Can I Use an Electric Neck Massager While Pregnant | Are They Safe?


Yes you can use an electric neck massager while pregnant and they are safe as long as you consider a few things first. A deep tissue massage is great for the neck and  shoulders but not the lower back and obviously not the tummy. 

 I have been doing some research on the best hand-held massagers to use when you’re pregnant and here is a more in-depth article looking at some of the pros and cons of the different types of massagers available. 


Is it safe to have a neck massage while pregnant?

Having a gentle yet effective massage  will be beneficial to anyone, but especially if you have a bump.

Yes it is safe to have a neck massage while pregnant and it’s often a fabulous way to relax. This is especially true if you are still working long hours.  If you can find somebody to give you a nice neck and shoulder massage then you’re in luck, if not you can get an electric neck and shoulder massager which does a great job too.

 It is clear from research that having a massage while pregnant is safe and can reduce stress, enhance sleep, and promotes an overall sense of well-being. This is good for the mother and baby, if you are relaxed and stress free so is your baby. It’s also nice to feel pampered and cared for and there’s nothing feels better than a shoulder rub!

Tension in the shoulders and neck area builds up over the day so a massage before you go to bed is great. It’s obviously great at any time but especially when you’re pregnant and feeling a bit overwhelmed


Some of my other articles on massage and pregnancy:


Is it safe to use an electric neck massager while pregnant

Yes it is safe to use an electric neck massager while you are pregnant but you have to be careful that you choose the right type of massager. 

Some hand held massagers are called percussion massagers or percussion massage guns. They are designed to give a deep vibrating massage which penetrates deep into the muscle fibres.

This type of massage may be a bit too harsh for the shoulders especially if you are pregnant. 

Many electric neck massagers have a long handle design which makes it much easier to reach the back of your neck and shoulders yourself.

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Some other designs of massager available wrap around the neck and shoulders some are designed like a pillow you place behind your neck. Another type looks like a choker and are quite small and fit around the neck itself. these are obviously just made for neck massage rather than neck and shoulder.

The massagers designed with a long handle can be used in other areas of the body such as  the feet, lower legs, lower back and arms. However. do not use a vibrating or percussion massager on the lower leg or lower back while pregnant.

This can be dangerous due to due the changes in circulation during pregnancy.


What types of massage is safe during pregnancy?

Gentle stroking massage is fine during pregnancy though many professional massage therapists will avoid any type of massage during the first trimester.

If you do decide a massage would help you there are some areas of the body to avoid such as the lower back, abdomen and lower legs.


What areas should you avoid massage during pregnancy?

There are a few areas of your body to avoid massaging while you are pregnant.

It’s Important not to massage certain areas when pregnant as this can be dangerous for both you and the baby. Massaging the feet gently is great but not the lower llegs and calf muscles as this can also be dangerous due to the changes in circulation during pregnancy. 

Blood may have pulled in the lower calf muscle and if you have to vigorous massage this can dislodge a clot that may have formed which can travel to the lungs and be life-threatening so avoid massaging calves and thighs full stop.

It is also not advisable to massage too vigorously the lower back but gentle stroking massage is fine but not a deep tissue massage as this can over stimulate the lower back muscles which again could cause issues with the pregnancy. 

Massaging the tummy area is probably not a great idea except for gentle hand massage with stroking not a deep tissue massage. 


How can I relieve neck tension during pregnancy?

A gentle massage is a great way to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders during pregnancy. If you can persuade your partner or a friend to give you a regular massage this is great! If not you could try an electric neck massager such as this one on Amazon – SKG Smart Neck Massager


Why is massage dangerous during pregnancy?

Massage in itself is not dangerous during pregnancy but there are some issues you should be aware of. There is nothing better than a gentle massage when you’re tired feel lumpy and bumpy and out of sorts. However, it is clear from research, massaging certain areas of the body while pregnant is not advised due to the higher risk of danger to pregnancy.

 So the question, why is it dangerous to massage during pregnancy is a little misleading as you can massage in certain areas such as the shoulders, neck, feet, hands and arms. 

Massaging the lower back is potentially dangerous especially if it’s a deep tissue massage so avoid this. Massaging the lower limbs again, is not advised due to to the possibility of blood clots in the lower legs which if you have a deep tissue massage can dislodge the clot.  This can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism which can be life threatening.


There are mainly two areas on the body that you should avoid massaging while pregnant.

These include the inside and outside of both ankles. This is due to the fundamental principles of reflexology. If you do not accept reflexology as a proven science just avoid massaging the ankles and calf muscles anyway. 

This is based on medical science as the changes in circulation during pregnancy can cause some issues with blood flow in the lower limbs. This is not in itself unusual but if there is a chance of clots forming in the vesele of the calf and thigh muscles it would be very dangerous to dislodge these. 

If you think you have developed a clot you should consult your midwife or doctor immediately as this can be easily remedied but if left can be life threatening.

*how to spot if you may have a DVT (blood clot in your lower leg)

  • Skin may be warm to the touch, red and/or swollen, 
  • Pain in your ankle or foot. 
  • Cramp you can’t get rid of

Other areas of the body to avoid massaging include the lower abdomen as as there is a risk of damage if if the massage is too deep.


Is it safe to use an electric vibrating neck massager during pregnancy?

Yes the choker type electric vibrating massagers are very safe to use during pregnancy. There are a number of different makes but this one from SG is one of the best – here is the link on Amazon if you want a closer look.



Can you get a deep tissue massage when you’re pregnant?

There is differing opinion as to how safe a deep tissue massage is while pregnant. Many professional massage therapists often won’t attempt any form of massage in the first trimester due to the high risk of miscarriage. 

However if you are massaging yourself or have a partner or friend massage you at home there are certain areas that you can massage safely. For example, the shoulder area and the bottom of the feet are fine to massage but obviously avoid lower back and calf muscles.


What type of Electric Neck Massager is safe to use in while pregnant?

There are many different types of electric neck massager to choose from. Because of their design a specific electric neck massager will only target that area.

If you choose one of the long handled hand-held massagers designed for use all over the body be aware that you shouldn’t use it for anywhere other than the shoulders and perhaps the bottom of the feet. Never use it on the lower back or the calf or thigh muscles. 

For this reason, I would advise you to try one of the choker neck massage devices or the over the shoulder type. But for preference the choker type would probably be the safest with no chance of of over stimulating sensitive areas of the lower back or lower legs etc 

Here is one of the choker type neck massagers – the SKG Smart Neck Massager.


Types of electric neck massager massager

There are many different types of shoulder and neck massager from pillows, wrap around and percussion massagers. Here are a few on Amazon if you want a closer look –

SKG Smart Neck Massager 
neck massager during pregnancy
Papillon Neck Massager,Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
pregnancy massager for neck
Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
neck and shoulder massager during pregnancy
Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager with Heat 
pregnancy massager for neck
TheraFlow Handheld Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

References:

  • Pain Management in Pregnancy: Multimodal Approaches (source)
  • Is massage safe during pregnancy? (source)
  • Pregnancy and labor massage (source)

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