Pregnancy Massage

Trained prenatal or pregnancy massage therapists are aware of pressure points on the ankles and wrists that can gently stimulate pelvic muscles, including the uterus. Certified prenatal massage therapists are trained to avoid very specific and intentional pressure to these areas during pregnancy. Any woman who has experienced pre-term contractions or consistent Braxton-Hicks contractions should alert her therapist to that fact so that pressure points can be avoided completely.

Women with the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:
High risk pregnancy, Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), Preeclampsia
Previous pre-term labor, Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches or Recent birth

Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?

Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy- during the first, second, and third trimester. Many facilities will refuse to offer massages to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased statistics for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Incorporating Massage Into Your Prenatal Care
The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement. Gentle massage can often help to relieve problems such as backache, sleeplessness, edema, headaches, and other minor complaints.

Before Birth
Back pain is extremely common in pregnancy (as well as during the period of breastfeeding, or having to carry small children). It can be relieved by a massage to the whole of the back area, the neck, legs, and feet, and by gentle stroking of the abdomen. Poor circulation also affects many pregnant women, and can be helped by a general body massage, which stimulates and improves the blood flow throughout the body. Leg massage, stroking from the ankles up toward the thighs, can help relax the body, relieve pain and reduce swelling in the legs (but avoid working directly over varicose veins). For women who develop problems sleeping, the soothing effects of massage can help relax and calm. Some pregnant women claim that lightly massaging the abdomen can even help to send the fetus to sleep. As well as relaxing and soothing away physical symptoms, massage can be a wonderful way of including your partner and children in the course of your pregnancy.


Pregnant women should check with their physician before having a massage. In cases where the physician recommends that the lower back and abdomen area should be avoided, massage the face, hands, arms, and feet to assist in relaxation. –Much as 50% during pregnancy

Pregnancy Foot Massage
In theory, there are 4 basic points of pressure that are believed to induce labor for pregnancy foot massage. Although it is said that all 4 points (side of neck, shoulder, inner ankle, bottom of foot) must be rubbed continuously and in rapid succession to attempt to induce labor , it is NOT recommended that you rub hard or apply pressure points to the foot on a pregnant women. This should not be construed as medical advice on using foot massage induce labor, you should always contact a medical professional for specific advice regarding pregnancy.
Always consult the advice of a medical professional if performing foot massage during pregnancy.
Aromatherapy Oils ~You may add a few drops of essential oil to the carrier oil.

Oils Which Are Not Suitable For Use In Pregnancy Are:

Anise, Bay, Camphor, Caraway, Carrot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove
Comfrey, Cypress, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Mugwort, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Sassafras, Tansy, Thuja, Thyme, Wintergreen, Wormwood, Yarrow

Oils to avoid in first trimester:

Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Melissa, Rose

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