As a massage therapist I’ve notice that many women shy away from pregnancy massage due to fear of harming their unborn child. Some women fear that massage, especially in the first trimester may cause them to miscarry. Whilst pregnancy massage is safe and very beneficial for most women it is not always recommended for women with certain pre-existing medical conditions and complicated/high risk pregnancies. In this blog I will explore the impact that massage can have on a pregnant woman and resolve any fear that you might have.
With pregnancy, women may experience a plethora of emotional and physiological changes. Sometimes these changes can cause severe discomfort and distress making those 9 months unnecessarily unpleasant. You can experience anything from muscular pain and discomfort, fatigue, swelling, fluctuating emotions, stress or anxiety. Pregnancy massage helps to ease this discomfort. It is a specialised treatment, which differs from other forms of massage. We use light to medium soft tissue techniques to release tight muscles, circulate and improve blood flow and reduce excess swelling and stress.
Let’s consider the objections regarding pregnancy massage.
Can massage cause a miscarriage?
There isn’t any scientific evidence or legal precedence which implicates massage as a cause of miscarriage. However, as with all therapeutic interventions, caution is taken when massaging a pregnant woman. We always conduct an in depth health history regarding your pregnancy and general health so we can rule out any concerns or contraindications. If there is ever any doubt about your safety or your baby, then we will refer to your specialist or GP and ask for a clearance.
During a pregnancy massage certain areas of your body and pressures are avoided. Throughout the body there are various acupressure points, some of these points are said to cause uterine contractions. Acupuncturists will use these when the woman has gone to full term and needs a little bit of help to naturally induce labour. Stimulation of these acupressure points is avoided during a pregnancy massage.
Is it ok to get massaged during the first trimester?
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy some woman avoid massage due to the increased risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Unfortunately miscarriage is common, especially within the first trimester however we have little specific understanding as to why this happens. A trained and experienced pregnancy massage therapist will know all of the areas and pressures to avoid. If you are used to regular massage and have a low risk pregnancy then it is perfectly safe.
Who shouldn’t get a pregnancy massage?
• Women who have a history of consecutive miscarriage.
• Any woman with a high-risk pregnancy.
• If you have any blood clots.
• Women who have preeclampsia, or sudden swelling with retention of fluid.
• If you have chronic hypertension.
• Any woman who suffer from placental dysfunction/abruption.
• If you have any vaginal Bleeding or spotting.
• Women suffering from Kidney/liver disease, dysfunction or infection.
How will I lay on the massage table?
At Bankstown Health we use an amazingly comfortable pregnancy pillow, which sits on top of the massage table for women who wish to lie on their stomach. It has an adjustable hole for your belly and a crevasse for the breasts. However, some women prefer to lie of their sides, which is just as relaxing and also the only way you’ll be able to be massaged during the later stages of your pregnancy when the pregnancy pillow will just be too awkward and uncomfortable for you.
Our massage therapists are all fully qualified and have full association accreditation. If you have any more questions regarding pregnancy massage please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please remember that we specialise in pregnancy massage to ensure you relax, remain comfortable, feel better and above all, remain safe.