Is Massage Safe in Pregnancy?
A very good questions and one that you should ask! Pregnancy comes with many changes to the body (and mind) and a massage can help support mamas during this time. But is massage safe in pregnancy? Are all stages of pregnancy safe for massage?
Let's delve in and chat about it!
Pregnancy massage has been seen in many ancient cultures across the world, including Ayurvedic Medicine in India, so it's definitely not a modern day treatment.
I studied with Pregnancy Massage Australia under Catherine McInerney who is one of Australia's leading experts in pregnancy, labour and postnatal bodywork.
The general answer is yes, massage is safe in pregnancy, as long as it's undertaken by a specialist.
Some massage therapists will not massage clients in the first trimester in particular but it is safe, as long as your therapist is qualified and skilled in pregnancy 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 Australia
Sciatica and carpal tunnel pain can start early in pregnancy, so getting some relief with a massage treatment is a god-send for mamas. The nurturing and safe space to be held during a treatment is also really important for mamas who are feeling emotional and sensitive with the hormone changes.
A pregnancy massage specialist knows what to look for, what techniques to use and how to make the mama comfortable and safe for each stage of pregnancy.
Traditional massages involve you either lying on your back or on your stomach. In pregnancy, prolonged lying in these positions is not recommended, so it is really important that the correct positioning and support is used.
It is also important to communicate with your therapist and let them know of any medical issues or conditions you may be experiencing so they can adapt their treatment. And if at any time you feel uncomfortable or are in pain during a treatment, allow the therapist to assist you.
Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and can be dangerous. A pregnancy massage specialist will ensure only safe oils are used at each stage.
Finally, there are some parts of the body which should not be massaged during pregnancy and some which require a very light touch and definitely no deep tissue. So again, a specially trained massage therapist will be able to keep you safe at all times.
There are so many benefits of massage during pregnancy including:
- improving sleep and rest
- reducing stress and anxiety
- reducing hip, back and shoulder pain
- reducing headaches with hormonal changes
- creating a mother-baby connection
- improving mild nausea
- reducing swelling
- alleviating heartburn
- improving circulation
I see all of these benefits first hand as a holistic maternal bodywork specialist, however I also found it interesting to read this study which found that women who received regular prenatal massage were found to have less premature labours, shorter labours with less need for medication and less pain and decreased depression and anxiety!
Just more reasons to give yourself the very best self care of mind, body and soul in pregnancy! Not only is massage safe in pregnancy, it is highly recommended.
You might like to support your pregnancy with some holistic products from our shop.
Maternal Bodywork Specialist
Source: Pregnancy Massage Australia