Dear Bundoo: Can I use my holiday massage?
Who doesn’t love a massage? However, this mom-to-be got a spa massage package as a gift and isn’t sure it’s such a good idea. See what Dr. Jen says.
This holiday season, I was gifted a massage at a local spa. Normally I’d be really excited, but I’m 25 weeks pregnant and this isn’t a prenatal massage. I know that massage is OK for pregnant women, but I’ve been to this spa before and they use a lot of essential oils. I’ve heard that essential oils can be dangerous for pregnant moms. Am I just being nervous, or should I tell them to take it easy or even postpone the massage?
Dear Merry Massager,
What a thoughtful gift to have received! However, being 25 weeks pregnant I would only recommend receiving massages that are specifically prenatal massages from this point on. This is because traditional massage techniques should not be used this far along in pregnancy, which can include laying flat on your back and on your stomach, using extreme pressure, or using high levels of heat. Massage therapists who do prenatal massage know exactly how to position you so you are safe (on your side usually and sometimes elevated with the use of pillows) and also know where to apply pressure and where to avoid. Essential oils to add to the aromatherapy experience during your massage are perfectly fine as long as the scent doesn’t bother you, but I would be more concerned that they may not be able to accommodate your needs in pregnancy if they are not used to doing prenatal massages. If not, saving this up for a postpartum treat might be a nice way to still get use out of the gift certificate and have something to look forward to after your baby arrives!
—Answered by Dr. Jen Lincoln, MD, Bundoo OB/GYN
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