a hole for your belly and often depressions for your breasts. It can be a treat for women who have not been able to lie on their belly for a long time.
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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.
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What Are The Tips For A Safe Foot Massage During Pregnancy
Here are some tips for an effective foot massage during pregnancy:
- Make sure you are in a relaxed sitting position.
- Use lotions or some warm massage oil for a frictionless glide over the feet .
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water or fluids before and after the massage .
- In addition to the foot massage, try to keep your feet elevated as much as possible, get enough rest, wear comfortable shoes, and eat healthily .
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What Are The Benefits Of Foot Massage During Pregnancy
If youre looking for facts to justify that nightly foot massage, below are some potential benefits.
- Reduced depression and anxiety. A small 2020 research review with 8 studies involving pregnant women who received massage therapy showed that participants across groups reported decreased depression and anxiety.
- Lower cortisol levels. Massage lowers the levels of cortisol . The result? An overall feeling of relaxation and warmth.
- Shortened labor. The benefits of massage therapy in labor arent something to sneeze at. The same study above noted that massaged women labored 3 fewer hours and needed less medication, on average.
- Benefits for baby. The study also showed that newborns of massaged mothers were less likely to be born prematurely and have a low birth weight. They likewise showed lower cortisol levels than newborns of mothers in the control group, potentially translating to a calmer baby.
- Postpartum benefits. While it might seem too good to be true, the benefits of massage therapy extend to after birth too. Postpartum depression and cortisol levels were lower in the massaged women.
Now youre on board and want to know exactly how massage works to bring about all these benefits, right? Researchers think that they can put it down to increased vagal activity.
Put it all together: a more relaxed mommy, shorter labor, and calmer and more-developed baby. Youre off to a good start!
There Are Two Areas Of The Foot That Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
According to Ebbin, there are two areas that you should definitely avoid during pregnancy: the reflexology areas directly connected to the uterus and ovaries, which are located on the inside and outside of both ankles in the hollow areas just under the ankle bones.
Pressing here is a direct channel to the uterus and ovaries, so no deep massaging the ankles during pregnancy, Ebbin said.
Sp6 Acupressure Point
Ebbin said another area to avoid is located on the inner ankle area, just three finger widths above the inner ankle bone .
Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, an acupuncture physician, told INSIDER this point is the command point of the lower abdomen.
Urinary Bladder 60
Trattner explained the location of this point as right behind the ankle bone on the outer side. If you trace your finger off the bone between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone you found it.
This point provides pain relief and helps transition through labor, so dont go near it during a foot massage, warned Trattner.
Urinary Bladder 67
This pressure point is located at the corner of the baby toe on the lateral edge of the toenail. It is thought to stimulate cont actions and get the baby into optimal position for labor. So if you aren’t trying to induce labor, it should be avoided.
This is the point to turn the fetus, said Trattner.
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Risks Of Foot Massage While Pregnant
If you are planning to get one but arent sure about its safety, heres what you need to know. There are some specific areas on your foot that stimulate uterine contractions and trigger the opening of the cervix. As long as you avoid these areas, you can get the relief you have been craving for. One of the major concerns regarding foot massage while pregnant is the development of blood clots in the lower limbs. Many pregnant women develop warm swollen spots or symptoms of deep vein thrombosis on their lower legs due to the changes in blood flow. If you notice any such symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. Getting a foot massage in this condition may damage your lower extremities.
Here are the acupressure points that you shouldnt touch because they may induce labor
- Spleen 6 Acupressure Point
It is the area lying three-fingers-width above the inner ankle bone that stimulates your lower abdomen if massaged.
- Urinary Bladder 67
It is the area around the corner of your pinky toe that triggers uterine contractions and gets your baby in position for normal delivery.
- Urinary Bladder 60
It is the area between the main ankle bone and the Achilles tendon on the outside of the leg. Massaging it gently may promote labor. However, massaging this area can also relieve pain during labor.
