You’re pregnant — congratulations! But while you wait for your little munchkin to arrive, you’ve got to deal with a sore back, a heavy belly, and the discomfort that’s typical of pregnancy including morning sickness, cramps, swelling, and back pain.
For centuries, pregnant women have experienced great comfort and relaxation through massages.
Massage therapy during pregnancy can work miraculously towards relieving stress, reducing muscle tension, soreness, and improving your overall health.
Pregnant women are plagued with back pain all through the course of their pregnancy, sometimes much after.
So, if you’re toying with the question — can I use a back massager while pregnant, the short answer is generally, yes, and here’s why!
Is it Safe to Use a Back Massager While Pregnant?
Certain scientific studies indicate that massage therapy can offer a plethora of benefits for pregnant women.
These benefits include better sleep and improved mood, relieving nerve pan and sciatica pain by relaxing the muscles, and most importantly reducing edema (joint swelling).
With regards to specific back massages, doctors recommend that you avoid lying on your back after approximately 22 weeks, because it can affect the nerve that delivers blood and nutrients to your baby.
But with back massagers, you do not have to lie in a sleeping position, but can sit upright with your back against the massager, so you won’t cause any harm to any nerves in your body.
In fact, you can use a back massager at any stage of pregnancy other than the first trimester, but it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor before engaging in any form of treatment.
4 Benefits of Using a Back Massager While Pregnant
1. Back Massager Helps Regulate Hormones
Prenatal massages help regulate several key hormones in your body, most notably serotonin and dopamine — hormones that relieve stress, and promote cardiovascular health, and regulation of moods.
2. Reduces Swelling
A back massager can help treat edema — swelling in your feet, ankles and hands throughout pregnancy. It does this by pushing the excess fluid from certain areas that cause this swelling. Further, back massagers also remove toxic tissue waste vis your lymph nodes.
3. Eases Pain in the Nerves
As your belly grows in your later stages of pregnancy, it tends to add pressure on your lower back and pelvic floor, causing the nerves in the vicinity to swell up.
Sometimes referred to as sciatica pain, the pain due to the pressure of a full uterus can be felt in your thighs and legs. A back massager can provide relief from the discomfort of a heavy belly by relieving tension in the nerves.
4. Improves Blood Circulation
Certain changes in the body could increase a pregnant women’s risk of blood clots in the lower legs. Back massagers can facilitate blood movement thorough the congested areas, resulting in smoother flow of essential nutrients to parts of your body.
Can I Use a Neck Massager While Pregnant?
Apart from your back, pain during pregnancy is also felt in your neck and shoulders. There are several reasons for neck pain during pregnancy including increased hormone production, changes in posture and limited movements.
You can use a neck massager while pregnant, as long as you use it properly. However, there are certain risks you should consider before using a neck massager while pregnant, especially if you’re in your first trimester.
Just like most other massagers, neck massagers increase blood circulation in your body, which is highly beneficial for you overall wellbeing, but on the downside can also be harmful, and cause a miscarriage.
Can I Use a Percussion Massager While Pregnant?
A percussion massager provides rapid, short duration pulses deep into the soft tissues of your body. But if you’re wondering if you can use a percussion massager while pregnant, the answer is yes you can, but only on certain areas of your body such as the neck and upper body.
Percussion massagers are designed to trigger pressure points in your body, resulting in relief from muscle spasm, body pain and stress.
But since percussion massagers are handheld devices, you may find it more comfortable to have your partner or someone else give you a massage.
You can give yourself a massage with a percussion massage gun if you’re confident in using one, but consult your doctor first to ensure that your body can deal with these deep tissue massages.
Can I Use a Foot Massager While Pregnant?
While you may be tempted to get a foot massage when pregnant, there are a few things to keep in mind before getting your feet into the foot massager.
First, there are certain areas of your foot and ankle you should avoid massaging, because they may trigger uterine contractions.
During pregnancy, your blood flow may go through certain changes, which can cause blood clots in your legs.
If you have swollen or reddened feet, it is recommended that you skip the idea of a foot massage, and see your doctor immediately.
After your doctor gives you the green light for a foot massage, you can enjoy several benefits of a foot massage during pregnancy such as reduced depression and anxiety, lower cortisol levels, shortened labor, and less chances of premature birth.
Many of the best foot massagers allow you to choose from several different levels of intensity, but it’s best to always start at the lowest number.
Adding to this, you may want to switch off the heat therapy feature in your foot massager, if you’re getting a massage that’s longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Although we always recommend that you use massagers for 15 to 20 minutes maximum per session anyway.
Massage therapy during pregnancy is generally safe, as long as you use safe techniques.
If you feel any type of discomfort such as light-headed during a massage, you should discontinue the massage immediately, and speak to your doctor.
And again, it is recommended that you consult your doctor first before engaging in any form of massage treatment, given that your body may not accept it as well as other women.