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, 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.

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:

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 during pregnancy may be a good idea.

1. Eases back pain:

The vibrating massage chairs may work wonders to ease back pain. According to studies, a massage chair helps circulate blood in the upper body, relieving pain and cramps.

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.

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 or severe headaches

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.

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 and lower stress, anxiety, and depression (1).

2. Eases leg and back pain:

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).

3. Makes labor easy:

Research shows that massage therapy during labor ensures shorter labor and reduces chances of postnatal depression (3).

A good relaxing massage may be a natural and go-to therapy for most pregnant women to relieve certain pains. 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.

References:

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
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15715034/
  2. T Field et al. (1999); Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10212885/
  3. T Field et al. (1997); Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9443139
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shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs from the University of Mumbai. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health... more

Dr. Ng Kai Lyn

(MMed (O&G), MRCOG)
Dr. Ng Kai Lyn is a Singapore-based obstetrician and gynecologist, specializing in urogynecology, minimally invasive surgery, and clinical interest in fertility. She has vast experience managing and treating benign gynecological conditions, including uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometrial polyps, and endometriosis. She is also fellowship trained in urogynecology. She manages pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor reconstructive surgery, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence,... more