Women who use massage therapy for pregnancy can expect to be treated with a greater level of care than those who don’t.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says a massage therapy session can help prevent a range of complications including a premature birth, ectopic pregnancy and preterm birth.
The ACOG is a leading organization of obstetricians, gynecologists and allied health professionals that advocates for access to medical care and information about prenatal care.
According to the ACOG, a massage therapist is one of the best options for pregnant women seeking to improve their health, especially if they are in a vulnerable position, are having trouble getting adequate blood flow and are unable to do a complete blood count (CBC) test.
“The ACOG believes that women who are using massage therapy during pregnancy should be treated as they would any other patient,” said Dr. Jennifer Kupferberg, ACOG chief medical officer.
“If there are any concerns, we encourage women to seek treatment as they should for any other potential medical issue.”
There are two main types of massage therapy: biofeedback and vibration.
Biofeedback is a method of self-massage that uses a physical sensation to help control your body temperature and improve your breathing.
It’s often used during pregnancy as part of a medical evaluation, according to the American College, and vibration therapy involves applying pressure on the skin.
The massage therapists have their own protocols, and the ACog recommends that they be followed by the woman in question.
Dr. Kupfferberg said there are some things to be aware of when using massage for pregnancy, such as how often it’s used and how often you want to do it.
“There are a number of reasons why massage is used for pregnant patients,” she said.
“It’s important to note that the massage therapist’s job is to help with the physical function and to help reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy.”
The ACGEO recommends that massage therapists wear comfortable clothing and keep their temperature in the 40s to 50s.
“We also recommend that massage therapist follow a protocol that includes a full blood count, an ultrasound, an ECG, a pelvic exam and a physical exam,” Kupfeberg said.
She added that massage therapy should be considered an alternative to elective Cesarean section.
“While elective caesarean sections are safe and effective, they are not the best option for many women,” she explained.
“There are many other alternatives to Cesareans that include different types of support and therapies that may be easier for the woman to follow.”
The woman may also want to discuss her pregnancy with a family member or a doctor, as the ACGEC recommends that a massage session be conducted with her partner.
If massage therapy is done as part a prenatal assessment, a physician should take a picture of the massage therapy with a digital camera and upload it to the Internet, the ACGY said.
The images can be viewed on the ACGC website.
For more information about the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecol, the American Medical Association, and other organizations that provide healthcare to pregnant women visit their websites.