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Prenatal massage is usually fine for healthy women during a normal pregnancy. However, women with any of the following conditions should not have a prenatal massage:
- Heavy discharge (bloody or watery)
- Gestational diabetes
- Unusual pain
- Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia
- High blood pressure
- Morning sickness
- Threatened miscarriage
- Early labor
- Placental dysfunction
- Infectious disease
- Skin irritation and/or discharge
- Any high-risk pregnancy
Other prenatal massage therapy safety tips include:
Never lie on your back for a massage after the 20th week of pregnancy
Never massage open sores, areas where you have a rash, over raised or distended varicose veins, or near any site of infection
You should never experience pain during a massage. Alert your therapist immediately if you do and they should stop
Always have a certified prenatal massage therapist perform the massage – a generic massage therapist will not necessarily understand the important differences of a pregnant woman’s body, and may perform an unsafe massage for your baby. To find a certified prenatal massage therapist, ask for recommendations from your doctor or midwife, hospital, or your regular massage therapist. Also, the American Massage Therapy Association has a chapter in each state as well as a nationwide referral system in the United States and Canada. Take the time to speak with a prospective massage therapist before your first session to determine their level of expertise, training, and understanding of pregnancy-related issues. Some questions you may want to ask a prospective massage therapist include:
How much prenatal massage training do you have? How much experience doing prenatal massage?
How long have you been practicing massage therapy? Prenatal massage therapy?
What kind of massage table do you use for pregnant women?
How will you handle positioning me as I progress through my pregnancy?
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