Myths About Massage: Pregnancy Women Should Not Receive Massages

Misconceptions about massage therapy during pregnancy

Hanna Kim - 11/1/2018

Is Massage Therapy Bad for My Pregnancy?

It’s still not an uncommon belief that massage should be avoided during a pregnancy. Some people still have the impression that getting a massage while pregnant may trigger an early delivery or even a miscarriage, but that is simply untrue. Some other variations on this myth are:

⊘ The baby will kick if it doesn’t like the massage: Women who have experienced pregnancy before know how much their babies move around especially as they grow bigger in the later weeks of pregnancy.
⊘ Touching the ankles or feet will induce pregnancy or miscarriage: There is no research to support the belief that pressing on certain reflex points in the ankles or feet is harmful to a pregnancy.
⊘ Massage is contraindicated during ___ trimester: In reality, miscarriage is common - it occurs in 10% of all pregnancies, and 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester (1) The first trimester is often the one that is avoided, perhaps because of this correlation. Massage is helpful for women at all stages of pregnancy.

Old wives’ tales against pregnancy massage date back to the early 1900’s when pregnancy was considered a “dangerous and fragile condition” for women and a time when many different activities should be avoided because of the potential risks (2). It took nearly another hundred years around the 1990’s when research on pregnancy health and the benefits of massage on pregnant moms-to-be increased.

Many women now know it’s perfectly fine to get regular exercise, continue working, and go about their daily lives during their pregnancies. Massage doesn’t require any high levels of exertion on the part of the client and isn’t any more dangerous than any other normal day-to-day activity. Women with a high-risk pregnancy or conditions like pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, extreme swelling, or hypertension should speak with their health-care providers before seeking massage therapy. It doesn’t hurt for healthy pregnant women to check with their doctors first, but it is not a requirement, as pregnancy is a normal part of life.

Massage actually offers many health benefits and can relieve the many discomforts that come with the changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy.

Benefits of pregnancy massage include:

✓ Regulate hormones - massage helps decrease stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and increase dopamine and serotonin
✓ Reduce joint swelling and pain
✓ Reduce nerve pain (most commonly, sciatic nerve inflammation from the pressure of a growing womb)
✓ Reduce back pain
✓ Improve sleep

Many LoDo Massage Studio practitioners have additional training specifically for pregnancy massage. Call us today at (720) 999-3336 to book at our Highlands studio or (720) 360-0035 for our RiNo location.