When you are pregnant a pedicure sounds like the best idea ever! Your feet are swollen, everything hurts, you feel like you are being sucked dry and you can’t even reach them after a point.
While there are great points to getting a massage while you are pregnant, there are possible contraindications as well that you should be aware of.
Let’s not get nervous and talk about the great benefits to a foot massage first.
Massage is one of the best ways to relax and one of the biggest suggestions pregnant women get is that they need to relax.
A 2010 Turkish study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that foot massage actually decreased the circumference of pregnant women’s legs by reducing edema.
Increasing blood flow and lymphatic drainage helps keep your immune system running properly and as much as it is safe to go for a jog, you may feel too tried to do so.
Pregnancy as a Contraindication for Massage
So the common practice among massage therapists and reflexologists is not get foot massages during pregnancy because it can cause the uterus to contract. According to Rebecca Leary, who is certified in pregnancy massage therapy, “There are acupressure points in the legs, ankles and feet that correspond to the reproductive system.” -Livestrong.com
In an article entitled “Reflexology: A Close Look,” by Stephen Barrett M.D., published in 2004 on Quackwatch.com: he concedes that most massage can relieve mental and emotional stress but not psychical. Dr. Barrett cautions the public. Through extensive research and experience with this therapy, he points out that there is “no scientific support for these assertions.”
Unfortunately many alternative medicines such as massage therapy, chiropractors, reflexology, acupuncture and more don’t test without bias(many of the tests that are preformed have heavy bias in favor done by groups that are connected to this industry) or recognize the effectiveness and claims by millions of patients and Doctors/therapists.
The medical field is currently studying the effect of brain chemistry changes on pregnant women, activated by foot massage. Maybe through relaxation, soothing relief from pain or swelling in the feet or just the effect of massage on the pleasure centers of the brain, pregnant women can benefit from foot massage
Consult with your obstetrician before engaging in foot massage. This could be contraindicated in some patients.
Now just because any time I think about someone telling me they are pregnant I think of this video: