Pregnancy & Birth

Is Massage Therapy OK for High Risk Pregnancy?

“Its ability to improve many aspects of both physical and emotional health makes the benefits of massage therapy extremely far-reaching. Because of the major structural, physiological, psychological, spiritual and social changes that occur during pregnancy, massage is especially valuable to women at this juncture in their life. However, massage therapy is commonly denied to those who could benefit most from bodywork – women with high-risk pregnancies.”

The above paragraph is an excerpt from this article. It’s actually an article for massage therapists, but I thought it was worth sharing. There seems to be some misconceptions about high-risk pregnancies and massage. This article goes into when massage is truly contraindicated for pregnant mothers. It says, which I agree with, that really the only time a pregnant mom can’t get a massage is when she is currently experiencing Eclampsia, is in the middle of a miscarriage, or has a Urinary Tract Infection.

The article suggests getting confirmation from the client’s care provider before getting a massage. It is best practice, but honestly, in 8 years that I have been specializing in prenatal massage, I have never asked a client for this. I have them fill out an extensive questionnaire and I have a good conversation with them before the massage to asses the situation.

The article, briefly, goes into general pre-cautions for any pregnant woman, such as having them lay on their sides (which is how I have my clients lay, as opposed to the table with a hole for the belly), not doing abdominal massage, staying away from deep pressure in the legs, and staying away from the pressure points that stimulate contractions (inside and outside of your ankles are the biggest ones). This is good information to know as a client before you go into a massage. Hopefully, you have made your appointment with a reputable and experienced massage therapist, that is CERTIFIED in Prenatal massage. Be aware, it is common for massage therapists to get an 8 hour seminar on pregnancy massage in school or whatever without being certified, and then they start advertising that they offer prenatal massage. Be sure to ask if they are certified and how many massage clients they have had.

When I was pregnant with Penelope, I got a massage every three weeks, my entire pregnancy. I would have turned off the cable and sold the dog, before I gave those massages up. It was one of the smartest things I did. I know it helped me stay healthy during my pregnancy and helped me have a easier birth. Now I get a massage about every 5 or 6 weeks and again its one the most important things I can do as mother. I have to take care of myself, if I am going to continue to do a good job taking care of Penelope.

Did any of you get a massage while they were pregnant? What was your experience?

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