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Are Massage Guns Safe During Pregnancy?

February 24, 2021 4 min read

Pregnancy is an emotional and physical rollercoaster, almost from day one. From the day you learn that you are pregnant, your daily routine starts to change. You don't eat the same things, activities change, and you have endless questions.

To put it simply, when pregnant, you need both psychological and physical support to keep your health at its best. According to the American Pregnancy Association, massage therapy can help reduce depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.  

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However, percussion massages for pregnant women can be quite technical and require caution when used. You can use a massage gun on your own only if you use it on your body's specific parts outlined in the article.

PLEASE NOTE:We recommend consulting with your doctor before doing any massages by yourself while pregnant, especially during the first trimester of your pregnancy. 

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Percussion massage therapy is not a hands-on massaging technique. Instead, a special device known as a percussion massager or massage gun is used. So, is the use of a massage gun during pregnancy safe? The short answer is "only on specific areas of your upper body, like your neck", however, it's a bit more complicated.
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Let's cover the basics first. A percussion massager helps in stimulating your muscles and increasing the blood flow circulation. However, percussion therapy is not recommended for every pregnant woman. To know if it is safe for you, you need to consult with a your doctor or a healthcare professional first. Whether your partner is giving you a percussion massage or you are doing it on your own, you must ask your doctor before considering massage therapy.

When is the right time to use a percussion massager? Once you are through your first trimester, go for a complete physical check-up. If your doctor allows, you can choose percussion massages during pregnancy via a massage therapist or on your own. Note: Massage therapists advise against a percussion massage during the first trimester as it can increase the risk of a miscarriage.

These therapy massages can release endorphins and induce a relaxing sensation for both the baby and the mother. In case you have swollen legs and feet, a therapeutic foot massage will do wonders.

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What Happens When You Do Percussion Massages While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, the concept behind percussion massages is to trigger pressure points, which can help alleviate body pain, treat muscle spasm, and reduce stress. With regular therapy sessions, you will feel a significant improvement in your physical issues. Percussion massage therapy also helps in strengthening muscles.

So, who can give you a percussion massage? That’s up to you to choose. You you can consult a professional massager to perform the task or if you own a massager, you can even do it on your own or ask your partner to do it. Choose whatever you are most comfortable with.

Where to Use Percussion Massager When Pregnant?

During pregnancy, the blood flow in your body increases. Because of this it is not healthy to use a percussion massager on your lower body parts. Why? A percussion massager follows the deep tissue massage technique. Deep tissue massage increases blood circulation to treat strained muscles. During pregnancy, there is a natural increase in blood flow. If you use a percussion massager on your legs, the blood may start to clot in your lower body parts. Therefore your doctor may not allow you to use a percussion massager.

However, percussion massage does not negatively impact the upper part of your body, i.e., shoulders, neck, and back. Percussion or deep tissue massages cause problems if you perform them on your lower back, thighs, lower legs, and abdominal area during your pregnancy. The point is to avoid overstimulation in lower body parts as it can cause blood clotting. 

Percussion massagers are only safe when used on upper body parts like shoulders, neck, and back. Make sure to avoid your lower legs, lower back, thighs, and stomach. Overusing it can be risky for your baby, so don't play around with anything on your own. Do your research well and follow the proper guidelines from your doctor.

Here are some other commonly asked questions about pregnancy massages.

What is the Alternative to Percussion Massager?

If you are not careful enough, a percussion massager can do more harm than good. This is because they use a deep percussion technique, which may harm the baby in a long run. If you are not an expert at using a percussion massager, you must always contact your doctor or a professional massager for complete instructions.

Are you having second thoughts regarding a percussion therapy session? It's natural to get paranoid at times. If you are not confident to go ahead with it, it's better to resort to a gentle hand massaging therapy session for your comfort.

However, it should not include any fast strokes or deep tissue pressure exertions. Make sure to take it slow with light strokes for relaxing your muscles. A light hands-on massage is no way harmful to you and your baby. You can also read about deep tissue massage.

Read more : What is Percussive Therapy and How It Helps Your Muscle ?

When to Stop a Pregnancy Massage?

What works for other pregnant women may not work for you, and that's okay. If you continue to feel restless after taking a few therapy sessions, consider taking a break from it.

However, you may need to stop your pregnancy therapy session immediately if you start having morning sickness, nausea, and preterm labor symptoms like early contractions, lower abdomen cramps, vaginal bleeding, and high blood pressure.

In case you don't already know, preterm labor causes premature birth, which isn't healthy for your baby. If you have any of the symptoms above, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may also strictly prohibit you from taking pregnancy massages if you have had a miscarriage before

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