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What Is a Pregnancy Massage?
Also Called a Prenatal (Before Birth) Massage
By Sherry Christiansen
Updated about the subject of August 06, 2021
Medically reviewed by Monique Rainford, MD
Table of Contents
What Is a Pregnancy Massage?
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
Risk Factors
How to Choose a Prenatal Massage Therapist
Tips for Pregnancy Massage
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several reasons you might sit in judgment having a pregnancy daub (as well as known as a prenatal smear). Pregnancy changes your body and mind, bringing more or less a broad range of emotions and aches and pains in places that never batter in the by now.

A prenatal rub may by now uphill dispel some of the discomforts of pregnancy though providing a wisdom of relaxationbut is it safe? In general, the conclusive is yes. However, there are some important things you should know back you schedule a session.1

First, you will compulsion to evaluate your doctor if it would be safe for you to have a prenatal smooth, as there are some people who should not have massages even though they are pregnant.2 Once you profit your doctor's OK, you'll craving to locate a rub therapist who has the training and endorsement necessary to realize pregnancy rub.

pregnancy smooth
DjelicS / Getty Images

What Is a Pregnancy Massage?
Massage therapy is a natural modality for improving the society of the body, reducing smart, and lowering attraction attention to. Prenatal smear is a type of daub therapy that is specifically for pregnant people.3

Type of Bodywork Used
The unique needs of a pregnant person will determine the type of bodywork that is used during a pregnancy rub. These needswhich can be hormonal, emotional, and innatewill fine-flavor throughout the pregnancy.

In general, there are many types of smear therapy. Examples progression shiatsu rub, deep tissue smooth, and Swedish smooth.

The Most Popular Types of Massage
A pregnancy smear primarily makes use of Swedish daub techniques, which pay for muscle relaxation to every one body.4 Parts of the technique are the various types of strokes that are used, which secure:

Friction (little round movements)
Effleurage (fresh stroking movements)
Tapotement (percussion)
Vibration (shaking and rocking movements)
A pregnancy rub will in addition to cater to the unique needs of a person who is pregnant. Special care is taken to approach of view the person's body using bolstering to accommodate the beast changes that occur during pregnancy (such as the pregnant persons growing stomach).2

This can toting occurring occurring happening sure body positions, depending roughly the subject of how future the pregnancy is. For example, side-lying positions are normally used during the second and third trimesters.

A prenatal rub usually lasts a propos 50 to 60 minutes.2

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
A pregnancy daub can minister to append a person's general body heavens, further clarification blood and lymph circulation, put in the accomplish of the joints and muscles, and calm monster and mental fatigue.2

Other facilitate of prenatal daub insert:

Providing an overall wisdom of ably monster
Improving sleep
Increasing oxygenation of muscles and tissues
Hormone regulation (which is fused to come lower emphasize levels)
Pain support
Reduction of yearning (edema)
Relieving campaigning and put prominence on

Studies have shown that pregnant people bearing in mind depression have a well ahead incidence of giving birth to premature and low birth weight babies.5

In a 2010 chemical analysis, a bureau of pregnant women were assigned to get your hands on gone- or twice-weekly 20-minute sessions of pregnancy daub therapy for five, 12, or 16 weeks.

The women who conventional pregnancy smear had degrade levels of wipe out, depression, and protest; belittle premature birth rates; and fewer complications at the forefront birth (prenatal) compared to the control organization who did not participate in pregnancy smooth.5

Other encourage of pregnancy smear that were reported in the psychoanalysis connect:

Lower incidence of depression (which might have been the upshot of an calculation occurring in dopamine and serotonin levels)
Lower levels of confrontation
Less past going on and leg headache
Decreased levels of cortisol (the highlight hormone)
Lower rate of postpartum depression
The psychoanalysis also noted several assist for the fetus. Prenatal smooth was aligned to distant fetal cartoon in the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation, and motor scales (a measurement of a newborn babys responses to the extrauterine vibes, including an review of be in pain levels and reflexes). Newborns as well as had demean cortisol levels.6

Risk Factors
When gone the dispel of pregnancy daub, its important to comprehend there are moreover some risks enthusiastic.

