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For the most part, pregnancy is an exciting journey. You get to closely monitor your baby’s growth and it keeps you in constant anticipation of their arrival. Regardless, pregnancy can only keep you over the moon for so long. When the body pains seem to meddle in your routine non-stop around the clock, something needs to be done.
Nowadays, more pregnant women have started to incorporate alternative therapies into their daily routine to ease the pregnancy journey. Among the various therapies that they go for, massage therapy is one that is becoming increasingly popular. Most to-be mothers have their own ways to combat their body aches, but a study shows that over 60% of pregnant women chose massage therapy over other activities like acupuncture, relaxation, and yoga. The same study also reported that prenatal massage can greatly benefit a pregnant woman along with the baby she carries.
Sadly, there are many pregnancy massage myths and misconceptions spread by massage schools, online forums, and sometimes even by the massage therapists themselves. Such baseless information can cause worry and distrust among many expectant mothers, resulting in them avoiding pregnancy massages while carrying the baby, and even postnatal massages which can be extremely beneficial to them.
So what are some of the most famous and widely-spread myths and misconceptions about prenatal massage? Let’s have a look at them one by one.
1. Pregnancy Massage Can Lead to Miscarriages
The truth cannot be further away from this. Although miscarriages can be caused by a lot of reasons, prenatal massage is not one of them. Among the common reasons for miscarriages are maternal age, improper implantation of the fertilised egg, use of drugs, trauma, and others. Not to mention, miscarriages are more prone to happen during the first trimester, which is why many massage service providers only accept clients who are already in the second trimester and beyond.
2. The Massage Shouldn’t Continue for the Entire Pregnancy
This myth was developed from the fear of hurting the pregnant mother and the baby she carries. In actuality, your body is much tougher than you give it credit for – yes, even when pregnant. For one, it manages to carry a growing baby for months. Not to mention, many women have come forward to share how their pregnancy was made easier due to the massage therapy. Unless the doctor has informed you to stay away from pregnancy massages, you are free to get them anytime you want (although most massage therapist would not perform the massage if you are still under 12 weeks pregnant). If you are worried the massage might be too rough on you or your baby, inform the massage therapist. They will be able to reduce the intensity and pressure while avoiding sensitive areas based on how you like it.
3. Massaging the Ankles or Feet Can Cause Miscarriage or Induce Labour
This is a harmful myth that often leads pregnant women to believe that massage therapies can cause miscarriages or induce labour. Thus, they end up not getting the relaxing massage at all and would rather deal with body aches that are getting unbearable day by day. Contrary to what you have been led to believe all this while, pregnancy massage does not cause any of those. As a matter of fact, pregnancy massage therapists would avoid massaging body parts that are particularly sensitive for to-be mothers.
Foot massages can actually be beneficial for pregnant mothers like you as you may experience tired and swollen ankles due to the increasing weight of the baby and water retention. As long as the masseuse is an experienced practitioner who knows how to remove the tension in the feet, this type of pregnancy massages is not harmful at all.
Do not confuse pregnancy massage with another type of massage known as labour massage which is meant to help in inducing labour. You should only get the latter when you have reached or passed your EDD. There is a clear distinction between the two in which pregnancy massage only eases your discomforts during pregnancy while the labour massage can help you to bring on labour naturally.
4. You Must Provide Clearance Letter from the Doctor Before Getting the Massage
If the general practitioner (GP) or the gynecologist (GYN) has stated that you should not have a pregnancy massage as it might compromise the pregnancy, there is often a medical reason behind it. In such situations, your therapist may request to see a clearance letter before proceeding with the massage. Other than that, there is no such requirement for a clearance letter from the doctor.
Contraindications for Massage during Pregnancy:
It is always better to refer to someone who is in the know regarding such matters. If you are uncertain about your health condition and whether you can get a massage or not, you may consult your doctor. If the doctor has asked you to stay away from pregnancy massage, chances are you have recently experienced or are currently experiencing recent bleeding, high blood pressure, sudden onset of headaches, or other medical conditions.
You May Also Read this : Should You Get a Prenatal Massage Nearing Your EDD?
Putting aside all myths and misconceptions, prenatal massage can do wonders in easing your pregnancy. Pregnancy massage can combat water retention and reduce swellings caused by it. It can also improve circulation, thus treating issues like cramps, muscle tension, and headaches. Prenatal massage reduces stress and helps you to relax through the discomforts by releasing the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your body.
Until they can be proven true or otherwise with the support of valid and legitimate research, all that are listed above will always remain as what they are – myths and misconceptions. No matter what the consensus is, you should be the one to decide on proceeding with things that you believe are good for your body. So, instead of continuously wondering whether you should get a massage or not, sit back, relax, and call up a professional masseuse for your pregnancy massage!