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Ah yes, a massage. One of the simpler pleasures of life. From a quick kneading on your shoulder to a full-on body massage, a massage never fails to help you relax and make your day a little bit better. Be it an injury, tense muscles or just plain stress, a massage is an ideal solution to so many discomforts.
Now that you’re pregnant, things are a little bit different than when you were not carrying a human within you. While it is fine – even encouraged – for you to get a massage when you’re pregnant, there are some parts of your body that you must avoid massaging, especially if you are doing it on your own or you ask someone who is not qualified to perform a prenatal massage. Naturally, this leads to myths about what you can or cannot massage when pregnant. Let’s get right into it!
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Massaging Your Feet, Hands, and Abdomen during Pregnancy:
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Ever been tickled on your feet? I bet you couldn’t handle it for more than a few seconds. That’s because your feet are really sensitive. Now that pregnancy is upon you, your senses are heightened as a way for your body to better protect itself and the baby better. That is all fine and well, but there are some downsides to this.
Certain parts of your feet and lower legs become “switches” during pregnancy, being able to trigger reactions regarding your pregnancy. The 3 spots on the legs to be avoided are: the reflexology areas around the ankles, SP6 acupressure point, urinary bladder 60, and urinary bladder 67.
The reflexology areas around the ankles are thought to be directly connected to the uterus and ovaries. The SP6 acupressure point also controls the muscles in the lower abdomen. The urinary bladder 60 and urinary bladder 67 points, which are located in between the Achilles tendon and heel, and on the baby toe respectively, also can induce labour if too much pressure is applied, according to acupuncture.
However, many of these have also been debunked as mere myths and it is claimed that massages on these spots do not cause any induced labour. Regardless, it is up to you to make choices according to what your body can take.
Yeah, massaging your hands is also highly discouraged during pregnancy. See that meaty strip of flesh in between your thumb and index finger? That’s a no-go zone for the masseuse. Also known as the Hegu, massaging this area can cause contractions. Again, not all mothers will experience it this way.
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Your baby bump is probably the most sensitive part of your body now. Applying intense pressure on it can stimulate contractions which may cause early labour. It is best to avoid massaging your abdomen altogether, unless you feel that your body can absolutely take it and your doctor gives you the go-ahead. And even then, make sure to go to a professionally-trained massage therapist who knows the right kinds of massage, techniques, and pressure to apply on a pregnant mother!
Frequently Asked Questions about Prenatal Massage
We also compile some of the most frequently asked questions that we often get from our clients. If you have ever wondered whether any parts of the body should not be touched or massaged in pregnancy, you may find all the answers here!
Can I have a massage when pregnant?
Yes, of course! We highly recommend you get the massage for pregnancy after 28 weeks of pregnancy, and latest by 2 weeks before your estimated due date. You can still get a pregnancy massage between the 16th and 27th week, but make sure to get a green light from your doctor or gynaecologist first!
Is it OK to massage a pregnant woman?
Yes, it is okay to message an expectant mom. To be safe, you can look for any “pregnancy massage near me” for a professional massage. This is because there could be certain body parts that you should avoid which regular people may not know of, which brings us to the next question:
Which areas to avoid in pregnancy massage?
While a pregnant massage is generally safe when done by trained experts, we understand that some moms prefer to get a massage by their close loved ones. Some areas that you might want to avoid or at least not put as much pressure when massaging are the abdomen, breast, and certain pressure points.
What pressure points should be avoided during pregnancy?
Every woman is different, and so is how their body reacts to massage during pregnancy. If your body is particularly sensitive and can be easily stimulated, you should avoid massaging pressure points like 3 fingers above your ankles and the area between your thumb and forefinger.
Can you massage feet when pregnant?
Sure you can! In fact, the feet are one of the parts that are most affected by water retention in pregnancy and massage is an ideal treatment for that. Massaging feet while pregnant helps relieve the swellings and cramps you experience, especially due to the heavy bump you’re carrying.
What part of the foot should not be massaged during pregnancy?
Related to the previous question, if you are worried about pressure points, one part to leave out in a foot massage pregnancy steps is the area about three fingers above your ankle bone, a pressure point known as Sanyinjioa or SP6. Why? See the next question for further explanation.
Why should you not massage ankles when pregnant?
Certain pressure points can be too much for to-be mothers whose body is particularly sensitive or reactive to stimulations. It is believed that massaging ankles during pregnancy – or the pressure points – can stimulate early contractions and compromise the fragile condition of a pregnant mom.
What positions should be avoided during pregnancy?
You should avoid lying on your stomach, especially when your bump is already showing and big. Unlike postnatal massage, you won’t have to lie on your tummy in a pregnancy massage. Your back will still be massaged to treat the hip and back aches, but you only have to lie on your right or left side.
All in all, just remember to not cut any corner or take unnecessary risks, especially regarding you and your soon-to-be-born baby. Knowing is half the battle done. Since you now know what NOT to do, it is time to do what you should!
If you are looking for a pre pregnancy massage without any worries, try getting it from our professional therapists at Postnatal Massage Singapore! We are only one call away and available every day from 9 AM – 6 PM at +65 6417 9690.
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