Is Pregnancy Massage Safe
Some doctors hesitate to advise massage during pregnancy because there is a huge variation in training. There is also a lack of certification standards nationwide. This is especially true for the specialty of pregnancy massage. Not all states have laws requiring a set minimum training for a massage therapist, regardless of whether or not the therapist’s client is pregnant.
Also, like many forms of complementary medicine, massage therapy during pregnancy hasn’t been rigorously studied with high-quality clinical research methods. One area of controversy is whether it’s safe to have a massage during the first trimester.
Many massage therapists won’t give pregnancy massages during the first trimester. The reason is the potential for miscarriage. Some pregnancy massage experts argue that pregnancy massage doesn’t, in itself, cause miscarriage, but no research has been done to show a link between a massage and a miscarriage. Because many miscarriages happen in the first trimester, some massage therapists and doctors counsel against first-trimester massage simply to avoid any potential liability issues should a miscarriage occur.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine advises all pregnant women to consult with their doctor before trying massage.
When Shouldnt Pregnant Women Get Massages
Massage is a safe treatment modality for pregnant women in general. That being said, there are some precautions to keep in mind before receiving a massage during pregnancy.
When picking your massage therapist, it is advisable to pick someone with experience and training in prenatal massage. When a woman is pregnant, there are many changes going on within her body. As a form of precaution, therapists will often not do massage in early pregnancy.
There are two main reasons to avoid or postpone a massage as a pregnant woman.
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.
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It Also Involves The Risks Of Miscarriage Premature Delivery And Other Associated Risks
However, there are ways that you can minimize the risk of these complications by using handheld massager safely and gently.
First, you should not buy a massager that has a temperature that is too high. This may cause overheating and possible miscarriage.
Another option you have is buying a massager with a lower setting that is safe to use during pregnancy.
There are some other precautions that you can take by using this type of massager in your home instead of going to a massage parlor or a professional therapist.
It is important that you only use the device for a limited period of time at home because you should also use it before going out to take a walk or to run errands.
You should also remember to thoroughly wash the handheld massager after each use to remove all the bacteria and germs that may be present. It is also recommended to avoid using a self-massage tool during pregnancy in order to prevent you from suffering from any complications.
Risks Of Using Handheld Massager While Pregnant Injury
There are many risks to using a handheld massager while pregnant.
First, women must know that if they use the massager incorrectly it can cause severe discomfort and even injury.
Second, incorrect massage can interfere with the proper growth of your baby as well as make the delivery process much more difficult.
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Tips For Enjoying Massage During Pregnancy
Be sure to ask if your massage therapist is certified or licensed by a professional organization, and has training in and experience with prenatal massage. Your doctor or midwife may be able to recommend a qualified massage therapist in your area. Or you can use the locator tool available on the American Massage Therapy Association website.
Before your appointment, drink extra water. Massage can be dehydrating . Continue hydrating after your massage, too.
When you arrive for your appointment, make sure the environment is clean. The room and linens should appear freshly cleaned and laundered and your therapist should wash their hands prior to beginning your massage.
If you can’t find an affordable therapist, massage at home is beneficial too. Ask your partner to rub your feet, back, or shoulders or massage your scalp, or gently rub lotion or vitamin E oil on your abdomen. Even self-massage can feel good and provide relief from minor discomforts.
Certain Medical Issues Or Conditions
When getting a massage during pregnancy, you must be careful about how the process affects your body and its systems. Prenatal massage therapists suggest that women who have the following issues or conditions to not undergo massage because of the increase in blood flow due to its stimulation of the circulatory system:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Recent surgery or another injury
- Having pre-term labor in past pregnancies
- Undergoing a recent organ transplant
- Suffering from a high-risk pregnancy, such as having preeclampsia or congenital heart problems
It is safe for pregnant women to get massages even on a regular basis in the second and third trimester as long as they have no health issues that prevent it.
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When In Pregnancy Is It Safe To Have A Spa Treatment
Some spas advise you not to have treatments during the first trimester. Some might also recommend that you avoid going if youre beyond 32 weeks pregnant.
You might find that youre feeling at your best in the second trimester when, hopefully, any pregnancy sickness has receded and you have some energy. So this might be the optimum time for spoiling yourself.
Proper Way To Perform A Foot Massage While Pregnant
Undergoing a foot massage during the third trimester of your pregnancy can bring the right benefits when done correctly. Using the right massage oil and massage technique is just as necessary. Here are a few steps your partner or caretaker can follow to perform a foot massage properly.
