Many massage chair manufacturers do not recommend using a massage chair at any stage of pregnancy. However, there is no clinical data to suggest there are any specific contra-indications.
There is no evidence that the mechanics or the electro-magnetic fields will harm either you or your baby. We are surrounded by electrical goods, environmental factors, and stresses every day. A baby is protected by layers of muscle and fluid to keep it safe.
Why Do Manufacturers Not Recommend Massage Chairs In Pregnancy?
There is some controversy surrounding trigger points or pressure points in the back causing premature labor. However, there is little evidence to support this.
Manufacturers of massage chairs obviously err on the side of caution due to any litigation issues. Massage chairs are safe to use for most people but not all massage chairs are created equal.
It would not make any sense to sit in a massage chair which is too severe for your needs. Some chairs can be quite aggressive and cause low level injury, inflammation and discomfort.
If you already have a massage chair that you use regularly you can adjust the setting for a more gentle massage. Be aware of your own body and how you feel having a massage. The benefits can be enormous, inducing a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Mental Health Benefits Of Massage In Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be one of the most stressful times of your life. So finding something to reduce stress and anxiety is always a plus! Not only does a massage of any kind induce the ‘feel good’ factor for both your physical health but also emotional and psychological. A calm mother is preferable to one who is stressed out, tired, and irritable.
Types Of Massage Chair
MASSAGE CUSHIONS – These range from small cushions that you place on your lower back whilst sitting in a normal chair, to a cushion that is placed onto a chair and can massage the whole back and even the shoulders.
ROLLER MASSAGE – A full body massage chair which uses rollers.
AIR MASSAGE – a series of airbags inflate and deflate to mimic a massage therapist.
VIBRATION MASSAGE – these are usually less sophisticated chairs and are not meant to be ‘therapeutic’ but recreational.
Choosing The Right Massage Chair For You
This will depend on your needs, your home, your budget. You can buy a simple massage cushion such as this one which is less than $50 or a larger cushion such as this one. A full body massage chair with all the bells and whistles such as this could cost thousands. However, you can combine a massage cushion with a foot massager such as this if you are on a tight budget.
- One thing to consider – lower leg massage during pregnancy is not recommended due to higher risks of dislodging any blood clot in the lower limbs. If you feel pain, have redness, or discomfort in your calf muscles discuss this with your health provider. Many full-body massage chairs have leg massages integral to the chair. If this is the case switch off this feature, if you can’t switch it off then it would be advisable to not use that particular model.
Lower Back Pain In Third Trimester
Lower back pain in later stage pregnancy is common. Your ligaments and muscles are changing to accommodate a growing baby after all! Don’t be alarmed if you do experience back pain, but be aware that pain in the lower back can be a sign of preterm labor. If you have intermittent lower back pain contact your doctor or midwife for advice.
Is It Safe To Massage At All In Pregnancy?
Yes totally! A gentle massage can ease aches and pains, help to reduce swelling, induce a sense of well-being and a massage is always good!
The reflexology trigger points in the lower back will not induce labor unless your baby is ready to be born.
The benefits of a massage far outweigh any risks. If you do go into labor after a back massage, the chances are you would’ve gone into labor anyway. But as I said earlier, if you are at all concerned speak to your health provider.
Pregnancy lasts for about 280 days or 40 weeks. A preterm or premature baby is delivered before 37 weeks. So if you are 39 weeks your body is preparing to give birth.
Best Massage For Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy
Reducing Stress And Anxiety In Pregnancy
Many studies have shown that reducing stress and anxiety in pregnancy can be beneficial to both the baby and the mother.
This is easier said than done for many busy women who may still be working, have young children, and are juggling a busy life!
If you can find any way to help you relax whether it be yoga, mindfulness, going for a walk, listening to meditation or music, or massage then all is good!
ACOG – Can I get a massage while pregnant https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/can-i-get-a-massage-while-pregnant
ACOG – Back Pain During Pregnancy – https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/back-pain-during-pregnancy
Science Direct – Identification and management of pregnancy-related low back pain https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091218298000329
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology – The effects of acute relaxation on indices of anxiety during pregnancy – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01674820500139922
NCBI – Anxiety, depression and stress in pregnancy: implications for mothers, children, research, and practice – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447112/
Webmed – Less Stress for Healthier Mom, Baby – https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/less-stress-for-healthier-mom-baby#1