Is getting a massage safe during pregnancy?

Some jackass out there decided to throw this one in the ring and it makes me mad.

You are a nauseous, sweaty blob (well, I was) and the least you should be able to do is pay someone to rub you. Is nothing sacred?

I couldn’t find anything really solid on this one. There is the usual “don’t do it in your first trimester because you could miscarry” which seems to apply to everything from sneezing to “don’t let them touch your feet or you could go into labour”. I know plenty of women who would have severed off a toe to go into labour so I’m hoping we would have heard of that trick.

There was also some talk of crazy essential oils that shouldn’t be used on you but, all and all, it sounds like if you’ve got someone willing to rub you down, go for it.


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Topics:Is It Safe
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  • Pregnancy Massage is taught at my school (I am in school for Massage Therapy currently in a state that requires the highest number of hours needed to receive licensure.) I have given a fellow class mate and friend massages repeatedly throughout our year and a half long course, and multiple other pregnant woman go through the program. None of them have spontaneously gone into labor from reflexology on the feet, or due to massage. If it is a high risk pregnancy, clearance from a doctor may be needed. The only other thing to be concerned about are essential oils. These can have a big impact on a wide variety of conditions… so it is wise to stick with mild essential oils like Lavender.

  • Massage is totally fine! There are even licensed prenatal massage therapists! They have 2 at my clinic (among about 6 massage therapists). As others have said, they use special tables and are often less intense on certain areas, but otherwise, the massage is the same. And gosh darnit, they're amazingly relaxing! Screw whoever thinks this is a bad idea! Kiiiiil!

  • I've been a licensed and certified massage therapist for over 20 years (before there was a special class for pregnancy massage) and I'll tell you, in India where they have been practicing massage on record for THOUSANDS of years they massage everyone everywhere any time. The hysteria started when someone in the United States found it was helpful in the third trimester to induce labor and decided to make it a contraindication to practice massage on pregnant women with certain oils, etc. to insure that if you miscarried they wouldn't be liable and therefore now, it is required that you pay another thousand dollars or more to take another class which serves to provide the massage therapist with some useful information. Here's my take: if you go to McDonald's and eat the crap there and don't miscarry, a massage, wheat grass and all the other practices which are socially accepted as "healthy" are not going to kill you or your baby. It's just so out of the ordinary in our fast food society to do anything healthful that we immediately panic and wonder what the damages will do. Yes, if you never have gone to the gym and you're way over weight and over 30, the first time is going to hurt, but so is another spoonful of mash potatoes after midnight. You decide which hurt is worse for you.

  • So angry at this! I was banned from having massages done at the resort I was staying in during a family vacation. I was five weeks pregnant and casually mentioned that to the concierge. He put that into my guest profile so when I went to book the massage at the spa I was completely denied. I tried to argue that I had permission from my doctor and that I was more then willing to sign a waiver releasing them from any liability but NO! They would not budge. And then they told me that I couldn't go on the snorkel trip because the boat ride could be bumpy…WTF. I almost punched the guy but my sweet husband held me back. Is this what I have to look forward to?!

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