Pregnancy Massage: The Pros and Cons

Brent Wells Apr 15, 2019
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Getting a good massage can be extremely relaxing, not to mention it offers numerous health benefits such as:
  • Improved circulation
  • Stress relief
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Pain reprieve
In fact, massage is so helpful that it’s often used by expectant mothers to manage their pregnancy symptoms and reduce the physical discomforts that come with it.

So, is pregnancy massage as safe as it is effective? First, you must understand what it is. Then, you must carefully consider the pros and cons.

What is pregnancy massage?

Pregnancy massage is generally safe and relatively effective, non-surgical treatment option that helps alleviate pain, align joints and protect the musculoskeletal system, especially for active mothers.

An expert Anchorage chiropractor uses specially designed techniques that focus on the unique needs of pregnant women.
Accommodations are made to ensure the mother’s comfort and safety remain secure during a pregnancy massage.

Although each woman is different, most doctors recommend waiting until the second trimester before getting a massage simply because overstimulation of certain nerves can trigger labor.
However, pregnancy massage is so gentle and effective that it’s commonly used to treat post-partum conditions such as stress, hip dysplasia, insomnia and headaches.

Benefits and Drawbacks

The right kind of massage therapy at the right time can have loads of benefits.

Pregnancy massage, for example, may be helpful to some moms who are suffering from extreme stress, body aches, insomnia, nausea, or other gestational-related upsets.

However, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons before making an appointment with your chiropractor.

Pros

It can regulate your hormones

Pregnancy massage naturally increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, promoting better body functioning overall. 

In addition, balanced hormones can help to reduce labor pains and delivery complications.

It can significantly reduce swelling

Because specialized massage can increase blood flow, the swelling that’s often associated with pregnancy may be reduced as a result.

Additionally, water retention may be decreased after gentle stimulation of soft tissues.

It can help with muscle tension and joint pain

Although pregnancy can be one of the most uncomfortable times in a mother’s life, pregnancy massage triggers various pressure points to alleviate pain from muscle stiffness, weight gain and added pressure to the spine.

It improves mood

It’s much easier for a pregnant woman to be in a better mood when her hormones are balanced, her swelling is reduced, her pain is gone and her whole body is relaxed.

Cons

It could cause a blood clot

Because of the sudden increase in blood flow to the extremities during pregnancy massage, it’s possible to experience a blood clot in the legs as a result.

This is why expert chiropractors only use gentle strokes and light pressure.

It can increase the risk of having a miscarriage

The risk of having a miscarriage due to pregnancy massage is already quite low but it's further reduced if you wait until after the first trimester.

While there is no direct link between miscarriage and pregnancy massage, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

About Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College.

He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He, his wife Coni, and their three children live in and enjoy the great outdoors in Alaska.