Is Massage Chair Bad During Pregnancy? [Detailed Guide]

If you are pregnant, or even thinking about getting pregnant in the near future, you might have come across this question. And if you’re like me – eager to try everything related to pregnancy and childbirth, including massage chairs during pregnancy – then this article is for you. Is it safe? Can it harm your unborn baby? Read on to find out.

Is Massage Chair Bad During Pregnancy??

No, massage chairs are not bad during pregnancy. In fact, massages have been a very popular treatment for pregnant women to help them relax and feel comfortable during their pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, a therapeutic massage can be one of the best stress relievers and natural painkillers out there – especially if you suffer from back pains or headaches.

What Are The Benefits Of Massage During Pregnancy?

The benefits of massage during pregnancy are numerous. First and foremost, a massage is a great way to relax yourself and relieve stress. It’s also a natural painkiller that can be an effective remedy for back or neck pains, which tend to crop up as your baby bump gets bigger. Here are some other benefits of getting a prenatal massage from the comfort of your own home:

  • Relaxes muscles, promoting a good night’s sleep
  • Promotes blood flow and reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis
  • Improves digestion as it stimulates the digestive organs
  • Relieves swollen ankles and feet by encouraging blood flow
  • Reduces uterine contractions during pregnancy (this can help you to avoid preterm labor)
  • Increases production of the hormone oxytocin, which can help you in the laboring process

All this makes massage chairs during pregnancy a great idea. Although there are no actual studies on using chair massagers during pregnancy, most experts recommend them to pregnant women who need relief from back pains, especially in the last few months when it can get really uncomfortable.

Why Massage Chairs Are Great For Pregnancy?

There are many reasons why massage chairs are great to use during pregnancy. First of all, you don’t actually need your therapist to be present while the chair does its thing. You can lie down comfortably in the chair and just switch it on – no matter where you are, even in the comfort of your own home.

Pregnancy often takes a toll on your back and nerves, which is why pregnancy chairs with kneading shiatsu massagers can be a great way to relax muscles after a long day at work or when you come back from running errands.

So, if you want to avoid spending bucks on expensive spa appointments, then buying a chair that offers shiatsu or rolling massagers may actually be the best thing you can do for yourself. Just switch it on and let it work its magic while you kick back and relax!

Here is our list of the Best Massage Chairs For Pregnancy:

Potential Dangers of Traditional Massages

Before I delve into what a pregnancy-safe massage chair can do for you and your unborn baby, let’s take a look at the potential dangers of traditional massages. 

#1: Positioning

First and foremost, you should avoid all traditional massages after the first trimester. During this period, your baby “floats” in a watery bag (amniotic sac) inside the uterus; as such, it is extremely important to make sure that nothing can exert pressure on your belly during this delicate time.

For instance, lying on your back while getting a massage is not such a good idea. Such a position can cause the uterus to press against the inferior vena cava, which could lead to reduced blood flow and even oxygen deficiency in your baby.

#2: Relaxing Breathing Techniques:

Another big no-no during pregnancy is the use of certain relaxing breathing techniques that can take your body into a deep state of relaxation. Deep relaxation, in turn, could cause the blood flow to slow down and even stop in some organs and tissues – which means that nothing would be getting delivered to your baby!

#3: Certain Chemicals Used In The Massage Creams

If you plan on being treated by a traditional masseuse, make sure that he/she does not use any chemicals such as lavender, essential oils, and others in the massage cream. Some of these substances could cause certain problems for your baby (for instance, skin irritation or breathing difficulties).

#4: Too Much Pressure

This is actually the biggest risk you take when having a traditional massage during pregnancy. Too much pressure exerted on your back could lead to uterine contractions, which can make you lose the baby.

#5: Making You Feel Unwell

Last but not least, some traditional masseuses work with their bare hands; as such, they can accidentally transfer bacteria to your skin through their fingers (especially if they work in a salon where many women are treated). This can lead to infection, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

What To Look For In A Pregnancy-Safe Massage Chair?

If you are into massage chairs and thinking about getting one for yourself during your pregnancy, then there are a few things that you should pay attention to.

#1: Pregnancy-Safe Materials

As I have stated earlier, you must avoid all traditional massages during the first trimester because your baby really needs the blood flow to be stable and consistent during this period. As such, just make sure that the chair has a very smooth surface (preferably made of plastic or PU leather); if it does, then you are good to go. 

#2: Optimal Massage Speeds & Intensity

Ideally, you want your massage chair to provide both gentle and strong massages; during pregnancy, for instance, too much pressure may lead to uterine contractions (which is bad news for your baby), while not enough pressure will simply make you feel bored.

#3: Optimal Body Temperature

If possible, try to get a chair that makes sure your temperature remains optimal during the massage (preferably around 33-35 degrees Celsius); this way, you can actually kick off your shoes and relax without having to cover yourself with many blankets or sweat buckets.

#4: Optimal Posture Support

In order to avoid any undue stress on your back, you will want a pregnancy-safe massage chair that makes sure your spine and pelvis remain in the correct alignment during the treatment. The chair should be stable enough to keep you from sliding down and making you feel uncomfortable.

#5: Optimal Foot Massage Area

Last but not least, make sure that the chair you are interested in has an optimal foot massage area; this is very important because your toes and heels tend to swell during pregnancy. Thus, a good chair should be able to support them without applying too much pressure or making you feel uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that all pregnant women out there should avoid traditional massages during their first trimester; of course, the good news is that you can always find many pregnancy-safe massage chairs on the market these days. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on what to look for in an ideal maternity chair!