When is it safe to get massage during pregnancy? Safety considerations for pregnancy massage change throughout pregnancy and rightly so our clients want to know when it is safe to get a massage. Here are some of their most common questions:
Is it safe to get first trimester massage?
Absolutely! One common question we get from new clients is, “I am 8 weeks pregnant and nobody will massage me. Please tell me you can help me! My back is killing me.”
There are lots of rumors out there that massage is to be avoided during the first trimester. Some massage centers restrict prohibit first trimester massage because of the high miscarriage risks (not massage-related) of early pregnancy. These are policies, not facts about first trimester massage. These are restrictions based on potential liability issues in an extremely litigious society, not on the safety of massage. Massage by a properly trained therapist can be extremely supportive to you and your developing baby throughout your entire pregnancy.
Some women don’t feel up to getting a massage in their first trimester. We highly encourage them to follow their intuition and wait until they feel up to it.
Other women who might be at higher risk for miscarrying might decide not to add new activities in that first trimester, including massage. Yet, others may want to add the relaxation and stress relieving benefits of massage to their routines.
If you are considering massage during first trimester and are concerned about its safety, give us a call to learn more about exactly what might be involved. And then have a conversation with your doctor or midwife and get any recommendations or restrictions from them.
How late in pregnancy can I safely get massage?
It’s never too late in pregnancy to get a massage. Assuming the pregnancy is healthy and you feel up for it, you can have massage until you are ready to give birth. Hopefully you will even have support people in the birth who will give you any touch that you might need. In fact, some women even schedule a massage on their due date so they will have something to look forward to if labor hasn’t progressed at all. We regularly work with women after 40 weeks of gestation.
When should I avoid massage in pregnancy?
In order to make sure we are accommodating you properly, we will take your medical history. And we modify the massage from there for each situation. If you are experiencing complications, please call us to discuss how we would modify our massage for you and then consult with your care provider. We do make housecalls and hospital visits for our mamas on bedrest!
If you have complications in your pregnancy, you will want to be sure to consult a massage therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage.
If you have an active infection, you will want to reschedule your massage — cold/flu, skin infection, UTI.
Do I need to talk to my OB or midwife?
Unless you have major complications in your pregnancy, we don’t require you to get approval from your care provider. Talk to your care provider about the reasons you might be seeking massage (back pain, leg cramps, etc.). Evidence suggests that massage only promotes healthier pregnancies and healthier outcomes. Your care provider might help recommend any modifications that are specific to your pregnancy and health history.
Do you have more questions? Take our Pregnancy Massage Quiz to test your understanding of prenatal massage myths!