Are Massage Chairs Safe During Pregnancy?

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Massage is a great way to relieve pain and discomfort. However, the safety of massage chairs during pregnancy may be doubtful. Though it is a great invention that helps people relax by massaging their pressure points and relieving stress and fatigue, pregnant women should use these chairs cautiously as they may lead to complications. Also, the chairs with heating pads may not be good for the fetus. Read the post to understand the safety of using massage chairs during pregnancy and things to keep in mind to prevent complications.

In This Article

Are Massage Chairs Safe During Pregnancy?

Many companies manufacturing massage chairs warn against its use during pregnancy. Some of the reasons for not using massage chairs while pregnant include the following.

1. Pressure points:

It is impossible for a massage chair to deliver targeted pressure to some pressure points
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Although stressing certain pressure points in the body may theoretically trigger premature labor, it is virtually impossible for a massage chair to deliver sustained and targeted pressure to such points.

2. Heating pad:

Most massage chairs include heating pads. Although these pads can increase your body temperature, it is usually quite simple to modulate the heating element while being mindful to avoid overheating yourself while pregnant.

Why Using Massage Chairs Is A Good Idea?

Here are some reasons why using massage chairs may be a good idea in prenatal care.

1. Eases back pain:

The vibrating massage chairs may work wonders to ease back pain and provide lumbar support. According to studies, a massage chair helps improve blood circulation in the upper body, relieving pain and cramps. It provides comfort to the pregnant woman.

2. Does not jar the body:

Pregnant women fear that the vibration of the massage chair may harm their unborn baby. However, the vibration from a massage chair moves your body just like walking. These mild vibrations may not harm your growing baby. In fact, your baby won’t even feel anything while you get a massage.

3. Improves Spinal Alignment

Mechanical massages are known to provide better spinal alignment and thus improve posture. This may help in reducing lower back pain in the later stages of pregnancy too.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Using Massage Chairs

Here are a few things you must keep in mind before using these therapeutic chairs:

1. Limit the time you spend on these massage chairs; everything in moderation. Don’t spend more than 15-20 minutes, though you might feel like taking a nap on the chair!

2. During the third trimester, don’t put too much pressure on your growing belly. Don’t try to squeeze your body onto the chair. If you are too big for a massage chair, don’t use it.

3. Don’t use a massage chair if you have:

  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • History of pre-term labor
  • Swelling, edema, or severe headaches
Avoid using massage chairs if you have severe headaches
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Now, this list might scare you away from massages during pregnancy! But the fact is that a good massage, including one on a massage chair, has a lot to offer.

protip_icon Point to consider
Do not consume hot beverages or foods when on a massage chair, as you may accidentally spill them on yourself and cause scalding or burns.

Benefits Of Massage During Pregnancy

A good massage is something we can all enjoy. But what does it have to offer during pregnancy? Here are some benefits of a massage during pregnancy:

1. Lowers stress:

Prenatal massage helps manage the hormone levels in the body. The restored hormonal balance can lower stress, anxiety, and depression (1), improving the quality of life.

protip_icon Quick fact
Massages during pregnancy may help pregnant women deal with insomnia or sleeplessness (4).

2. Eases leg and back pain:

A gentle massage helps ease backpain in pregnancy
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During pregnancy, you may end up with pain in the lower back and legs. Your growing uterus takes up a lot of space and puts pressure on your body. A good massage session can help ease this pain to a great extent (1) (2). Lesser pain will also improve your sleep quality.

3. Makes labor easy:

Research shows that massage therapy during labor ensures shorter labor and reduces chances of postnatal depression (3). In other words, it speeds up postpartum recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often can pregnant women use massage chairs?

The suitability and frequency of massage chair use may depend on the individual’s health condition and medical history. Seek guidance from a healthcare provider to avoid any risks.

2. Can massage chairs help with sciatica pain during pregnancy?

Massage chairs may help reduce pain associated with sciatica in pregnancy. Scientific evidence suggests that massage therapy can be effective in improving the range of motion and flexibility and relieving pain in those with sciatica pain (5).

3. Can massage chairs help with overall relaxation during pregnancy?

Massage chairs can help with overall relaxation during pregnancy. The pressure and movement provided by the massage chair can help release muscle tension, reduce anxiety, provide stress relief, and promote relaxation and calmness (6).

4. Can massage chairs help with leg cramps during pregnancy?

Massage chairs may help with leg cramps during pregnancy. Leg cramps are often caused by poor circulation and muscle tension. Massage chairs may help improve circulation and release muscle tension, providing relief from leg cramps.

A good relaxing massage may be a natural and go-to therapy for most pregnant women to relieve certain pains such as joint pain and pelvic pain. It is used as a part of labor preparation too. But if you are considering massage chairs during pregnancy, there are certain things you should be careful about. Although you may enjoy the benefits of a massage chair while pregnant, check those with heating pads and take the appropriate precautions to stay safe. Remember to consult your ob/gyn about using massage chairs during pregnancy. Avoid using them if you suffer from any underlying conditions such as headaches, preeclampsia, or a history of preterm labor.

Infographic: Massage Chair Alternatives That Are Safer When Pregnant

It is generally safe to use a massage chair during pregnancy, but if you’re concerned about safety, you may look for other alternatives. Check out the infographic below for therapeutic options you may prefer rather than using massage chairs. However, consult your obstetrician before you start any relaxing therapy.

safer alternatives to massage chairs in pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Pregnant women should use massage chairs with caution.
  • Massage chairs cannot target specific pressure points, and the heating pads may increase body temperature.
  • Massage chairs can help relieve leg and back pain, reduce stress, and aid labor.
  • High-risk pregnancy, preeclampsia, a history of preterm labor, and severe headaches are contraindications for using massage chairs.
  • Limit the use of massage chairs to 15-20 minutes per session.
Massage Chairs During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. T Field et al. (2004); Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women
  2. T Field et al. (1999); Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy.
  3. T Field et al. (1997); Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy.
  4. Benefits of Massage During Pregnancy.
  5. Jada Bell ; (2008); Massage therapy helps to increase range of motion, decrease pain and assist in healing a client with low back pain and sciatica symptoms.
  6. T Field et al. (1996);Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations.
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