Is Prenatal Massage Safe During Pregnancy?

A Few Things To Know About Prenatal Massage.

Prenatal Massage: What Is It?

Any type of hands-on massage given before, during, or after pregnancy is referred to as prenatal massage. An hour-long prenatal massage is common.

Potential Advantages of Prenatal Massage

Research from the University of Miami School of Medicine raises the possibility that prenatal massages can provide a number of advantages, such as:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced back and leg pain
  • Reduced levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
  • Improved sleep
  • Serotonin and dopamine, two “feel-good” neurotransmitters, are produced in larger quantities.
  • Decreased cortisol levels (a chemical that causes stress).
  • A rise in mood overall.

The techniques used by professionals in prenatal massage are modified to meet the changes that a woman’s body experiences during pregnancy. For instance, during pregnancy, blood volume increases significantly — by as much as 50%. Leg blood flow frequently slows down. Additionally, the blood’s natural levels of anticoagulants, which are meant to stop bleeding after delivery, naturally increase.

Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?

Many women are concerned about the safety of using massage therapy to treat severe emotional and physical strains during pregnancy. However, they will be relieved to know that prenatal massages are generally safe.

Numerous advantages of massage treatment during pregnancy have been demonstrated, including a sense of wellness, increased relaxation, and quality of sleep. However, some procedures and bodily trigger points might result in contractions and early labor, making it crucial to seek professional assistance. Prenatal massage requires a particular certification and practitioners that are trained in safe practices for expecting mothers.

When to Avoid Prenatal Massage

Since there is little research on prenatal massage, many qualified doctors suggest taking a cautious approach. They could even suggest that all expectant women refrain from massage. There are no proven scientific guidelines. Not all pregnant women should use it, however.

There are two circumstances in which a pregnant woman should carefully consider receiving a prenatal massage.

1. Women Who Are In Their First Trimester

Women can start receiving prenatal massages at any time throughout their pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. But a lot of prenatal massage practitioners won’t take on customers until the second trimester. Some massage therapists worry that the increased blood flow during a massage can be hazardous because the first trimester brings a higher chance of miscarriage.

Secondly, there are sensitive points on the body that have the ability to initiate labor or trigger contractions. Because of this, many prenatal massage practitioners need a doctor’s permission before working with pregnant women in the first trimester.

2. Female Patients With Specific Illnesses

The circulatory system is activated during the massage treatment, which may change blood flow in the body and perhaps impact some medical disorders. At any stage of pregnancy, the woman should see a doctor before obtaining a prenatal massage if they experience any of the following conditions:

  • Unmanageable high blood pressure.
  • High-risk pregnancy issues, including preeclampsia or congenital heart disease.
  • Recent surgery or injuries
  • Organ transplant

Before trying a massage, pregnant women should be sure to receive approval from their doctor, especially if they are suffering from nausea, vomiting, morning sickness or if the chances of miscarriage are very high.

Moreover, women that are pregnant have high risks of complications including preterm labor or placental abruption (in which the placenta briefly separates from the uterine wall) which is why they must consider a prenatal massage on the advice of a doctor.

Before conducting prenatal massage, however, a massage therapist would need a liability waiver from the patient and a written approval from their doctor.

How Are Massage Therapists Trained for Prenatal Massages?

Approximately 500 hours of instruction are needed for the majority of massage therapist training programs. There may or may not be specialized training in prenatal massage included in that curriculum. The amount of instruction and practical experience offered in prenatal massage continuing education seminars and workshops varies from place to place.


Prenatal massages are a way for pregnant women to destress and relax at a time when they require a lot of fuel and energy to create another life.

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