Massage in the 1st Trimester is Typically Safe

November 5, 2017 Author: Rianne Chavez

If you have just found out you are pregnant, congratulations! I want to assure you that massage is safe at any point during a healthy pregnancy.

I know first-hand that finding a massage therapist that will massage pregnant women can be challenging. Many massage therapists are simply not trained, and kudos to them for not practicing outside of their scope of education. However many clinics and therapists choose to not see women in their 1st trimester because of the perceived liability (because IF a miscarriage is going to happen, it will most likely happen in the 1st trimester). Correlation does not equal causation. They choose to let their own fears persuade their business decisions, instead of looking at the facts and choosing to help people that would benefit from a massage. That’s just really crap-tastic. (In my opinion.)

Pregnant women NEED massage.

the science of massage as part of your prenatal care is compelling.

Massage can:

  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Improve your sleep
  • Help regulate hormones
  • Reduce tension and pain in muscles
  • Reduce swelling
  • Improve nerve pain
  • Increase your cardiovascular health

All of these benefits are helpful to women that are pregnant.

massage is safe at any point during a healthy pregnancy.

Unfortunately, some massage therapists are still saying that massage is not safe in the 1st trimester. Not only is this wrong, but it can be harmful to clients that unfortunately may have a miscarriage and question everything they did before it happened. If you can exercise, have sex, and do most normal activities, there is no reason to think massage is unsafe. (And there is no science to support that it is unsafe.)

Miscarriages happen. According to the National Pregnancy Association 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. The cause of most miscarriages is simply unknown. There can be a chromosomal abnormality, it could be maternal age, excessive drug use, or the implantation did not occur properly.

if a massage therapist, spa, or clinic refuses to massage you during your 1st trimester, i would question what advanced training they have actually had.

It’s a red-flag that if they do have advanced training it wasn’t rooted in an evidence-based program. I would tend to think that their education was based on false information that they choose to continue to spread.

Massage during your 1st trimester (and the following trimesters) would focus on stress-reduction and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Any position, during your 1st trimester, is safe as long as you are comfortable.

Your massage therapist will ask you thorough questions about the health of your pregnancy to make sure that there are no indicators of risk.

Good massage therapists know the error of the inaccurate ways they may have been taught and change not only their thinking, but how they support (or don’t support) the passing on of crappy, harmful information. There is no reason to be complacent by saying “that’s how I was taught” when the evidence doesn’t support it.