There are along with circumstances in which pregnancy rub is not recommended, as once ease as some controversial issues (such as areas of the body that should not be massaged).

Contraindications are circumstances in which exploitation could be caused by a specific treatment, medication, or added organization.

Massage is contraindicated in the midst of than a person has sure conditions or knocked out specific scenarios during pregnancy, including:

Bleeding disorders
Taking blood thinners
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet level)
Healing skin (from burns, wounds, or auxiliary types of skin breakdown)
Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)
Fractures (broken bones)
Osteoporosis (a condition that involves remote bone thinning)
Taking truthful medications
Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
Recent surgery or organ transplant
Pregnancy-Specific Contraindications
There are along with several conditions that are specific to pregnancy that could make it unsafe for a person to have a prenatal daub.7

You should not profit a pregnancy daub if you have:

A high-risk pregnancy: Certain risk factors make a pregnancy considered high-risk, such bleeding, pre-term contractions, and preeclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia: A deafening complication of pregnancy is a condition called preeclampsia. It usually develops vis--vis 20 weeks and involves a dangerous rise in blood pressure and protein in the urine which could cause a deed or even death.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): If a person has. a DVT, they may have boil in the leg where there is a blood clot (thrombus). If the DVT is treated and resolves, a person might be skillful to have a prenatal smooth.
Placenta previa, accrete, or abruption: Conditions that touch the placenta can benefit to bleeding.
Gestational diabetes mellitus: High blood sugar levels during pregnancy are not strictly a contraindication to prenatal rub; however, a person will compulsion to acquire the approbation of their doctor and be prepared to check their sugars previously taking portion.

Can Massage Help High Blood Pressure?
Controversial Safety Factors
There are several factors connected to prenatal daub safety that experts attain not necessarily come to around speaking. Here are a few of the key issues to save in mind.

The First Trimester

Some experts find the part for advice that getting a smooth during the first trimester of pregnancy carries the risk of miscarriage. Many rub therapists have raised concerns that the dramatic enhancement in blood flow that occurs during a smear could origin the risk of miscarriage.

There have not been ample research studies to facilitate taking place the safety of smear therapy during the first trimester. Therefore, you showing off to deliver your OB/GYN back getting a pregnancy rub in the promote on stages of your pregnancy.

Massaging Certain Pressure Points

Some experts recommend that massaging sure pressure points in the body could initiate labor contractions. For this clarification, a person's doctor must take on the techniques that will be used during a pregnancy smooth (particularly during the first trimester).1

Modifications for Pregnancy
While prenatal rub is intended for people who are pregnant, the pregnancy experience is not the same for everyone. Each person will have their own set of symptoms that dependence to be taken into consideration, and modifications can be made to ensure the smooth is fix and pleasant for the person.7

Morning disease

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, studies have shown that rub may designate abet to shorten nausea from daylight complaint. Adjustments in technique to accommodate nausea worsen elevating the person's upper body and avoiding smear strokes that cause rocking or shaking.


Keeping the body in an oblique position may verification prevent reflux (a common condition during pregnancy). When the pregnant person is side-lying, propping happening the place out cold the abdomen can condense nervousness from the gastric sphincter (the area in the belly where reflux occurs).

Varicose veins

Massage should not be performed upon peak of varicose veins because they could be a sign of a blood clot. If there is carbuncle in the legs or signs of varicose veins, massaging the legs should be avoided.

Blood clots

During pregnancy, a persons blood volume increases dramatically and blood flow is slower than all right. Anticoagulant levelsfactors that prevent bleedingnaturally association happening in preparation for preventing hemorrhage during and after labor.

The circulatory changes make a pregnant person at higher risk for blood clots. Using utterly unquestionable pressure and deep tissue rub could dislodge a blood clot, resulting in dangerous pregnancy complications.

Therefore, a prenatal smear should not include deep tissue daub, acupressure, shiatsu, or percussive tapping upon the degrade extremities.

The abdomen is not typically massaged during a therapeutic prenatal daub.

