Massage Therapy During Pregnancy

Overview

When you are pregnant, you can use massage therapy to relax and to help relieve muscle tension and pain. But take the following precautions to help make sure that massage is safe.

  • Tell your massage therapist that you are pregnant.
  • Be sure that your massage therapist has special training in pregnancy massage.

    Also check that the therapist is certified by your state or by a national group, such as the American Massage Therapy Association. This ensures that your therapist has a certain level of training and follows safe practice guidelines.

  • Talk with your massage therapist about your body position during massage.

    As your pregnancy progresses, the best positions are sitting on a chair or stool or lying on your side. (The left side is best later in pregnancy.)

    • After 12 weeks of pregnancy (or much earlier if you are carrying twins or more), avoid lying on your belly.
    • After your fourth month of pregnancy, avoid lying on your back.
  • Avoid massage of your belly.

    Firm massage of the pregnant belly could cause serious pregnancy problems.

  • Talk to your doctor before using aromatherapy oils.

    Some essential oils may be unsafe during pregnancy.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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