Pregnancy Massage?

What Is a Pregnancy Massage?

Also Called a Prenatal (Before Birth) Massage

By Sherry Christiansen

Updated in report to August 06, 2021

Medically reviewed by Monique Rainford, MD


Table of Contents

What Is a Pregnancy Massage?

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Risk Factors

How to Choose a Prenatal Massage Therapist

Tips for Pregnancy Massage

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several reasons you might own occurring having a pregnancy rub (pseudonym a prenatal smooth). Pregnancy changes your body and mind, bringing just about a broad range of emotions and aches and pains in places that never say-calling by now.

A prenatal daub may in the back dispel some of the discomforts of pregnancy even though providing a prudence of relaxationbut is it safe? In general, the recognition is yes. However, there are some important things you should know back you schedule a session.1

First, you will obsession to ask your doctor if it would be safe for you to have a prenatal daub, as there are some people who should not have massages though they are pregnant.2 Once you profit your doctor's OK, you'll need to locate a smear therapist who has the training and attributed approval necessary to get bond of pregnancy smear.

pregnancy daub

DjelicS / Getty Images

What Is a Pregnancy Massage?

Massage therapy is a natural modality for improving the take steps of the body, reducing stomach-longing, and lowering emphasize. Prenatal daub is a type of rub therapy that is specifically for pregnant people.3

Type of Bodywork Used

The unique needs of a pregnant person will determine the type of bodywork that is used during a pregnancy smooth. These needswhich can be hormonal, emotional, and beastwill bend throughout the pregnancy.

In general, there are many types of daub therapy. Examples append shiatsu smooth, deep tissue smooth, and Swedish smear.

The Most Popular Types of Massage

A pregnancy rub primarily makes use of Swedish smooth techniques, which meet the expense of muscle relaxation to the whole body.4 Parts of the technique are the various types of strokes that are used, which mass:

Friction (little round movements)

Effleurage (spacious stroking movements)

Tapotement (percussion)

Vibration (shaking and rocking movements)

A pregnancy smear will also cater to the unique needs of a person who is pregnant. Special care is taken to viewpoint the person's body using bolstering to accommodate the creature changes that occur during pregnancy (such as the pregnant persons growing front).2

This can append determined body positions, depending vis--vis how well along the pregnancy is. For example, side-lying positions are normally used during the second and third trimesters.

A prenatal smooth usually lasts in version to 50 to 60 minutes.2

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

A pregnancy smooth can upholding calculation happening a person's general body impression, accretion blood and lymph circulation, amassed the take steps of the joints and muscles, and alleviate monster and mental fatigue.2

Other support of prenatal smear intensify:

Providing an overall wisdom of dexterously swine

Improving snooze

Increasing oxygenation of muscles and tissues

Hormone regulation (which is associated following degrade bring out levels)

Pain encourage

Reduction of boil (edema)

Relieving conscious and prominence


Studies have shown that pregnant people joined to depression have a as soon as incidence of giving birth to premature and low birth weight babies.5

In a 2010 testing, a group of pregnant women were assigned to reach by now- or twice-weekly 20-minute sessions of pregnancy daub therapy for five, 12, or 16 weeks.

The women who times-fortunate pregnancy rub had humiliate levels of highlight, depression, and shakeup; belittle premature birth rates; and fewer complications ahead of time birth (prenatal) compared to the control society who did not participate in pregnancy smooth.5

Other assist of pregnancy rub that were reported in the testing titivate:

Lower incidence of depression (which might have been the result of an buildup in dopamine and serotonin levels)

Lower levels of campaigning

Less serve and leg stomach-pining

Decreased levels of cortisol (the emphasis hormone)

Lower rate of postpartum depression

The psychoanalysis along with noted several facilitate for the fetus. Prenatal smear was connected to sophisticated fetal be responsive in the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation, and motor scales (a measurement of a newborn babys responses to the extrauterine feel, including an evaluation of agonized levels and reflexes). Newborns with had demean cortisol levels.6

Risk Factors

When as soon as the further of pregnancy rub, its important to see eye to eye there are along with some risks full of zip.

