Suffering from backaches, stress, headaches, insomnia, leg cramps, varicose veins, and increasing blood pressure? Congratulations! You must be pregnant! Now all you want to do is get your rapidly changing body to a masseuse and have all that pain kneaded away, but old wives’ tales caution against any form of massage. So is prenatal massage safe? We asked two of the best obstetricians their expert opinion on this issue.
Is massage for pregnant women safe? Rebecca B. Singson, M.D., chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at St. Luke’s Global City, says yes but she follows that up immediately with a warning: “You shouldn’t have a prenatal massage with someone who isn’t trained to do it. Prenatal massage can be bad if not done well, but it can be very good.”
Florante Gonzaga, M.D., chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at The New Medical City, is just as cautious. “Gentle massages can be good for your aching back and legs. It should not affect or induce labor, but you never let anyone touch your lower abdomen.”
What benefits can I get from prenatal massage? Both doctors agree that gentle massages can alleviate body pain, relieve cramps and muscle soreness, reduce stress, and promote relaxation thus helping ease insomnia, and even possibly lower blood pressure.
Dr. Singson adds, “It can help maintain skin elasticity and possibly help prevent stretch marks. Touch and pampering can also provide emotional support and physical nurturing, particularly for moms who feel so alone by the physical or emotional absence of the father. Plus, pampering enhances the self-esteem of a pregnant woman.”