From shifting weight to swollen feet to uncomfortable sleeping positions, pregnancy can take a toll on your body. With tight muscles, stress, and back pain, massage can sound like an appealing way to relax and de-stress. There are lots of places that offer prenatal massages, but many of them don't offer massages for women in their first trimester. Because of the concerns associated with prenatal massages, you might be wondering, is it safe to get a massage during pregnancy?
Romper spoke with Deena Blumenfeld, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) and Fellow of American College of Childbirth Educators (FACCE) of Shining Light Prenatal Education, and she says that pregnancy massages can be awesome.
"Pregnant moms have muscle pain and stress just as much as the rest of us and massage can help with both physical and emotional relaxation," she says. Blumenfeld also suggests that a massage during pregnancy can be a useful tool for prenatal care as long as it's given careful consideration and is done by a qualified therapist. "The massage practitioner should have additional training in prenatal massage. Mothers should ask about the qualifications of their masseuse when making an appointment," she recommends.
The American Pregnancy Association explained that prenatal massage can help reduce joint and muscle swelling, regulate hormone levels, improve nerve pain, decrease signs of depression, reduce anxiety, and help with birth and labor.
Massage can be safe in any trimester of pregnancy, noted the American Pregnancy Association, but women should always talk to their prenatal care physician prior to the massage, especially if they have bleeding, pre-term contractions, preeclampsia, or a high-risk pregnancy.
You'll also have to make some adjustments as lying on your back or on your stomach is not a good idea during a massage either. The American Pregnancy Association advised that the ideal body position for a prenatal massage is a side-lying position, and that lying on your stomach, even with a table that is cut out for it, may still put pressure on your abdomen, causing uterine ligaments to stretch and produce discomfort.
Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, but a tiring one, too. Prenatal massages, if done properly, can be super relaxing, and be a safe way for you to unwind and help your body breathe some sighs of relief. When you're pregnant, you should soak in all the pampering and relaxation you can get.