All about using massage chairs during pregnancy

While being pregnant is a beautiful journey, it can also be pretty damn uncomfortable. If you are pregnant, you definitely deserve a treat from time, whether that be a trip to the spa or something else entirely to help you unwind. Massage chairs are very relaxing but you are probably wondering if they are safe to use during pregnancy. The general consensus is that YES they are, as long as you follow the instructions and use these devices appropriately. If you want to know more information before you decide whether to use a massage chair during pregnancy or not, just carry on reading.

The safety of massage chairs during pregnancy

Although an electric massage chair is technically just a chair, there are still three elements that might be a concern during pregnancy and the following is why some people think they should be avoided at all costs.

  • The vibrations on the chair could hurt or alarm the baby.
  • Some massage chairs have a heating feature, which could also be harmful to the baby.
  • There are acupressure points that could cause you to go into labor early.

Please keep in mind that the previous are just concerns that have been brought up regarding massage chairs but experts say the opposite and there is not known to be any issues with using massage chairs when pregnant. Let's take a look at the points further so that you can discover why they are not really issues at all.

  • The vibrations on massage chairs are not severe enough to cause any harm to your baby, especially with you being in the sitting position - your belly will be nowhere near the point of vibrations.
  • Hot tubs, saunas, and yoga are not recommended during pregnancy because of possible overheating but massage chairs give off very mild heat if any at all!
  • To go into labor with acupressure requires a steady pressure and not the kind that you would get from massage chairs so there is no worry about going into early labor!

When SHOULDN'T you use a massage chair when pregnant?

While for the most part, a massage chair is perfectly fine and safe to use during pregnancy - there are some circumstances you would probably want to stay away from one and they are as follows.

  • f you have been suffering from morning sickness during pregnancy, a massage chair can actually make it worse due to the vibrations.
  • If you have sciatica, a massage chair could irritate an already sensitive area so it is best to avoid it.
  • If you have severe back pain, you might think that a massage chair is a good option during pregnancy and while it is for some people, with others it could have the opposite effect so just tread carefully.

If you are not sure if a massage chair is right for you during pregnancy perhaps due to some underlying health conditions, it is better to talk to a healthcare professional like your midwife to be sure of the best decision for you. Make sure to bring up any conditions that you are currently suffering from during your pregnancy.

How to deal with pregnancy side effects

For those with back pain, sciatica, public dysplasia, or any of the other side effects that are going hand in hand with your pregnancy - it can definitely be a nightmare dealing with daily life, especially as you get further along. You might be attempted to use a massage chair but it could do more harm than good so it is advised to go for one of the following methods instead.

1 - Keep active

You might not feel like regular exercise especially as you get further along in your pregnancy but it is advised to at least stay reasonably active. Walking and swimming are known to be best for back pain during pregnancy but you might also want to try prenatal exercise classes. Failing that, a long walk or just getting up and moving around more around the house can be beneficial.

2 - Rest and use ice packs
You need to be listening to your body and rest as much as possible during pregnancy, ice packs are also great for alleviating different aches and pains. If you are still working and you find that your health is not currently improving at that time, it might be worth chatting to your boss to see if you can take your maternity leave early.
3 - Elevation

If your feet, in particular, have been causing you issues, simply elevating them can make a big difference so that is definitely something to try throughout your day and especially when you are relaxing in the evening.

4 - Stretching

Full-on exercise might be difficult for you right now but gentle stretching is something that most pregnant women should be able to manage. Yoga offers stretches that are really good for pregnant women but make sure to look for prenatal yoga classes in your area or pregnancy yoga videos online.

5 - Physical therapy

Pregnancy could be bringing on a whole host of other conditions for you or it could simply be highlighting conditions that you had previously but didn't even realize or they just weren't a big issue at the time. Physical therapists have experience in working with all types of people, including pregnant women. If some of the other steps mentioned have not helped you, it is well worth going to a professional to see if they have more luck in helping you.

What about a massage during pregnancy?

You might be asking if you can have a regular massage in place of a massage chair if you don't feel comfortable checking one out or don't have access to one.

Again, the general response is the same: You should consult your doctor or a specialist in childbirth, but it's generally safe.

According to Ghosh, massage therapy can help moms and babies sleep better and reduce stress and tension. After the first trimester, prenatal massages are usually safe, but consult your doctor first and inform your massage therapist that you're expecting.

If you decide to receive a massage, be sure the therapist is a trained professional with experience working with pregnant women.

Additionally, you might require a letter of authorization for a massage from a medical professional. Even in your first trimester, the massage therapist will probably have you lay on your side rather than your belly for the treatment.

Tips for prenatal massage

Make sure you have a signed & dated letter from a healthcare provider stating that it is safe for you to receive a message before making a prenatal massage appointment.

The techniques experts use in pregnancy massage are modified to address the changes a woman's body experiences during pregnancy. Leg blood flow frequently slows down. Additionally, the blood's natural levels of anticoagulants, which are meant to stop bleeding after delivery, naturally increase.

A pregnant woman is more likely to develop blood clots in the lower legs due to these circulatory abnormalities, most commonly in the calves and inner thigh. Pregnancy massage specialists advise against intense pressure and deep massage on the legs for safety. Strong pressure may cause a blood clot to be released. On the legs, they apply very gently, gradual strokes. Deep tissue massage, shiatsu, deep acupressure, cross-fiber friction & percussive tapping are techniques to avoid when giving someone a leg massage.

You might also want to consider asking your lover to give you a massage. According to Ghosh, a side-lying massage can ease back discomfort, lessen tension, and promote sleep.

And science supports it. For instance, a tiny study from 2019Trusted Source revealed that 10-minute chair massages between partners every two weeks helped pregnant women feel less anxious, depressed, and uncomfortable.

There are no safety issues with this particular massage chair because it is the type you sit in to get a massage (you may have seen these at the mall). Ask your doctor if utilizing a massage chair like this could be an excellent method to unwind and ease your discomfort if you own one or have access to one.

Takeaway

Electric massage chairs are not known to be safe during pregnancy, but there is also no proof that they are unsafe.

A massage chair is unlikely to worry unless you are experiencing a high-risk or complex pregnancy. However, you can keep any heat & massage options low to be safe.

Talk to a healthcare practitioner about getting regular massages from a trained therapist if you require the relief that a massage chair provides but cannot get one.

You can also talk about various methods of treating your pregnant discomfort, like taking a hot bath, getting physical therapy, using at-home cures, and using pregnancy-safe over-the-counter painkillers.

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