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5 Amazing Benefits of Foot Massage When Pregnant

Expectant mother receiving a soothing foot massage when pregnant to alleviate discomfortIn our culture, pregnancy is depicted as a time of joy. However, while most women do find that they feel both excitement and deep satisfaction during these nine months, the physical reality of carrying a baby is far more ambivalent. Thankfully, certain types of massages, such as a foot massage when pregnant, can help to alleviate pain and discomfort, allowing women to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of their pregnancies.

Benefits of a Foot Massage When Pregnant

Researchers have been investigating and confirming the benefits of massage therapy for pregnant women, particularly the advantages of a foot massage when pregnant. Getting a foot massage in Asheville can help to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and lessen back pain, all of which can make the experience of carrying your child much more pleasant. Some forms of massage, including foot massage when pregnant, can even help to alleviate pregnancy-related nausea. The top benefits of massage during pregnancy include:

1. Improved Mood

If you struggle with depression or anxiety, those problems won’t just disappear during pregnancy. Some women even report worsening symptoms. Getting a foot massage when pregnant may improve your mood and lessen troubling symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even if you are not concerned about clinical mood disorders, getting a massage is relaxing, enjoyable, and mood-elevating.

2. Lower Cortisol Levels in Mothers and Newborns

The benefits of massage therapy may even extend to newborns. Studies have shown that undergoing massage therapy during pregnancy is associated with lower cortisol levels not just in mothers but also in their newborns. This, in turn, can improve your and your baby’s health and wellness postpartum.

3. Easier Labor

Women who receive regular massages during pregnancy tend to have an easier time going through labor. They need less medication and deliver their babies an average of three hours faster than control subjects. This benefit can be particularly helpful for first-time mothers, who typically spend more time in labor than do women who have already given birth to one baby.

4. Less Pain

The chances are good that you expected some discomfort during pregnancy, but few women predict the impact the extra weight will have on their backs and feet. Foot massages, in particular, can help women improve circulation, reduce edema, and even alleviate headaches via the use of targeted pressure points. Being in less pain means that you get to spend more time enjoying the unique experience of carrying your child.

5. Benefits for the Baby

Getting regular massages during pregnancy won’t just improve your health but may also improve the health of your newborn post-birth. Studies show that babies born to mothers who underwent regular massages were less likely to be born prematurely. They had fewer problems with low birth weights and tended to be calmer.

Is Foot Massage When Pregnant Safe?

If you’re pregnant, you already know that the restrictions in place on everyday activities are there to protect you and your baby. While massage during pregnancy is generally safe, you should attend a massage therapist who has specialized training. When you want a foot massage, you should be going to a spa or massage parlor, not relying on pedicurists.

The problem is that not all massage therapists are familiar with how the pressure points of the feet affect pregnancy. A trained massage therapist will know not just how to manipulate pressure points but also how other massage techniques affect pregnant women.

Contraindications for Foot Massage and Pregnancy

In some cases, foot massages may not be safe. You should avoid them if you have a history of either blood clots in the legs or symptoms of deep vein thrombosis. Changes in blood flow during pregnancy make people more prone to DVT if they are already at risk, and massages can cause dangerous complications. Most experts also recommend putting off starting regular massages until after you’ve made it through the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Areas of the Foot to Avoid During Massage

Part of the reason that it’s so important to get foot massages only from trained massage therapists while you’re pregnant is that although the practice is generally safe and considered by most to be actively beneficial, there are some areas of the foot to avoid. Trained massage therapists know to avoid these acupressure points:

  • The SP6 acupressure point is located on the inner ankle about three fingers above the bone. Massage therapists avoid this area because it may stimulate the lower abdomen, although there is no reason to believe it induces early labor.
  • The area behind the ankle bone found on the outside of the leg between the main ankle bone and the Achilles tendon is known as the urinary bladder 60 acupressure point. Acupuncturists often use this pressure point to provide pain relief during labor, but some people believe it may also promote early labor.
  • The urinary bladder 67 acupressure point is found on the corner of the pinky toe near the toenail. Massage therapists who work with pregnant women typically avoid this point because it may bring on contractions. Currently, there is no clear evidence that this is true, but it’s always better to err on the side of safety when it comes to protecting you and your baby.

Avoiding these acupressure points is easy for massage therapists trained to work with pregnant women. For your partner, a friend, or an untrained pedicurist, that’s much less likely to be the case. You should keep that in mind if you ever hear stories about poor experiences, as most problems caused by massage during pregnancy occur in informal settings.

The Importance of Working With a Specialized Expert

You shouldn’t let the fact that there are special considerations for pregnant women stop you from getting foot massages. The benefits by far outweigh the minor risks as long as you work with a massage therapist who is familiar with the best practices for working with pregnant women. In other words, go to the spa, not to the pedicure place at the mall.

If you want to relax, de-stress, reduce your pain, and improve your mood, a foot soak and massage package is just what you need. At Wake Foot Sanctuary, we’re intimately familiar with all aspects of the foot, including pregnancy foot massages. Call to schedule an appointment today.

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