Massage guide for pregnant moms
I’ve practiced massage therapy for many years, though I’m not certified in prenatal massage. I fully appreciate the benefits of massage when I get to be the client rather than the provider! However, it isn’t recommended for every pregnant woman.
Two scenarios in which a pregnant woman should think carefully about getting a massage.
1. Women in their first trimester of pregnancy
The American Pregnancy Association says that women can begin massage at any point during a pregnancy. However, many prenatal massage therapists will not accept clients until the second trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester carries an increased risk of miscarriage, and some therapists are concerned that the increased blood flow during a massage might be harmful.
Second, there are pressure points in the body that are thought to initiate contractions or potentially induce labor. Because of this, many prenatal massage therapists require a doctor’s release to work with women in their first trimester of pregnancy.
2. Women with certain medical conditions
Massage therapy engages the circulatory system, which can alter blood flow in the body and potentially affect certain health conditions. If you have any of the following issues, talk to your doctor before getting a prenatal massage at any point in your pregnancy:
- High blood pressure that isn’t controlled by medication
- High-risk pregnancy concerns, such congenital heart disease or preeclampsia
- Recent injury or surgery
- Recent organ transplant
Before you schedule a massage, visit with your doctor and follow specific guidelines to protect yourself and your baby. I’ve 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.
Finally, it’s important to hydrate before your appointment. Pregnant women require additional fluid intake anyway, so drink a few extra glasses of water before and after your appointment.
It’s safe to have up to weekly prenatal massages as long as you don’t have a condition that could put you or your baby at risk.