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Inform Your Pedicurist About Your Pregnancy
Be sure to tell your pedicurist that youre expecting. Its perfectly safe to soak and scrub your feet in warm water and to receive a gentle foot massage during the treatment there is absolutely no evidence that pedicures induce labor. However, because certain reflexology points on the feet are thought to relax the uterus, its best that the pedicurist not press on any one spot for too long during the massage gentle, long strokes are the best and the massage can even help reduce soreness and swelling!
Have you noticed that your feet have started stinking since you became pregnant? Here’s why smelly feet during pregnancy is a pesky reality for many women. Meanwhile, did you know that some doctors recommend that new moms skip buying infant socks? Here’s why some experts say socks are bad for newborns.
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Positions For A Pregnancy Massage
Finding a comfortable position for a massage can be a challenge with a growing bump.
In the third trimester, its not recommended that you lie flat on your back for long periods. Thats because the weight of your uterus presses on your spine and major blood vessels. This can decrease blood flow to your baby . And, by the third trimester, youll probably have a sizeable bump so youre unlikely to be comfy on your front.
Sitting up, lying on your side or semi-reclining are good options. Some spas have a massage table with a hole cut out to accommodate your bump. More research is required on these as some people are concerned that they allow the abdomen to dangle unsupported. The worry is that gravity is pulling the baby, amniotic fluid and placenta down, and might cause strain on the uterine ligaments.
Cushions or wedges could help you get more comfy. You could also ask your therapist if you need help changing position.
There’s no evidence to say that soft, gentle massaging of your bump itself is harmful. But you might find that your tummy or your breasts feel more sensitive and so youd rather your therapist avoids these areas.
If you find any techniques particularly relaxing during your massage, make a mental note and show your partner. These massage techniques may come in handy for your partner to use during labour.
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Can Pregnant Woman Have Foot Massage
The very first question that swings in the mind is whether a pregnant woman can have a foot massage or not? The answer is YES. You certainly can have a foot massage while being pregnant, it can do wonders for you. But there are certain points on the feet that you must be careful about to avoid uterine contractions. It is always advisable to have a foot massage from a trained practitioner to avoid any problems.
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Reducing Stress And Anxiety
There is no doubt that foot massage in pregnancy feels glorious and relieves stress. Anything that will help Mom to relax, in turn, benefits the baby. High levels of stress in the maternal body can cause distress in the fetus. Most obstetrician/gynecologists agree that foot massages, done gently, help to decompress agitation and anxiety and therefore, can make the experience of pregnancy more comfortable and enjoyable, for both mom and baby.
- There is no doubt that foot massage in pregnancy feels glorious and relieves stress.
Foot Massage & Pregnancy
Proponents of foot massage for pregnant women claim it has undeniable powers over the pregnant body, while opponents range from cautious and skeptical to adamantly opposed to the validity of these claims 3. Others remain ambivalent and look at the controversy as unimpressive. Before making that next appointment at the spa or turning your feet over to a well-meaning loved one, you can investigate the pros and cons and weigh in for yourself.
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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.
Foot Massage And Pregnancy
One of the most common questions I am asked by clients is whether pregnancy and foot massages are a safe combination.
A lot of people are told that it is unsafe to have foot massage in pregnancy because of acupressure points in the feet. It is true that there are acupressure points that are believed to aid in bringing on natural labour when stimulated properly by a trained professional. However, it is not easy to stimulate these points accidentally. For a start, the points need to be stimulated bilaterally , in a particular way and with very firm pressure. This can even cause discomfort, which is one of the indications that the correct point is being stimulated.
Given that it requires specific actions to stimulate acupressure points in the foot, it is safe to say that general foot massage while pregnant will cause no harm to you or your baby. In fact, specific pregnancy foot massage is highly beneficial for the mother. Women experience many aches and pains during pregnancy, caused by increased hormones, structural changes and weight gain. All of these can lead to the feet taking a beating and getting quite sore. On top of these muscular changes the increase in blood volume and the stress on the circulatory system, especially through the pelvis, can lead to swelling in the legs and feet. This is uncomfortable, can potentially lead to painful cramps in the calf later in the pregnancy and can be upsetting for the mother dealing with dramatic changes in her body.
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