Is It Safe To Have Massage Therapy When You Are Pregnant?

Oct 12, 2014

This question has been answered before, but there still appears to be some confusion out there.

There are massage therapists that specialize in pregnancy massage, but there are also many practitioners who will not massage pregnant ladies out of fear that something terrible is going to happen, yet it is a time for a woman to be pampered and treated special.

Massage helps greatly with all the tension and pain experienced during pregnancy, caused by the extra weight and the many body changes that take place. Some of the many physical benefits to having a massage whilst pregnant are: reduction in peripheral swelling, soothing of the nervous system, helps to prevent insomnia, muscle cramps along with leg and back pain.

Care must be taken during the first trimester but pregnancy massage is beneficial throughout the whole pregnancy unless the treating Doctor has a reason for them not to be massaged. It has also been found that regular massage throughout the pregnancy shortens labour time, as well as quickening the return to optimal fitness after the birth.

It is best to wait until after the first Tri-mester to have a massage because of the possibility of miscarriages, because they mainly happen in the first Tri-mester. There is no medical evidence to suggest massage therapy could cause a miscarriage. Massage Therapists do massage women in the early stages of pregnancy but we have always shared concerns and make sure that they understand massage does not cause miscarriage and should one occur that it would have happened regardless of the massage.

Pregnant women benefit greatly from massage. It is common for a lot of lower back pain along with sacral ligament problems, as a lot of strain is put on the lower back especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Neck and shoulders is another area that can tighten quite dramatically with the added strain. The way we massage a pregnant woman once they become larger is to start with folded towels under their hip to raise them up a little. From 1 to 3 towels. Then in the later larger stages, lay them on their side with the superior leg supported and massage one side at a time. You need to also be aware that in the later stages when laying on their back that the pressure can cut off the blood supply to their legs, so let them know if they feel tingling down their legs to inform you, then you can do one of two things, either move them onto their side, or raise their right hip using a cushion or folded towels, although in 20 years of massaging I have never experienced this, you need to be aware it can happen.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.