Can You Use a Percussion Massager While Pregnant? Is it Safe?

If you are having a baby and wondering if it safe to use a percussion massager while pregnant this article outlines the safety of using massage guns.

Short answer to Can You Use a Percussion Massager While Pregnant? Is it Safe?: yes … but there are some restrictions.

Long answer: read on for in-depth information and research

Is massage safe when you are pregnant?

Yes there are many benefits to having a massage during pregnancy. Everybody loves a massage but there are some things to consider before you have a full body massage.

A foot massage is great for tired feet, especially if you suffer from swollen legs and feet.

It is relaxing an induces a great feeling of well-being promoting endorphins which are beneficial to both mother and baby.

However, don’t used a handheld or percussion massager on certain areas of the body… even if you are used to using them.

Some of my other articles on percussion massagers:

If you want to try out a cheap handheld massager here is a recent article I wrote on the Best Percussion Massager for the Price 2020 – Top 5. If you want to read a review on one of the most popular percussion massagers here is another recent article – Pado Pure Wave – cm5 vs cm7 Percussion Massager.


Benefits of massage in pregnancy

Research in this area isn’t extensive. However, there are a couple of notable research studies which found there are many measurable benefits to massage either prenatal or postnatal.

Here are just a few…

  • Reduced  anxiety
  • Helps reduce back and leg pain
  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
  • Sleep is better after a massage
  • Increased levels of the serotonin and dopamine
  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • A general improvement in levels of mood and feelings of well-being

What type of massage is safe in pregnancy?

Deep tissue or percussion massage while pregnant is not advised. Don’t have a deep acupressure session or shiatsu or percussive tapping massage either.

A gentle hand massage, not deep tissue, using very light, slow strokes will be beneficial and relaxing but not dangerous.

What type of massage is dangerous in pregnancy?

Deep tissue massage or percussion massage is dangerous during pregnancy on the lower legs, thighs, tummy and lower back.

This is due to the chance of dislodging blood clots in the lower legs and overstimulation of the lower back muscles.

What areas should you avoid massage during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be quite a strain on a woman’s body and there are circulatory changes which may increase the risk of blood clots in the calves or thighs.

Therefore deep tissue massage is not advised on the legs. If there is a blood clot in the lower leg then it may be dislodged which can be life threatening.

Can you use a shiatsu massager while pregnant?

Shiatsu massage therapy is based on using fingers, thumbs and palms to apply pressure to various areas of the body. This is to help heal common conditions and ailments. This is thought to correct any imbalances in the body.

The theory is that the pressure which is applied to specific points on the body to promote energy flow and correct disharmonies.

This is a very relaxing type of massage which helps to relieve pain and stress. It is great for overall health and general wellbeing.

Many of the techniques used in Shiatsu massage therapy are similar to other techniques in different types of massage. Shiatsu massage is quite a spiritual massage technique as it is believed to relieve imbalance and blockages in the body’s energy flow.

This massage often improves coordination and range of movement as well as inducing a great feeling of relaxation.

That being said, if you are using a specific shiatsu handheld massager while pregnant you have to be careful where you use the massager.

Don’t use on lower legs due to the chances of dislodging any blood clots (dvt’s).

The upper back and shoulders can benefit from using a handheld massager but avoid the lower back.

Is it safe to use a percussion massager during pregnancy?

Due to the deep percussive nature of a percussion massager it is not advised to use it on the lower legs due to the chances of dislodging a blood clot which can be life threatening.

Obviously don’t ever use a percussion massager on your abdomen or lower back. The top of the back and shoulders are really the only areas where you can use this type of massager. This should only be for short periods, don’t use for too long in one area.

If you are unsure of how safe it may be for you to use a handheld massager ask you doctor as every woman has their own issues in pregnancy.

Caution is always advised and if unsure don’t use a percussion massager at all while you are pregnant or soon after giving birth.

Is hypervolt percussion massager safe during pregnancy?

Hyperice hypervolt massagers are safe to use while pregnant but only for short periods and in specific areas of the body.

Never use a hypervolt while pregnant on the following areas-

  • Tummy
  • lower legs
  • thighs
  • lower back

You can use the hypervolt on the shoulders and upper back but not on high power settings and for short periods only.

*Some of the following links are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Here is a link to the Hypervolt on Amazon if you want a closer look

Can you use a Theragun percussion massager while pregnant?

The Theragun is a powerful percussion massager which is safe to use for most people. However, there are some reasons for not using it while pregnant.

Deep tissue massage is not advised during pregnancy due to the circulatory changes.

Don’t use the Theragun on lower legs or thigh muscles due to the increased risks of dislodging blood clots which can be life threatening.

As with all other handheld percussion massagers, the only areas of the body to use a percussion massager, on low power, are the shoulders and upper back.

If you want a closer look at the Theragun on Amazon, here is the link

*If you want a better price than Amazon go to Recovery for Athletes

Where should you not massage when pregnant?

Don’t massage the lower legs, the thighs, lower back or tummy. It can be dangerous to use deep tissue massage or a percussion massager while pregnant on the lower legs and thighs due to the increased risk of dislodging a blood clot. This can travel to the lungs and cause a PE (pulmonary embolism), this can be life threatening.

Over stimulation of the lower back muscles can also cause serious complications in pregnancy which is why medical and massage therapy experts strongly advise against this.

Massaging the tummy is ok as long as you don’t use a handheld massager or a percussion massager. A gentle stroking with hands is obviously no problem and very relaxing and beneficial.

Is it Safe to Use Back Massager During Pregnancy?

Don’t use a handheld or percussion massager on the lower back. You can use one on your shoulders but on low percussive settings and for short periods only.

back pain pregnancy percussion massager

Can I use a neck massager while pregnant?

Yes you can use a neck massager while pregnant. This can be very relaxing and enjoyable.

Percussion massagers are not really advised but if they are on a low power setting you can get someone else to massage your shoulders. Percussion massagers are not advised for the neck, especially the throat.

Here are some examples of shoulder massagers which may be better for relaxation and muscle relief in the neck and shoulders – the Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager with Heat – Amazon. (this massager can be used on the legs and lower back but avoid doing this during pregnancy or just post birth).

The SKG 4098 Smart Neck Massager is a different design but is just for massaging the neck area. Here is the link to it on Amazon – here

Can I use a head massager during pregnancy

Yes you can use a head massager during pregnancy. It can be extremely relaxing and stimulates the ‘happy’ hormones which give you an overall feeling of wellbeing.

Here is an example of a head and eye massager on Amazon which I wish had been available when I was pregnant! Here is the link on Amazon

Can I use a leg massager while pregnant?

No this is not advisable or safe during pregnancy. The increased risk of blood clots on lower legs means a deep tissue massager is not advised as it could cause the break up of a clot in the deep veins (DVT). If it breaks up it can travel to the lungs and can be life threatening.

Is back massage safe during pregnancy?

Yes but not with a percussion massager or deep tissue massage gun. Don’t use a handheld massager for your back while pregnant. You can get a gentle back rub from a willing volunteer as long as it isn’t too vigorous!

How can massage cause miscarriage?

Some professional massage therapists don’t advocate massage during the first trimester. This is due to a possible increased risk of miscarriage.

There isn’t a lot of research to support this view however, erring on the side of safety is always preferred, especially in early pregnancy.


  • Pregnancy Massage (source)
  • The Potential Utility for Massage Therapy During Pregnancy to Decrease Stress and Tobacco Use (source)
  • Pain Management in Pregnancy: Multimodal Approaches (source)