Some of my favorite experiences as a massage therapist are with pregnant patients. From the moment they tell me that they are expecting new life up until they deliver is just incredible. I consider it an honor being one of the lucky few who get to witness the transformation (especially if it’s from the first trimester). As many can imagine, the human body is capable of tremendous things and during pregnancy is no different. The body just knows what needs to be done during the whole process. Joints become softer to allow more flexibility, organs reposition themselves, new networks for blood circulation are created and this all happens in 10 months!
During the first trimester, there is a higher risk of miscarriage which is a natural termination of the pregnancy before the fetus has reached viability. Because of this fact, it is strongly recommended that women do not receive massage during their first trimester. If there are conditions or factors that increase the risk for complications then massage should be postponed until written permission from a doctor or maternity specialist is given. These risks often include:
- Fetal genetic disorders
- Maternal illnesses: diabetes mellitus; chronic hypertension; cardiac, renal, connective tissue, or liver disorders
- Rh-negative mother, or genetic problems, including diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure, and other uterine abnormalities
- Drug or other hazardous materials exposure
- Multiple gestation (twins or triplets)
- Mother’s age under 20 yrs and more than 35 yrs (some sources specify under 17 and more than 40 yrs)
- Complications in previous pregnancies
Can you get a massage after you deliver the baby?
ABSOLUTELY!! In fact, I highly encourage it. As soon as the mother receives the green light from her doctor or midwife after birth, a massage can be just what she needs.
Jennifer Roldan, massage therapist at Northwest Wellness in Federal Way