You Can Have A Massage When You Are Pregnant – Busting the Myths

Jennifer SymeBlog

Having a Massage During Pregnancy

There are lots of myths around massage. I hear them all the time, sometimes people ask a question, other times they state it as fact. One of the main things I hear is that ‘you can’t have a massage in pregnancy’, or ‘ you can only have a seated massage’ or ‘it’s a risk to the baby’, or it will bring on a miscarriage if its before 12 weeks.

you can have a massage while pregnantI have a Diploma in Pregnancy massage. It took 6 months, involved 5 days intense practical training, a practical exam (with a real live pregnant woman), and then 6 case studies and a project.  Not every therapist that does pregnancy work has such a diploma, many have a 1-2 day workshop, and some don’t have any proper qualification at all.

I have had ladies come to me for pregnancy work that have told me some horror stories of previous experiences with obviously under/unqualified therapists. One had been asked to lie on her tummy at 26 weeks, one had been made to sit up the whole time despite her large bump meaning that she couldn’t rest her head on the support. Others had felt it was too light and had felt that the therapist was terrified of doing something wrong which hadn’t made the woman feel very relaxed! Other people had only been ‘allowed’ to have their head and neck massaged, when their aches were all in the lower back.

I could go on!

So let’s look at what a pregnancy massage CAN be.

It can be on a couch. And not one of those ones with the holes for the bump, which risk putting strain on the lower back.
How about a lovely set of memory foam cushions to support you as you lie on your side. Supporting you, the bump, your hips, and your legs. Many pregnant women never want to get up from them!

How about special pregnancy specific wax, from the lovely Moog Wax right here in Scotland. Safe, light and skin softening.

Have a proper massage, from a trained therapist.
So yes, you can have those knots in your shoulders worked on, you can have that sore back eased. That sciatica pain lessened.

How about those heavy legs? Those puffy ankles?
Yes, they may also be helped with treatments.

A trained therapist can also give advice on things you can do at home. All you need is a tennis ball, and maybe a willing partner! We can also give suggestions for classes or contacts, such as yoga for pregnancy, doulas, hypnobirthing type classes etc. We would also be able to say when you need to see someone else such as a physio or osteopath who also specialises in pregnancy work.

Pregnancy is a delightful experience for many women, but for others it brings aches, pains and discomfort. But you don’t need to suffer alone with those things, you can be helped. And even the lucky ones who don’t experience anything too bad are still likely to be tired and in need of some easing of tired body and mind,  which a therapist can also provide.

pregnancy backpain

My training covers the entire pregnancy and post natal period. I don’t see many people pre 12 weeks because they don’t generally feel the need to come, or they feel nauseous and don’t want to lie down. But if you are pregnant pre 12 weeks, and have a sore back or shoulders etc, you can still come along for a treatment. Nothing a massage therapist can do (even a bad one) will cause any harm to the baby.  Obviously miscarriages are more common in this first trimester, but as with all such sad situations, it is unfortunately a natural thing, that happens due to problems with that pregnancy.

I also see people right up to (and beyond) the due date, again, not so many want to come at that stage due to their own ‘nesting’ instinct, and worries about going into labour. Others come in the hope that we can work some magic and bring labour on. (Note – there are certain areas on the body that if we work into deeply could possibly encourage a baby to come, if it is ready to do so. But we can’t magically ‘bring on labour’ before the baby is fully ready. If any therapist, nurse or doctor could do that, there would be no need for inducing labour medically.)

Most people I see are from 20+ weeks onward. When the aches in the lower back start, and the difficulties sleeping, the puffy legs and the weight of the baby starts to impact on the mothers day to day life. It is lovely to see someone leave a session, looking and feeling lighter and happier, having  come in an hour earlier sore, tired and a bit downhearted.

So, if you are pregnant, or know someone who is, don't believe the myths, find yourself a trained therapist. Click To Tweet

So, if you are pregnant, or know someone who is, don’t believe the myths, find yourself a trained therapist. If you are in Fife or Edinburgh, get in touch for more information or to make an appointemnt.