WellSpan Home

Massage Therapy During Pregnancy

Topic Overview

Massage is rubbing the soft tissues of the body, including the skin and muscles. Massage therapists usually apply pressure with their hands, but they can also use their forearms, elbows, or feet. Some people believe that massage works because the touch is healing. Touch also communicates a sense of caring.

When you are pregnant, you can use massage therapy for relaxation and to help relieve muscle tension and pain. But for massage to be safe during pregnancy, make sure that you:

  • Tell your massage therapist that you are pregnant.
  • Avoid aromatherapy oils, some of which can be unsafe during pregnancy.
  • Avoid massage of your belly. Firm massage of the pregnant belly could cause serious pregnancy complications.
  • Talk with your massage therapist about your body position during massage. There are special tables for use during pregnancy.
    • As your pregnancy progresses, the best positions for you to be in are sitting on a chair or stool, or lying on your side (the left side is best later in pregnancy) during your massage.
    • Starting in mid-pregnancy, avoid lying on your back. This will prevent extra weight from pressing on the major blood vessel called the vena cava.
    • After 12 weeks of pregnancy (or much earlier if you are carrying twins or more), avoid lying on your belly so you don't increase strain and pressure on your uterus and low back.

Be sure that your massage therapist is specially trained in pregnancy massage and is certified by your state or a national body, such as the American Massage Therapy Association. This ensures that your massage therapist has a certain level of training and uses certain practice guidelines.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Current as ofNovember 21, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×