The biggest misconception about prenatal massage that we frequently hear is that it is unsafe during the first trimester of pregnancy. The greatest concern is that receiving massage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage. The reality is that massage, during any trimester, is a perfectly safe way to help the mother-to-be integrate the changes occurring within her body and provide relief from common discomforts of pregnancy when performed by a trained prenatal massage therapist. Although miscarriages are common during the 1st trimester, it has never been legally or scientifically attributed to massage therapy. In the majority of cases, miscarriage occurs during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy because the fetus is nonviable. Prenatal massage is performed with a lighter to more moderate pressure, as not to overstimulate the pregnant client's circulatory system, and consideration is made to any current nausea the client may have. To establish whether certain modifications need to be made to the care of the prenatal client or determine whether contraindications to receiving prenatal massage are present, the first step during any prenatal massage appointment is to discuss the health history of the current and any previous pregnancies. To err on the side of caution, if the therapist is unsure if prenatal massage is appropriate at this time the client is referred back to their midwife or OB for confirmation.
There are several reasons why prenatal massage is beneficial during the first trimester especially. One reason is relief from upper back pain associated with the weight of increasing breast size. Another is the relief massage therapy provides for hormonal changes and stress within the body, as well as the migraines and headaches that these changes and stresses are commonly associated with. If you have any questions regarding whether prenatal massage and if you could benefit from it, please feel free to give our office a call!
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