How Safe Is Maternity Massage? Expert Guide
For hundreds of years, therapeutic massage has been used as a way of reducing stress, relieving muscle tension, and even improving the overall body health.
In the recent years, massage during pregnancy has been perceived as a nice idea. But at the same time, it has received different responses from the experts regarding its safety and purpose.
And this brings us to our topic of discussion today- how safe if maternity massage?
Let’s look at what the massage is all about, risks involved in the practice, and if it’s worth it:
Prenatal Massage can result in a miscarriage
The fear of miscarriages is real in pregnant women. As such, you’d want to keep off any activity or diet that might lead to a miscarriage.
Having a prenatal massage isn’t recommended during the first trimester of your pregnancy as the risk of miscarriage is extremely high at this time.
Not anyone can conduct a proper prenatal massage
It has been stated that getting a massage while pregnant comes with many benefits- like reduced back and joint pains, improved blood circulation, reduced edema, better sleep, etc.
This could be true if you get the massage done by an expert prenatal massage therapist. In other words, you’ll need to look for certified prenatal massage therapists.
These individuals have received specialized training- beyond the set standards for regular massage therapists- so they know how to address different pregnancies massage needs.
Can you tell of a prenatal massage therapist in your area?
Your medical care provider might advise against it
As long as you’d want to have a pregnancy massage, you should always consult your doctor first. Your medical doctor might recommend against it if he/she believes it will bring complications to your pregnancy.
For example, if you had experienced pre-term contractions, bleedings, it’s not safe to take the massage.
Your massage position matters
If you happen to lie in the wrong position when receiving a prenatal massage, you might be risking your pregnancy.
If you lie flat on your back when your pregnancy is 18 weeks or more old, you might compress a blood vessel, and this can dangerously lower your blood pressure.
As the expert pregnancy massage therapists would agree, you ought to lie face down when getting the massage- something you can’t do when pregnant. However, tables with a cut-out for your belly allows you to assume this position when getting the massage.
Word of Caution: if your spa does not come facilities like this table, it’s not worth taking the massage as you’ll only be risking your pregnancy.
And if you must undergo it, you can lie on your side and enlist your pillows to prop you up.
If you have these conditions, prenatal massage is not safe for you:
- If you have pregnancy-induced hypertension- e.g. high blood pressure- please keep off prenatal massage.
- If you previously had a premature labor or you have a high-risk pregnancy, you’d also want to keep off this massage.
- Do you experience severe headaches? Have pre-eclampsia or sudden swellings with fluid retentions? If yes don’t go for a prenatal massage.
- Sometimes you might feel that your massage therapist is too vigorous. In that case, you’ll need to say it. Ask them to do it gently and keep an open line of communication between then two of you. This is known as therapeutic relation and will help you get the best from the practice.
- If having the massage makes you feel worse (or sick) lightheaded, gives you headaches-or you simply don’t enjoy the experience. You don’t have to force yourself to do it just because someone said it was a good idea.
I’ve just shared with you some important things you need to understand about prenatal massage before you can visit your local spa to receive the same.
From our discussion above, it’s clear that this practice offers you some top benefits that help make your pregnancy life better. At the same time, it has its fair share of risks for your unborn child.
The risk factors outweigh the benefits. So I’d advise you to keep off the prenatal massage at all costs.
And if you feel you must do it, always consult your medical doctor or midwife first.