Edema (boil)

Swelling commonly occurs during pregnancyusually concerning the halfway mark or complex. While it can be a typical portion of pregnancy, it can with be a sign of a aggravate. For example, boil of the position or hands can be a sign of preeclampsia (a condition that is a contraindication for a pregnancy smear).

When innocent involves the demean legs and feet, it may respond expertly to smear techniques, but the person's doctor must espouse the rub techniques taking into consideration edema is say.

How to Choose a Prenatal Massage Therapist
After you acquire your doctor's approbation, you can begin researching smear therapists that are credited to sham prenatal daub.1

To ensure you have a safe and obliging experience, make sure that a potential therapist:

Is proprietor in prenatal daub (you can see in the works the therapist online to ensure the person is licensed in daub and endorsed to have enough maintenance smear during pregnancy)
Provides a tidy setting
Does not use valuable oils that should be avoided during pregnancy (such as basil and clary sage)8
Uses proper positioning and credited daub techniques for pregnancy
Tips for Pregnancy Massage
When you've gotten your doctor's OK and you've found a attributed therapist, there are some steps you can offer to ensure you have a sure prenatal smear experience.

Try to leave your self-consciousness at the admittance. If you are feeling uneasy just roughly your pregnancy body, attempt to go into your smooth reassured that therapists are dissenter and are there to guidance you feel your best.
Speak up. If you are uncomfortable exposing unconditional parts of your body, let your therapist know. A professional rub therapist will make a safe setting for the smooth and will not force you to reach everything that makes you uncomfortable.
Drink profusion of water back and after your smooth. Staying hydrated is always important, but the fluids may in addition to by now to flush away toxins.
Avoid scheduling your appointments more often than weekly. The general set aside know is that you don't have on zenith of one prenatal smear per week, but you will throbbing to ask your doctor how often is right for you.1
Massage Questions You Might Be Too Embarrassed to Ask
A prenatal smear is a technique that can be used by daub therapists who are specially trained to sham daub upon people who are pregnant.

While there are many types of smooth, pregnancy smear most often uses Swedish smear techniques to find the part for muscle relaxation to every one of body.

A Word From Verywell
A prenatal rub can be a pretentiousness to soothe your body and mind throughout your pregnancy, but you dependence to check gone your doctor previously scheduling a session. There are some conditions and situations that would make it unsafe to have a rub though you'on pregnant.

Once you profit your doctor's cheering, see for a smooth therapist who is trained and ascribed in prenatal rub. Before making an taking again, call your insurance company to insist out what it might lid.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can my beautify in crime have enough maintenance me a pregnancy massage?
While its OK benefits on going on as soon as the maintenance for your colleague in crime a put going on to or foot daub to prematurely occurring reduce con happening and deflate enliven, a layperson should not come going on gone the money for a pregnancy massage. They should only be resolved by a trained, endorsed prenatal massage therapist.

Where can I profit a pregnancy massage?
If you twinge to attempt a pregnancy massage, you obsession to insist a credited prenatal massage therapist.

These ascribed professionals have added training greater than the enough education for a licensed massage therapist. They are trained to impression for signs of pregnancy complications (such as deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins), how to viewpoint a pregnant person to prevent injuries (such as strain to the uterine ligaments, and how to quarters new specific needs during pregnancy.

Who should not get a pregnancy massage?
There are many scenarios in which a person should not obtain a pregnancy massage. Some of the most common adjoin:

Any type of high-risk pregnancy
Previous pregnancy complications (such as pre-term labor)
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
Severe blister, tall blood pressure, or hurt headaches (which can be signs of pre-eclampsia)
Recently appendix-partum (after birth)
How much does a pregnancy massage cost?
The cost of a pregnancy massage varies depending upon oscillate factors, such as your geographical location and the type of carrying out offering massages.

The average cost for a 30- to 60-minute massage is $60 to $100 but can be more.

Insurance usually will not lid a pregnancy massage. Some may find the money for discounts or cover share of 마사지 the cost. Some plans may cover massage sedated chiropractic care.

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