This is a really common question clients ask during their pregnancy and also students when I teach the pregnancy massage and post natal therapy course! I thought I would answer this important question for clients and students along with the benefits of pregnancy massage.
When is massage advised in pregnancy?
There is lots of controversy about when to recommend pregnancy massage and there are many discussions about when is best. I always recommend booking in your pregnancy massage after you have had your 12-13 week appointment. Alongside checking your baby’s development it is good point to be given the all clear for massage and other activities such as exercise.
This is not to say that massage is not suitable to be carried out before then. For many therapists and professionals this is what their insurance allows and the time frame where they are most experienced. However, there are also many therapists that massage in the first trimester. Many of these are clinicians (such as midwives) are experts in the first trimester and are insured to massage during this time
I also notice that most women find the thought of being massaged early on awful especially if they are experiencing any sickness!
Most therapists will follow their insurance guidelines, so if you are working with a therapist before your 12 week scan, just check with them first.
After the first trimester, pregnancy massage is recommended for as long as you and the baby are healthy. I have massaged ladies right up until a few days before the birth of their baby!
What are the benefits of pregnancy massage?
Easing muscle aches and pains – During pregnancy your body goes through lots of postural changes (as if you aren’t already aware!) Many mums to be often experience, lower back pain, tightness in the legs and sometimes upper neck and back pain. Massage can help alleviate these symptoms!
Relaxation and easing stress – There are lots of studies on the benefits of massage to help with relaxation and stress!
When is massage not advised in pregnancy?
There are a few times that is it not advisable to book a pregnancy massage. Your massage therapists can support you during this time with the right information.
If you have experienced any pregnancy complications or under consultant care you may need confirmation from your healthcare provider first. If you aren’t sure, speak to your pregnancy massage therapist and let them know your history. They will most likely ask you to complete a consultation form prior to your appointment and they will be able to advise you further.
Pregnancy Massage FAQ’s
Is Pregnancy Massage is more of a skin polish type massage? – It can be if you want it to be but it really doesn’t need to. Many clients come to see me as they want an effective pregnancy massage especially if they have muscle aches and pains.
Are there certain points you cant be massaged because of risk of early labour? – This is a myth! The points people are referring to are acupressure points and are at the tops of the shoulders, ankle and near your thumb. Regular pregnancy massage techniques over these are will not cause early labour. These points MAY work for sustained pressure for a LOOOOOONG period of time (which will never happen in a massage). If they were so successful there would be so many interventions to bring on labour!