Having a pregnancy massage is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating therapies a woman can have during pregnancy. When carried out by a highly-skilled professional there are a wide range of benefits to enjoy.
There are some special equipment a massage therapist may use. As well some techniques specific to the person and how far along their pregnancy is. But when you speak with women who have had a pregnancy massage the results are simply amazing.
I have carried out several different types of massage on a number of pregnant women. There are some do’s and dont’s to follow, and some techniques that are much more effective than others.
You should always get the all-clear from your doctor before booking an appointment with a therapist. Every individuals needs are different, and it’s always best to be 100% safe.
Can You Have a Hot Stone Massage When Pregnant
Because hot stone massage is so relaxing and works deep into the client’s muscles and tissue it’s common for pregnant women to ask if they can have a hot stone massage while pregnant.
There are a lot of benefits with all types of massage specific to pregnant women. When looking at hot stone massage in particular, you need to take the following contraindications into account:
- All the usual contraindications apply, these are covered in detail here
- Massages in a woman’s first trimester is advised against
- The reflex points on the hands, feet and ankles should be avoided
- Tapotement and deep-tissue work is advised against on the legs due to the increased risk of blood clots
- Hot stones should not be placed on the abdomen
- A full-body massage cannot be performed in late pregnancy
- The core temperature of the client should not rise
Special attention needs to be paid to a pregnant client’s core temperature when using hot stones. Hot stone massage is used to work on those deep-set muscular problems. While you can use these techniques on certain area’s of their body, the whole process is contraindicated.
If there are some particular aches, pains or muscle damage in the lower back or neck you can work on these areas. But as mentioned previously, be careful not to raise the client’s core temperature.
During the gestation period many pregnant women are warmer than they would typically be. So cold stone treatments can be very soothing and offer particular therapeutic value at this time. Always offer these treatments and incorporate them into a massage session where applicable.
So while you cannot have a complete hot stone therapy, you can have some relaxing techniques involving stones. Always be sure to go to a professional, qualified therapist. As a pregnant woman you will experience a relaxing, rejuvenating, stress reducing, and wonderful experience.
Is a Hot Stones Massage Safe in Early Pregnancy?
A short answer to this is, no. I outlined all of the contraindications of a hot stone massage above. Along with the exceptions and techniques than can be used with stones while a client is pregnant. With early pregnancy however, you need to be even more cautious.
Professional massage therapists will not book anyone for a pregnancy massage until at least the 2nd trimester. Usually airing on the side of caution and waiting until the client is 8 or 9 weeks along.
While it can, and probably will be perfectly safe for the client to have a massage, this is the standard you will find. It’s largely due to liability and being overly cautious due to the delicate situation. Miscarriages are most common in the 1st trimester, and it’s advisable a mother-to-be gets safety past this point without any complications.
Still, after the 1st trimester it’s advisable for women to avoid hot stone massages. There are lots of other therapies available that do not involve heat, and these offer all the benefits you want when having a massage.
Is Deep Tissue Massage Safe during Pregnancy?
There is some debate over whether or not a pregnant woman should have a deep-tissue massage. The easy answer is that you should always be careful to only massage areas that are safe and require attention.
Again, it’s not advisable in the first trimester as with other forms of massage. So second trimester onward you can make inquiries with your therapist. Often you need to gain feedback from your therapist if they are comfortable and experienced with deep-tissue massage and pregnancy.
This therapy can be quite beneficial. It’s great at reducing swelling and painful joints that some women experience with pregnancy. By working on the pressure points on the wrists, hands and ankles a lot of pain can be relieved.
Larger muscle groups like the legs should not be massaged as there is an increased risk of blood clots during pregnancy. Deep-tissue work can dislodge any clots and cause some serious health risks.
It’s advisable you seek medical clearance from your doctor before progressing.
Hot Stone Massage Contraindications during Pregnancy
Contraindications related to hot stone therapy include;
- Blood clots or thrombosis
- Fever and sickness
- Recent surgeries
- Open sores or cuts
- Skin conditions
Extra care to be taken if you suffer from any of the following;
- Previously had a stroke
- Multiple Sclerosis
- High blood pressure
Information regarding Massage While Pregnant First Trimester
You should not be having a massage during your first trimester. However some therapists will carry out some massage techniques if really necessary. This will be Swedish massage techniques mostly, no hot stone, deep-tissue work or movements with impact.
A lot of the reason behind the decision for most practices not to offer massages to women in their first trimester is due to liability. Should anything happen to the unborn baby as a resort of the massage or not, there is a potential lawsuit if the women did have a massage.
There is also the issue of morning sickness being worsened. If a woman is suffering from morning sickness, then a massage can aggravate the symptoms and make for an uncomfortable experience.
There are therapists who are certified in Prenatal Massage and specialize in this area. You should always seek out a therapist qualified and experienced in this area. They will understand your exact requirements and offer you a range of treatments that are safe, relaxing, and will help make your pregnancy a more enjoyable one.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.