Is Pregnancy massage safe?

Two of the questions we get asked by our future Pregnancy Massage clients are “What are the risks of massage during pregnancy?” and “Is pregnancy massage safe?”

The simple answer is that it’s very safe, particularly in qualified hands. But it’s important to identify where these concerns about pregnancy massage may have originated from.

Ask anyone who has children or is/has been pregnant and they will be able to tell you the amount of information (or misinformation) that they get told.

While people think they are doing the right thing in sharing (and there is SO much sharing!) a lot of this info is just plain old wives tales that stay alive through word of mouth.

Most of our pregnancy massage clients at Taren Point and Manly seem to have heard the same myths/rumours. So let’s go through the fact behind the fiction…

pregnancy massage

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Myth: Massage is not safe in the first trimester…

Massage is SAFE at any stage of pregnancy.

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy has the highest risk of miscarriage, but massage is not one of those risks. Maternal and foetal abnormalities will be responsible for the majority of miscarriages.

Morning sickness can also be a deterrent to massage. While waiting for the nausea to subside is best, morning sickness does not always occur in all pregnancies and it does not always occur all day (yet it is rarely just in the morning).

Scheduling a massage around your nausea pattern will be more comfortable for you and massage can help to ease some of the fatigue and stress of the first trimester which can, in turn, help you to feel better overall.

Myth: Pregnancy Massage can cause a miscarriage…

Miscarriage is an extremely scary, unfortunate and sad possibility in pregnancy and can be caused by many factors.

Massage is not one of those factors, when performed safely by a pregnancy-trained massage therapist. The additional training in pregnancy-specific massage isn’t covered in basic massage training, so the extra qualification is vital.

Myth: The feet and ankles should never be massaged during pregnancy…

The feet and ankles can often be the main complaint during pregnancy. Swelling of the feet and legs, and carrying extra weight can cause the feet to ache.

While there are certain acupuncture points that should not have extended strong pressure placed upon them during pregnancy, general massage is safe and extremely beneficial in reducing the swelling and easing any pain.

Myth: The belly/abdomen should never be massaged during pregnancy…

As your belly grows you will continuously touch and rub your belly for the relief it brings.

A pregnancy-trained Massage Therapist can also provide a lot of muscular relief through the ever growing belly using light massage. A belly massage can also bring a sense of closeness for you and your bub.

Myth: You can’t lay face down during a massage…

As long as you and your belly are properly supported (we use specially designed Belly Pillows), this can be safe and comfortable. And after so long not laying on your front, it can be absolute bliss.

So…time for a massage?

While there are some conditions relating to high-risk pregnancies where massage should be avoided, these are few and far between and the vast majority of women will love the experience. It’s also why your Massage Therapist should be experienced and qualified in Pregnancy Massage specifically.

Faye Lehane (at our Taren Point clinic) and Amanda Schmidt (at our Manly clinic) are both very experienced and post-grad trained in Pregnancy Massage.

Written by

Faye Lehane
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist

Faye has over a decade of experience as a Remedial Massage Therapist and has post-grad qualifications in pregnancy and post-natal massage as well as Dry Needling. Faye is a mother, ultrarunner and massage superstar…and she’s happy to share her wisdom on all of the above if you’d like to chat.

Faye Lehane