Massage therapy has been used by pregnant women for centuries. It’s the one thing that most pregnant women can do safely. Here are some notable benefits that using a top quality massage chair can provide during your child’s gestation period.
- Decreased Depression and Anxiety
About a third of all pregnant women experience anxiety and depression at some point during their pregnancy. With all of the physical and hormonal changes the body goes through, it’s not hard to see why. A massage chair can release positive hormones to help combat these issues.
- Lessened Leg and Back Pain
One of the biggest complaints that women make during pregnancy is the bodily pain it causes. The extra frontal weight puts an increasing amount of stress on the muscles in the back and legs. Luckily, those are things that a massage chair will have no problem addressing.
- Less Pain During Labor
Some studies have suggested that women who use a massage chair before labor experience less pain than normal. This is due to the increased hormone production that massage chairs provide.
- Cut Labor Duration by Three Hours
The same studies showed that, on average, the time it took to birth a baby was cut by about three hours. It’s important to note that the research included massage therapy. Because massage chairs provide many of the same benefits, it’s safe to assume that they can also help achieve these results.
- Lessen Need for Medication During Labor
Using a massage chair may even decrease the need for medication to manage the pain. It’s theorized that this is due to the increase in Cortisol hormones and stimulation of pressure receptors in the body.
- Decreased Risk for Premature Births
Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year. While many factors go into premature birth, one of the biggest is believed to be stress. As a result, massage therapy can help to avoid early births. Mothers who utilized massage therapy saw decreased levels of stress hormones.
Which Massage Chair Features Should I Avoid During Pregnancy
Even with all the positive things that using a massage chair can do for you during pregnancy, some features need to be avoided. Some massage chair brands advise that all pregnant women should avoid them. However, if you steer clear of the following features, you should be good to go.
- Heating Massage: Heating massages, while comfortable, put your baby at risk. This is because it increases your overall body temperature. During the gestation period, babies respond to even the slightest change in temperature, so it should be avoided completely.
- Shiatsu Massage: During a Shiatsu massage, acupressure points are stimulated. During this process, several muscles in your body react. As a result, there’s a risk that a Shiatsu massage could induce labor.
When Should You Avoid Massage Chairs During Pregnancy?
For the most part, you can use your massage chair during your pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association says that it’s safe to start getting massages at any point. However, there are some periods when you may want to avoid it.
- First Term:
During the first trimester, there’s a higher risk of miscarriage. Some believe that the increased blood flow that’s caused by massages could be harmful.
- High-Risk Pregnancies:
During a high-risk pregnancy, mothers need to be as careful as possible to avoid any possible harm to themselves or their baby. Many issues could deem your pregnancy high-risk, so consult with your doctor for guidance.
- A History of Pre-Term Labor:
If you have had a premature birth in the past, it’s best to avoid using your massage chair. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a chance that the stimulation of pressure points could induce labor.
Pre-Eclampsia is a condition that causes high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling in pregnant women. The improvements to your circulation from a massage could exacerbate this issue.
- Swelling or Inflammation:
Swelling in the feet and legs is fairly common as pregnant women gain weight. However, chronic problems could require medical attention. Again, the issue with using a massage chair lies in how it affects the circulatory system.
- Severe Headaches:
Like with swelling, getting a massage during a headache could lead to some issues because of the increased blood flow to the area. While simple massages with your fingertips may work to resolve the problem, it’s not recommended that you use a massage chair.
- Severe or Shooting Back Pain:
Sometimes, massages can actually cause more pain. If you try to localize the massage to your lower back, there’s a chance that you could experience more pain in the muscles of the pelvic girdle.
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