Foot Massage During Pregnancy: Benefits, Precautions

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foot massage during pregnancy
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For centuries body massages are used to improve health. It reduces stress and relieves muscle tension. Foot Massage during pregnancy has often received many contradictory responses from the health community regarding their safety. Pregnancy does not only increase the size of your stomach, but your legs and feet undergo swelling too. Every pregnant woman knows the ache that accompanies the swelling, which can get quite intense at times. Pressing the feet for a bit might bring relief and relax the legs. But when you’re pregnant, there are certain areas near your ankles and on your feet that you need to be careful not to push too hard.

foot massage during pregnancy
Source-Pixabay

Let us know the benefits and precautions and tips for the foot massage during pregnancy

Is Foot Massage Safe During Pregnancy?

Many women wish to go for a pedicure foot massage while pregnant and get relief from the paining feet. A lot of us are told that it is unsafe to have a foot massage during pregnancy because of acupressure points on the feet. Whereas, specific pregnancy foot massage is highly beneficial for the mother. However, it is always recommended to get a professional therapist for massage, especially when the woman is pregnant.

A right kind of pregnancy foot massage by a well trained professional would be safe and beneficial for the mother. As the professionals are well trained and certified and have the right knowledge about it and so they know the strong and weak points while massaging the feet.

Benefits of foot massage during pregnancy

Studies tell us that good foot or body massage during pregnancy help in decreasing the symptoms of depression relieves muscles and joint pain. It reduces anxiety and improves the labor outcome and newborn baby’s health. Some more benefits of foot massage are:

  • Massage helps in regulating hormones. Studies show that hormone level which is associated with stress and relaxation. If the massage is done twice a week for five weeks during her first trimester than the above conditions can be altered. This also helps in mood regulation and also improves the cardiovascular health of the pregnant woman.
  • Swelling of the joints is often seen or suffered during pregnancy. It is majorly caused by the increased pressure and reduced circulation of the blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Which is growing in her body. By proper foot massage, the swelling can be reduced and circulation is also aided.
  • Severe nerve pain is experienced during pregnancy because of the heavy uterus, which rests on the lower back. It spreads tension to the upper and lower legs, making them swell. Massage improves the nerve pain as it helps the inflamed nerves and releases tension in the muscles.
  • There are acupressure points that are believed to aid natural labor when stimulated properly by a trained professional. As an only trained and professional knows the proper points that are needed to be addressed.
  • Foot massage or other body massage is very helpful, especially for the woman who is pregnant for the first time. It reduces anxiety, stress, and fights depression. Which in return helps in restoring her mental health keeping peace of mind.
  • Foot massage also helps in creating a baby and mommy bond, because massaging the foot is felt by the fetus and the baby responds in the mother’s womb. This strengthens the bond between the two.
  • Foot massage reduces the signs of depression in the woman. Regular massage will helps her boost her mood, making her happy and positive. A happy woman delivers a healthy baby.

Ways to massage the foot during pregnancy

Foot massage during pregnancy is beneficial for the mother only if done in the right manner. It can be done by a professional or a person who is well trained. Proper oil for the massage is also a very important aspect of any massage of the body. Here are a few ways to massage your foot.

  • Begin the massage with the proper oil. It is very important in the process of massaging. As oil not only makes it easier to massage, but also relieves the pain from the swollen legs.
  • Start by gently pressing the feet and then go upwards. Massage the feet properly in a circular motion or in proper motion. This will help her relax and also reduces the swelling.
  • After the feet are massaged, press and massage the ankle with the oil for about 5-7 minutes in motion. Focus on the section of the ankle to knee and massage properly with both the hands covering the legs and calves.  Maintain particular pressure and also ask if the amount of pressure applied is good for the woman. If no then immediately make it a bit softer.
  • One more step after this is to massage the knee and the lower thigh. Use a good amount of oil, which will it easily and keep the body lubricated. Make sure you cover the entire leg and bring total relief in the pain.

Massaging twice a week will help relieve the body pain and swelling during pregnancy.

Risks in Foot massage during pregnancy

Certain risks that are involved in foot massage during pregnancy some are given below

1. DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) 

DVT happens due to clot formation in the legs, which occurs due to a vein which deep within the legs. By this the legs start to swell up more than normal and severe pain is experienced. In this condition, foot massage can be life-threatening. It causes pressure on veins that can loosen up and might travel to the circulatory system. This clot on reaching the lungs may lead to various complications that can include embolism.

2. Risk of Preeclampsia

In some cases, your legs might suddenly swell a lot more than before and lead to a rise in blood pressure as well. This condition is termed as preeclampsia. This condition is faced during the last few months of pregnancy. Where there is excess weight gained, a lot of headaches and high blood pressure. If a woman suffers these problems, then massage may be undertaken if only the doctor permits or avoiding massage is the best way.

3. Pitting Oedema

Edema is the swelling that occurs in women due to pregnancy. It causes changes in the hormones and also increases the size of the uterus. These affect the veins and may obstruct the normal circulation of blood. During the massage, if the swelling disappears temporarily, it is the sign of pitting edema. Immediate consultation from the doctor is a must in this condition because it may have the signs of preeclampsia and DVT too.

 Areas to avoid during the foot massage

1. Urinary bladder 

It is located behind the ankle bone. This point is used mainly during labor to provide relief from pain. Therefore, precautions and extra care is a must in these areas.

2. SP6 Acupressure Point 

It is located in the inner ankle area above the ankle bone. This point stimulates the lower abdomen and therefore might not be beneficial for the pregnant woman.

3. Urinary bladder 

This acupressure point is near the toenail on the baby toe. I stimulate contraction and the baby’s position. However, one should avoid massage on these points.

Foot massage during pregnancy can improve overall health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of professionals and trainers. A regular foot massage can help to maintain a good mental and physical balance and relieve the stress of pregnancy. As foot massage is a wonderful way to relax for the pregnant woman 

Also Read: How To Deal With Fatigue During Pregnancy