There’s no doubt that massage guns can be extremely beneficial for relieving muscle pain and soreness. However, if you’re pregnant, or you happen to be married to or friends with a pregnant woman who keeps asking you for massages, then you may have found yourself wondering whether or not it’s safe to use massage therapy or a massage gun, such as the theragun while pregnant.
The Short Answer is No, But. . .
The answer isn’t necessarily cut and dry. While there isn’t a ton of research on the subject, if you do a quick Google search on the topic, you’ll find some people believe it’s ok for pregnant women who are in their first and second trimesters.
But that doesn’t mean it’s safe for you during your pregnancy. Why?
Well, because every pregnancy is different, and as we mentioned, the research really isn’t available, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Although there will be days when you want nothing more than an intense massage therapy session, your body simply may not be prepared to handle that type of deep tissue massage technique. While we recommend holding off on using a massage gun while you’re pregnant, it really comes down to what you and your OBGYN are comfortable with.
If you have any concerns or questions about using a massage gun or even pregnancy massage therapy while pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor before proceeding. However, here are a few reasons why using a massage gun while you are pregnant is probably not the best idea.
Using a Massage Gun Could Cause Preterm Labor
One of the main risks associated with using a massage gun or a massage therapist during pregnancy is the possibility of causing preterm labor. While there is no concrete evidence that this is indeed the case, some experts believe that the vibrations from the massage gun could potentially stimulate the uterus and lead to early contractions in pregnant women.
If you are considered a high-risk pregnancy or are already suffering from high blood pressure or any other pregnancy complications, then being overly cautious is the way to go, as premature labor can be dangerous for both you and your baby. The good news is that medical professionals have a wealth of resources at their disposal and, depending on how prematurely you’re delivering, they are able to provide excellent care and support during this time.
The main point we’re trying to make here is that if you’re at all worried about this occurring, it’s best to steer clear of using a massage gun until after you’ve given birth. And, as someone whose wife had two pre-mature babies, if you are noticing any preterm labor symptoms such as cramping, abdominal muscle spasms, or vaginal bleeding, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. While it’s not always possible to stop premature birth, they can help to ensure that your preemie baby is in good hands once born.
Using a Massage Gun Might Not Be Comfortable
Another thing to consider is the fact that pregnancy can often make your body feel more sensitive than usual. For some women, this increased sensitivity might make using a massage gun or massage therapy unbearable – even if it doesn’t cause any actual harm.
If your OBGYN has approved massage gun use, but you find that the massage gun is causing you more discomfort than relief, it’s probably best to put it and that coupon for a free deep tissue massage away until after your baby is born. It’s something you can look forward to in addition to deli meat, soft cheese, and whatever else you’re having to omit from your preferred diet while you are developing your little bundle of joy.
Massage Guns and Pressure Points
There are a lot of things that pregnant women are told to avoid during pregnancy. Some of this advice is based on old wives’ tales, and some of it is based on actual medical studies. But either way, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s off-limits when you’re expecting.
One thing that you might not know is that massaging pressure points can be dangerous during pregnancy. This is because there are certain points on the body that, when stimulated, can trigger premature labor or even miscarrying. So if you’re thinking about getting a massage during pregnancy, it’s important to avoid them.
Here are a few areas to avoid during pregnancy:
The base of the skull – There are two at the base of the skull, on either side of the spine. These points are linked to the pituitary gland, which can be stimulated during pregnancy and induce labor.
The palms of the hands – There are several in the palms of the hands that are linked to the uterus. Stimulating these points can cause contractions and even miscarrying.
The soles of the feet – There are also points on the soles of the feet that are linked to the uterus as well. Stimulating these points can also cause contractions and miscarrying.
So if you’re thinking about getting a massage during pregnancy, be sure to avoid these pressure points. And if you’re not sure where these pressure points are, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid massaging anywhere on the body during pregnancy.
You Could Injure Yourself
It’s important to remember that pregnancy can often lead to joint and muscle pain – which means you might be more likely to injure yourself while using a massage gun. If you’re not careful, you could end up bruising or even breaking a bone.
Using massage guns while pregnant can be dangerous. If you are not careful, you could injure yourself or your baby. For example, in extreme cases, massage guns could cause a blood clot, which would be dangerous for both the baby and yourself. If one forms in your leg, it could break free and travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This is a very serious condition that could be fatal.
If you are pregnant, it is best to avoid using massage guns altogether. There are other ways to relieve muscle pain and tension that are much safer for both you and your baby. Talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.
Now, this would be an extreme case, but during pregnancy, your body is going through quite a few changes, so it’s important to take that into consideration. Of course, the risk of bruising or injury can be greatly reduced by using the massage gun properly and listening to your body, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
It’s Easy to be Too Rough with the Massage Gun
A lot of pregnant women think that they can just go to town with a massage gun on their stomachs, but that’s actually not the case. It’s easy to be too rough with a massage gun while you’re pregnant, and that can lead to some serious problems.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind if your OBGYN approves you’re using a massage gun on your stomach during pregnancy. First of all, you need to make sure that you’re not applying too much pressure. If you apply too much pressure, it could cause some serious damage to your baby.
Secondly, it’s important to be careful about the direction that you’re massaging in. You don’t want to massage in a circular motion, as that can also cause some damage to your baby. Instead, you want to massage in a back-and-forth motion.
Finally, you would need to be careful about the amount of time that you’re spending on each area. You don’t want to overdo it, as that can also lead to some problems. Just like with any other form of massage, you want to keep the session short and sweet.
Even Professional Prenatal Massages Aren’t Safe Later in Your Pregnancy
As your pregnancy progresses, you may start to feel more aches and pains. Although a prenatal massage can help relieve some of this discomfort, as your pregnancy enters its third trimester, there are a few reasons why you should avoid getting a prenatal massage.
Increased chance of premature labor – Prenatal massages can help stimulate the uterus and cause contractions. If you’re not yet full-term, this could lead to premature labor.
Increased risk of infection – As your pregnancy progresses, your risk of infection increases. Getting a massage could introduce bacteria into your body and lead to an infection.
The pressure could be too much for your baby – As your baby grows, there’s less and less space for them to move around in your womb. If a massage is too deep or uses too much pressure, it could compress your baby and cause them distress.
Even if you are in your first or second trimester, it’s still important for you to speak with your OBGYN before scheduling a prenatal massage – and that is a professional massage from someone trained and qualified. Most likely, you are not trained or qualified to be giving yourself a massage with a massage gun while pregnant. It’s honestly just not worth the risk unless you have fully discussed it in great detail with your OBGYN.
Our Conclusion: Save the Massage Therapy for Post-Pregnancy
So while there isn’t a ton of information available on how dangerous a deep tissue massage or percussion massage therapy is for pregnant women, the best course of action is to be overly cautious – even if you’re in your first trimester or second trimester. It’s definitely best to avoid any type of pregnancy massage in your third trimester as your baby is in the final stages of development, and you need to be more careful about any type of physical activity you’re doing.
Now, if you have spoken in detail with your OBGYN and they feel that it’s safe for you to use your massage gun as a neck massager, a foot massager, or on your lower legs, then, by all means, enjoy it! I know that my wife would have loved to use one of those on her feet when she was pregnant with our son. (I’m not the best at giving a therapeutic foot massage anyway, so she probably would have gotten a lot more relief with massage gun use!)
For those of you eagerly awaiting the arrival of your little one so that you can once again enjoy the deep tissue massages that your massage gun provides, go ahead and check out some of our other blogs on some of the best ways to use and maintain them.