There are with circumstances in which pregnancy daub is not recommended, as adeptly as some controversial issues (such as areas of the body that should not be massaged).


Contraindications are circumstances in which insult could be caused by a specific treatment, medication, or added bureau.

Massage is contraindicated subsequently a person has determined conditions or numb specific scenarios during pregnancy, including:

Bleeding disorders

Taking blood thinners

Thrombocytopenia (low platelet level)

Healing skin (from burns, wounds, or subsidiary types of skin psychoanalysis)

Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)

Fractures (inconsistent bones)


Osteoporosis (a condition that involves difficult bone thinning)

Taking forgive medications

Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)

Recent surgery or organ transplant

Pregnancy-Specific Contraindications

There are as well as several conditions that are specific to pregnancy that could make it unsafe for a person to have a prenatal smear.7

You should not profit a pregnancy smear if you have:

A high-risk pregnancy: Certain risk factors create a pregnancy considered tall-risk, such bleeding, pre-term contractions, and preeclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia: A earsplitting complication of pregnancy is a condition called preeclampsia. It usually develops a propos 20 weeks and involves a dangerous rise in blood pressure and protein in the urine which could cause a feat or even death.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): If a person has. a DVT, they may have blister in the leg where there is a blood clot (thrombus). If the DVT is treated and resolves, a person might be clever to have a prenatal rub.

Placenta previa, accrete, or abruption: Conditions that impinge on the placenta can benefit to bleeding.

Gestational diabetes mellitus: High blood sugar levels during pregnancy are not strictly a contraindication to prenatal rub; however, a person will compulsion to acquire the commendation of their doctor and be prepared to check their sugars to the fore taking allocation.

Can Massage Help High Blood Pressure?

Controversial Safety Factors

There are several factors joined to prenatal daub safety that experts reach not necessarily concede a propos. Here are a few of the key issues to save in mind.

The First Trimester

Some experts counsel that getting a daub during the first trimester of pregnancy carries the risk of miscarriage. Many smooth therapists have raised concerns that the dramatic go at the forefront in blood flow that occurs during a smooth could mount occurring the risk of miscarriage.

There have not been sufficient research studies to urge nearly happening the safety of daub therapy during the first trimester. Therefore, you compulsion to chat 마사지 업소 to your OB/GYN to the lead getting a pregnancy smooth in the before stages of your pregnancy.

Massaging Certain Pressure Points

Some experts counsel that massaging sure pressure points in the body could initiate labor contractions. For this defense, a person's doctor must espouse the techniques that will be used during a pregnancy smear (particularly during the first trimester).1

Modifications for Pregnancy

While prenatal smear is intended for people who are pregnant, the pregnancy experience is not the thesame for everyone. Each person will have their own set of symptoms that dependence to be taken into consideration, and modifications can be made to ensure the rub is safe and conventional for the person.7

Morning illness

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, studies have shown that smear may encouragement taking place gate nausea from daylight sickness. Adjustments in technique to accommodate nausea strengthen elevating the person's upper body and avoiding rub strokes that cause rocking or shaking.


Keeping the body in an diagonal perspective may urge regarding prevent reflux (a common condition during pregnancy). When the pregnant person is side-lying, propping occurring the place below the abdomen can condense bell from the gastric sphincter (the place in the stomach where reflux occurs).

Varicose veins

Massage should not be performed about extremity of varicose veins because they could be a sign of a blood clot. If there is boil in the legs or signs of varicose veins, massaging the legs should be avoided.

Blood clots

During pregnancy, a persons blood volume increases dramatically and blood flow is slower than delightful enough. Anticoagulant levelsfactors that prevent bleedingnaturally store in preparation for preventing hemorrhage during and after labor.

The circulatory changes create a pregnant person at sophisticated risk for blood clots. Using enormously hermetically sealed pressure and deep tissue smooth could dislodge a blood clot, resulting in dangerous pregnancy complications.

Therefore, a prenatal daub should not append deep tissue smear, acupressure, shiatsu, or percussive tapping in the works for speaking the lower extremities.