The first step is to apply a good amount of oil to the pregnant womans feet and the partners hands. This will make it easier to massage the feet.
Beginning from the feet, start massaging from the toes to the ankle while applying pressure. Make sure the partners grip isnt too firm. Keep massaging the feet for about 5-8 minutes.
Once that is done, move upwards from the ankle. Focus on the section from the ankle to the knee and begin massaging it. Make sure to use both hands to cover as much area of the legs and the calves as possible. Keep the pressure steady for both hands and maintain a pace of broad strokes, right from the ankle up to the knee in a single, non-stop motion. Continue doing this for about 10 minutes or so.
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What Are The Benefits
Even the word massage may create a warm, fuzzy feeling. While your prenatal massage will spark this warm and pleasant feeling, it will also offer many health benefits. A prenatal massage may:
- Reduce swelling
- Improve your quality of sleep
- Reduce your anxiety and depression
- Improve circulation
- Oxygenate your muscles and tissues
- Reduce edema
Prenatal massages are an all-natural way to improve your labor outcome and the health of your baby.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pregnancy Massage
There is not much research into the health benefits of pregnancy massage, but it does seem to reduce stress, relax and loosen the muscles, increase blood flow and improve the lymphatic system. It can also improve mood, lower anxiety and improve sleep.
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Try Our Prenatal Massages Today
The staff at The Massage Studio can provide you with a prenatal massage regimen to improve your quality of life during pregnancy. Our unique, four-piece prenatal massage cushion allows you to receive your massage while lying on your stomach and ensures youre properly supported. Book your prenatal massage today!
Get Your Questions Answered
Prenatal massage can have many great benefits for the physical and mental health of a pregnant woman. It can reduce back pain, enhance blood circulation, and improve your sleep quality.If you are currently considering adding prenatal massage to your pregnancy care regimen, please feel free to make an appointment with our clinic to discuss whether it is right for you. We are now offering video conference appointments as an option. Our team can help you with all your pregnancy-related questions.
- Deliver your baby at either Salem Hospital or Silverton Hospital
- Unique Centering classes offer support and sharing during pregnancy
- Well share nutritional resources to help you and your baby stay healthy
- Spanish-speaking nurses and staff
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A Massage Therapist Should Not Work On A Pregnant Womans Feet Due To Pressure Points
There are 3 pressure points in the foot and ankle that may help stimulate uterine contractions: One between the 1st and 2nd toe and two around the inner aspect of the ankle bone. These points are very specific and difficult to stimulate unless they are being activated by a trained hand. A pregnant womans feet often ache and swell massage can be an effective tool in alleviating discomfort.
When looking for a massage therapist certified in prenatal massage there are few things to take into consideration. There are several prenatal massage certifications varying from online courses to 5 day in-classroom courses. The classroom certifications are generally more thorough and an instructor is available to provide constructive feedback. Massage therapists learn contraindications such as not to use hot packs or certain aromatherapies. They learn different positional considerations to accommodate their client throughout their pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is unsure about whether massage is a good option for her, she should consult with her medical provider. But in low risk situations, massage is not only safe, but helpful in alleviating many of the discomforts she may experience during her pregnancy.
Guest Post, Written by Becca Grimwade Brown, LMT
When To Avoid Pregnancy Massage
Because the research on pregnancy massage is scant, many Western-trained doctors advise a conservative approach. They may even advise all pregnant women to avoid massage. There are no scientifically agreed upon guidelines. Be sure you get clearance from your doctor before you try a massage, especially if:
- You’re experiencing nausea, vomiting, or morning sickness
- You’re at high risk of miscarriage
- You have a high-risk pregnancy such as placental abruption or preterm labor
A massage therapist may require written consent from your doctor and a liability waiver from you before performing pregnancy massage.
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What Spa Treatments Should I Avoid In Pregnancy
If youre on a spa day, then try to stay away from saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, Jacuzzis and heated body wraps. These arent recommended at any stage during pregnancy because of the risk of overheating .
If youre unsure whether something is safe you can always ask staff. Just check that the temperature is no higher than 35°C, or 32°C if you’re exercising in the water.
If youre going for a dip in the pool, be careful getting in and out as your balance might not be as good now you have a bump. You might also want to watch out for slippery surfaces around the pool.
