What Are The Benefits & Risks Of Prenatal Massage?

Prenatal Massage

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It’s no secret that pregnancy can be uncomfortable. Below, we’ll outline how a prenatal massage could help your symptoms!

Common complaints during pregnancy include achy shoulders, sore feet, low-back pain, mid-back pain, tingling in the hands, headaches, trouble getting to sleep as you can’t get comfortable and so on. 

The aches of pregnancy are often overlooked; however, when you’re dealing with them daily, they can make even everyday small tasks feel nearly impossible. If you’ve had enough of the prenatal aches and pains, schedule yourself a prenatal massage in Winnipeg that could offer you some relief. You are worth it! After all, moms, you can’t pour from an empty cup; it’s so important to take care of YOU.

Prenatal massages target those typical areas that cause the primary aches and pains of pregnancy. This includes the lower back, the mid-back, the calves, the feet, and even the abdomen. Women can receive typical massages during their first trimester. In the second and third trimester, however, pregnant women should receive specific prenatal massages. The therapists at Fit4Life have a unique pregnancy bolster or cushion that is exceptionally comfortable. It has spaces for your face, hands, chest, and growing belly, which allows you to lay on your stomach comfortably. You are also getting decompression of your lower back at the same time as your massage by gravity pulling your little one gently and slightly away from your spine. Another option is to lay on your side supported by pillows if you’d rather not lay face down.

Ideally, a prenatal massage treatment should leave you feeling less sore and stiff and relieve pressure on your problematic areas while offering gentle relaxation. 

Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage has several other benefits in addition to decreasing pain. Studies demonstrate that these other benefits include improving depression & anxiety/mood, reducing swelling in legs, and promoting better relaxation and quality of sleep.

Reduced swelling

Swelling of the legs and feet is another common symptom of pregnancy. Studies have shown that prenatal massage therapy can reduce the fluid build-up that causes this type of swelling.

Improved symptoms of anxiety, depression, and postpartum depression

Studies have shown that women who attended regular prenatal massage therapy treatments during their pregnancy not only reported decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety in the prenatal period but also had reduced rates of postpartum depression.

Improved Sleep 

Massage therapy releases endorphins, which are natural hormones that provide feelings of well-being and pain relief. These endorphins calm your nervous system, helping you to feel more relaxed and improving your sleep. 

Additionally, regular massage in pregnancy has been shown to decrease pain in labour and shorten labour by up to three hours.

Risks of Prenatal Massage

In nearly all cases, prenatal massage therapy is safe and incredibly beneficial. However, there can be some risks if you don’t have an experienced/qualified registered massage therapist or aren’t sure about your medical history. Below are some guidelines to follow:

  • Avoid deep abdominal massage, especially in the first trimester.
  • Don’t lie on your back after 16 weeks. Instead, the massage should be performed on your side, lying at a 45-degree incline, or on a pregnancy bolster. 
  • Prenatal massage may not be appropriate for everyone. Check with your doctor whether it’s safe for you before scheduling an appointment. They know your medical history best!
  • Massage isn’t a good solution for sudden swelling. This could be a sign of preeclampsia. Ensure you speak to your Physician first.
  • Avoid deep tissue massage in the legs and upper arms. Pregnancy can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots. These clots can sometimes be hard to detect and may not be easily recognized.
  • Avoid the use of certain essential oils which are not safe to use during pregnancy. Some oils have been studied and deemed safe by researchers: Lavender, geranium, bergamot, frankincense, grapefruit, peppermint and neroli.

Contact Fit4Life for a quick consultation

As one of the best physiotherapy clinics in Winnipeg, we will be hapy to assist you!

Call us for a quick consultation at
+1 (204) 813-3484
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If you cannot find an appointment time that best suits you please contact the clinic OR email your physiotherapist and we will do our best to accommodate you!