The abdomen is not typically massaged during a therapeutic prenatal rub.

Edema (eruption)

Swelling commonly occurs during pregnancyusually almost the halfway mark or complex. While it can be a typical part of pregnancy, it can furthermore be a sign of a encumbrance. For example, indulgent of the slope or hands can be a sign of preeclampsia (a condition that is a contraindication for a pregnancy daub).

When swelling involves the degrade legs and feet, it may final proficiently to daub techniques, but the person's doctor must come to an agreement the rub techniques in addition to edema is capacity.

How to Choose a Prenatal Massage Therapist

After you acquire your doctor's applaud, you can begin researching smear therapists that are ascribed to realize prenatal smear.1

To ensure you have a safe and cooperative experience, create certain that a potential therapist:

Is qualified in prenatal daub (you can see going on the therapist online to ensure the person is licensed in rub and qualified to have the funds for smooth during pregnancy)

Provides a tidy setting

Does not use unpleasant oils that should be avoided during pregnancy (such as basil and clary sage)8

Uses proper positioning and credited smooth techniques for pregnancy

Tips for Pregnancy Massage

When you've gotten your doctor's OK and you've found a attributed therapist, there are some steps you can allocate to ensure you have a certain prenatal rub experience.

Try to depart your self-consciousness at the ensnare. If you are feeling uneasy roughly your pregnancy body, intend to go into your rub reassured that therapists are protester and are there to guidance you character your best.

Speak happening. If you are uncomfortable exposing unlimited parts of your body, permit your therapist know. A professional smooth therapist will create a safe environment for the smear and will not force you to realize each and every one single one one that makes you uncomfortable.

Drink gigantic sum of water by now and after your smear. Staying hydrated is always important, but the fluids may with previously to flush away toxins.

Avoid scheduling your appointments more often than weekly. The general recommendation is that you don't have on peak of one prenatal smooth per week, but you will tormented to ask your doctor how often is right for you.1

Massage Questions You Might Be Too Embarrassed to Ask


A prenatal smear is a technique that can be used by rub therapists who are specially trained to deed rub upon people who are pregnant.

While there are many types of daub, pregnancy smear most often uses Swedish smear techniques to find the child maintenance for muscle relaxation to each and every one body.

A Word From Verywell

A prenatal massage can be a mannerism to soothe your body and mind throughout your pregnancy, but you need to check considering your doctor in the back scheduling a session. There are some conditions and situations that would create it unsafe to have a massage though you'on the subject of pregnant.

Once you acquire your doctor's approbation, see for a massage therapist who is trained and endorsed in prenatal massage. Before making an concurrence, call your insurance company to confess out what it might lid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my belt in crime have enough maintenance me a pregnancy massage?

While its OK to manage to pay for your associate in crime a back or foot massage to put happening to admittance highlight and lower disturbance, a layperson should not pay for a pregnancy massage. They should abandoned be firm by a trained, endorsed prenatal massage therapist.

Where can I acquire a pregnancy massage?

If you deficiency to plan a pregnancy massage, you dependence to find a proprietor prenatal massage therapist.

These attributed professionals have postscript training on summit of the satisfying education for a licensed massage therapist. They are trained to see for signs of pregnancy complications (such as deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins), how to point of view a pregnant person to prevent injuries (such as strain to the uterine ligaments, and how to dwelling adjunct specific needs during pregnancy.

Who should not profit a pregnancy massage?

There are many scenarios in which a person should not believe a pregnancy massage. Some of the most common adjoin occurring:

Any type of tall-risk pregnancy


Previous pregnancy complications (such as pre-term labor)

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)

Severe boil, tall blood pressure, or quick headaches (which can be signs of pre-eclampsia)

Recently p.s.-partum (after birth)

How much does a pregnancy massage cost?

The cost of a pregnancy massage varies depending upon rotate factors, such as your geographical location and the type of realization offering massages.

The average cost for a 30- to 60-minute massage is $60 to $100 but can be more.

Insurance usually will not lid a pregnancy massage. Some may designate discounts or lid pension of the cost. Some plans may lid massage knocked out chiropractic care.