A Pregnant Woman Cannot Receive Deep Tissue/clinical Massage
A pregnant woman is often times the healthiest she has ever been. With the continuous changes occurring to her body, the amount of strain on the musculoskeletal system is significant. Deep tissue massage can be extremely effective in alleviating discomfort from low back/hip pain, neck and shoulder pain, to tired sore feet. Deep tissue massage is contraindicated on the inner thigh and abdominal region throughout the entire pregnancy.
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What Should You Look For In A Massage Therapist
When you book your massage appointment, you should do so with a practitioner who has certifications in prenatal massage. Their training levels go beyond a regular therapist, and they have expertise working with women who are pregnant.These professionals are able to address the issues you are experiencing as a pregnant woman and will know how to position your body to avoid any complications for you and your baby. Massage therapists who are certified in prenatal massage may also be able to spot potential problems, such as varicose veins and blood clots.
What Is A Stomach Massage During Pregnancy
A relaxing stomach massage can do wonders for you and your baby, helping you to relax and unwind from the stresses of your day. It consists of soft, gentle movements with your hands over your stomach, moulding the contours of your body using a rich cream or nourishing oil.
As always mama, before you begin any massage or stomach massage during pregnancy, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to do so. Also, if you want to use aromatherapy essential oils, check with your midwife or doctor beforehand as not all oils are safe to use on the skin during pregnancy.
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Is It Safe To Have Massage In First Trimester
Many people are of the view that it is not a good idea to get a massage during the first trimester. Since most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, many people associate it with massage. In reality, it is nothing but a myth, so long as you work with a professional pregnancy therapist. What it means is that getting a massage from a certified prenatal practitioner is safe and may even help provide you with some support to go through your transitional first months.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you should avoid getting any massage work done over the lower pelvic area in your first trimester. An experienced and certified prenatal practitioner knows it well and they always modify the treatment considering your current condition. If you are having trouble with nausea, they will ensure they do not work with sudden movements to make it worse. They bolster carefully when you have breast tenderness. It implies the fact that massage in first trimester is generally safe, but you need to work with a professional only.
What Are The Benefits Of Pampering In Pregnancy Like A Massage
Most of us lead busy lives, so its great to give yourself time out to unwind and focus on yourself and your growing baby. Plus, if youre suffering from aches, pains and exhaustion during pregnancy, a soothing treatment can work wonders.
Having a treatment like a massage can help raise your endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine levels . These neurochemicals affect your happiness levels and make you feel good. Massage can also reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol . And, obviously, feeling happy and de-stressed can only be beneficial for you and your baby .
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What If I Am Suffering From A Medical Condition
Whenever you get a massage, your circulatory system gets activated. If you suffer from particular blood/heart diseases, this increase in blood flow can potentially create further complications. If you have any of the following issues, it is advised that you talk to your doctor first before getting a massage:
- recent surgery
- congenital heart disease
- recent organ transplant
So, Is back massage safe during pregnancy? In the vast majority of pregnancys massage is completely safe and is extremely beneficial to treat stress and pain. However, during pregnancy it is always a good idea to run things by your doctor before seeking treatment or starting new exercise regimes.
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Foot Massages Are Completely Safe During Pregnancy
The thought process behind a foot massage being linked to either an early miscarriage or even as a way to induce labor near someone’s estimate date of delivery, are based on pressure points that are linked to various parts of the body. There is a point on the inner ankles, about three fingers above the ankle bone, that is linked to the uterus. However, if your body is not going to have a miscarriage, a massage to the feet and ankles is not going to cause a miscarriage.
As mentioned earlier, there are a few spots where direct, deep and extended pressure are not recommend during a prenatal massage. So, we are not going to spend the entire massage session jammed into your ankle because frankly, that will not feel good for you. Those other spots include on the back near the shoulder blade, the webbing between the thumb and forefinger, and the interior wrist. But, do not be alarmed if we massage you in any of those spots because the pressure will not be direct, deep and extended.
When Is Prenatal Massage Safe
Generally speaking, prenatal massage is safe for most women once they get beyond the first trimester. That being said, it is important for you to consult with your physician before you start any massage program while pregnant.Some women who have started massage therapy before the end of the first trimester have reported increased morning sickness and nausea. You will also want to let your massage therapist know that you are pregnant before your first massage appointment.If you are a woman in your second trimester, youll want to avoid lying on your back during your massage. By lying on your back, the weight of your baby may cause a lack of blood circulation to the placenta.