Massages during pregnancy can be a great way to relax aching muscles. Body changes and difficulty sleeping can cause tense muscles, which can easily be relieved by a good massage. To be safe, you should be aware of a few concerns before getting any massages during pregnancy.
Some pressure points can cause contractions or even induce labor. If you do get a massage while pregnant; whether professional or not, stop the massage if you feel any contractions. A couple of pressure points that can induce labor or begin contractions are located on the feet and lower leg. Because of the location of these pressure points, care should also be taken when getting a pedicure.
When muscle tissues are massaged, they release toxins into your body. Always drink plenty of water after a massage to flush these toxins out of the body. This is true whether you are pregnant or not.
Once you reach a certain point in your pregnancy, you will be uncomfortable laying on your belly. Massages while pregnant can be done with the pregnant woman on her side or sitting up leaning forward into a chair.
Get it from the professionals
There is additional training available to masseuses for prenatal massage. If you plan to spring for a professional massage, look for someone with this training. They will know which points to avoid, and areas on your body that need the most attention. Ask your masseuse if they are certified in prenatal massage, and alert them if you have had any preterm contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions so they can avoid certain pressure points all together. Make sure you alert the masseuse that you are pregnant before beginning the massage.
In some cases, women should talk to their prenatal care provider before having a massage. These include those with a high risk pregnancy, preeclampsia, or prior preterm labor.
Pay attention to your body’s cues; if you feel tightening of your belly or lower back this could be contractions, and you should stop the massage immediately. If you feel ill, nauseous, or dizzy, you should also stop the massage. If you do have contractions before you are due, drink a large glass of water and lay on your side for an hour. If the contractions do not stop, gain intensity or become more frequent, head to the doctor to be safe.
At term and want to induce labor? Read Self-Induce Labor With Pressure Points
American Pregnancy Association- Prenatal Massage
Simkin, Penny, P.T, Janet Whalley, R.N., B.S.N., Ann Kepler, R.N., M.N. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn-The Complete Guide. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press.