If you go to a beauty salon or Spa and book a massage, they will always ask if you are pregnant and in most cases will refuse to give you a massage except where they have specially trained therapists. But does this mean that massage is unsafe in the first trimester?
Is there proof?
In truth there has been no research so we can’t prove it either way, but massage is akin to gentle exercise in that it improves circulation, oxygenates the blood and releases endorphins. As the NHS recommends that pregnant women stay as active as possible during their pregnancy, the implication is that it is both safe and beneficial. So if you’ve enjoyed massage before, it’s a great way to help you adjust to your new adventure.
Why you need massage
The first three months of a pregnancy is a time of incredible change; from a single cell, the baby becomes a recognisably human creature measuring 5cm long and women experience a tremendous range of symptoms, which might include a storm of conflicting emotions and symptoms;
- Extreme tiredness
- Worries about miscarriage
- Concerns about being a parent
- Hormonal changes
- Conflict about body image
This is a time when most women can really use some confidential support, nourishment and me-time especially as they may not want to tell family and friends about their pregnancy until later.
Benefits of massage in first trimester
A massage during this period will, as massage always should, be guided by what feels good for you.
There’s not doing to be much work around the pelvis or on the belly and most newly pregnant women naturally don’t want that. The focus for the massage will be on
- Creating more awareness of your body
- Settling your body and hormones
- Providing reassurance that your body knows how to do this amazing thing
- Reducing anxiety
- Promoting calmness.
- Dissolving muscular tension
- Allowing the physical and mental space for the idea of a baby to grow
- Connecting with your baby
When shouldn’t you get a massage?
There are times when you should not get a massage during the first trimester, if you have any of these symptoms, you should ask for advice from your midwife or GP.
- Vaginal bleeding (which often occurs in a normal pregnancy that is brought to term)
- Pelvic cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Dull ache in lower back
- Clot-like fluid or tissue from the vagina
- Fever, weakness
Go for it!
In summary,yes! It is safe to have a massage in the first trimester if you think you’ll enjoy it. I have two pieces of advice;
- Find an especially trained therapist
- Ring her up and see if you feel comfortable with her
- If the massage doesn’t feel good, tell your therapist and ask her to work differently.
If you are looking for a pregnancy massage therapist in Hertfordshire, do get in touch through my pregnancy massage website . Otherwise have a look at the Well Mother directory. All therapists trained at Well Mother are highly skilled and will be able to answer any questions you may have.