What Weeks Are Best for Prenatal Massage?

If you are curious about prenatal massages, it is best to talk with your doctor about them first. Before going in for a massage, find out whether it might risk your health and pregnancy in any way.

Most chiropractors and massage therapists prefer to give prenatal massages after the first trimester, which usually lasts 12 weeks. There is no scientific reason to believe that prenatal massage during the first trimester is unsafe. But some massage therapists put it off until the second trimester because of the high odds of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks.


What is a Prenatal Massage?

 

Prenatal massage is a full-body kneading massage that a qualified prenatal massage therapist performs. The massage resembles what you might find at a spa, apart from a few changes to your body’s position to ensure comfort and safety.

During the massage, the therapist will use gentle pressure on your legs and abdomen, easing the stress the uterus spreads to its muscles. Tension in the abdomen and leg muscles causes swelling and strains the surrounding nerves.

Deep tissue prenatal massage can alleviate tension, strain, and swelling. But you should avoid some pressure points. Specialists practice safety by evading pressure points around the pelvis, ankles, hands, and wrists.


Benefits of a Prenatal Massage

 

Prenatal massages can help improve your health and well-being greatly. It addresses the swelling and pressure on nerves by soothing the muscle tension in the legs and abdomen.

A prenatal massage helps:
 

  • Reduce your stress and anxiety

  • Relieve muscle pain and headaches

  • Soothe back and joint pain

  • Improve blood flow

  • Boost the flow of oxygen to muscles and other soft tissues

  • Reduce edema

  • Improve sleep


Is Prenatal Massage Safe Throughout Your Pregnancy?

 

Generally, prenatal massage throughout pregnancy is safe for most pregnant mothers. But you should consult your doctor about getting the massage if:
 

  • You experience severe nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting

  • Your pregnancy is high risk

  • You are at a higher risk of miscarriage

  • You have trouble breathing or sudden inflammation

  • Your blood pressure is high

  • You have any other fears or anxieties about your pregnancy

By and large, the safest weeks for prenatal massages are those in the second and third trimesters.


How Often Should You Get a Prenatal Massage?

 

Your massage sessions should happen together with your doctor’s appointments. That means once every month until 27 weeks and twice every month until 36 weeks. Afterward, you can have weekly massages until you go into labor. At 39 to 40 weeks, your therapist can add labor stimulation into the massages.

Prenatal massages help keep your changing body in good mental and physical condition. They will allow you to lie back and relax as your due date approaches. Be sure to get an okay from your doctor or midwife before trying prenatal massage. Besides, your therapist may need written approval from your doctor and a liability disclaimer before starting the massage.

For more on prenatal massage, visit ReAlign Physical Health at our office in Chicago, Illinois. Call 773-917-0900 to schedule an appointment today.

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