The content of this post is for information only and does not seek to offer medical advice. Always consult with your physician about any level of activity during your pregnancy.
Whether or not you can use your massage chair during your pregnancy is a bit of a controversial topic. It’s not a “yes” or “no” answer. There are a lot of things you need to consider before deciding to use the chair.
It is generally agreed that traditional massage can be helpful during pregnancy. It can relieve pain in your lower back and neck areas. And it can take away a lot of stress. Many women will find a therapist who is specifically trained in giving a massage during pregnancy.
Now, a massage chair is entirely different from a traditional massage. You need to understand some of the precautions before you decide to hop in one.
Consult your doctor first
Your doctor will tell you if there is anything about your pregnancy that would mean you should not use a massage chair or get a traditional massage. If your pregnancy is at all complicated then you will be told not to use it. When your pregnancy is combined with any other medical problems then your doctor will need to provide a thorough assessment.
Keep asking your doctor about this throughout your entire pregnancy. Using a massage chair may be risky at some stage.
Your first trimester
Don’t use a massage chair during the first trimester. Any kind of massage during this period is to be avoided.
The first trimester is the most vulnerable time of your pregnancy. This is when the risk of a miscarriage is highest.
The second and third trimester
It is safe to use a massage chair during the second and third trimester.
As your back takes more strain during the second and third trimesters a massage will provide wanted relief. It can help to loosen your muscles and make your pregnancy more comfortable.
There are differing opinions about using a massage chair in the late stage of pregnancy.
This is not so much about the massage but the chair design. At this stage, a light traditional massage is a better option.
Is vibration bad during pregnancy?
A massage chair provides light vibrations. Your baby is well protected and the massage is not strong enough for him or her to feel.
Using a massage chair provides very little movement in your body. Taking a walk causes more movement than a massage chair ever will. This is not necessarily the case with traditional massage.
How Long Should I remain in the chair?
This is an important issue.
During your pregnancy, you must only use the massage chair for 15 or 20 minutes. The massage will raise your body temperature and this should be avoided for long periods.
Many models of massage chairs will put heat onto your back. While this may feel great, you should keep the option off while you use the chair. A sudden increase in body temperature can affect the baby and even lead to cardiovascular issues.
Use the massage chair infrequently. Regular use can put too much stress on pressure points. Using the chair once or twice a day will be best.
When shouldn’t I be using the massage chair?
There are times when a massage chair should be avoided during pregnancy for example, if you have a headache it is best to stay out of the chair.
When you experience a lot of swelling you should not use a massage chair. Importantly, when your stomach is too large to comfortably sit in the chair don’t use the chair again until after your baby is born.
Be certain that the massage chair is reducing your stress and depression. If it is not, the benefits of the chair are not ultimately helpful.
Are there alternatives to a massage chair?
When you can’t use a massage chair during your pregnancy you still have a lot of options.
The best alternative to the massage chair is a traditional massage. This kind of massage does cause more body movement but is certainly safe. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to show that massage just before labour will reduce pain and cramping.
Participating in yoga classes will reduce the stress of your pregnancy. Water-aerobics is another great option. Keeping relaxed and fit is good for your body and mind. Pregnancy is an emotional time filled with both joy and depression. Finding an avenue for relaxation keeps things on an even keel.
A chiropractor can provide treatments to keep you aligned. Be careful about this. Find a chiropractor who has experience treating women during pregnancy.
Using a massage chair during your pregnancy is safe for most women. Just follow your doctor’s advice and use the chair properly.
The gentle massage offered by a massage chair will reduce the strain of pregnancy. It will help with lower back pain and sore muscles. It can help you feel less anxious and can even reduce depression.
Be sensible. Only spend 15 to 20 minutes in the chair at a time. Turn off the heat and keep your feet on the floor. If the chair starts to make you feel uncomfortable during the late stages of your pregnancy then stop using it.
Let common sense be your guide. Protecting yourself and your baby demands it. Using a massage chair can make the whole thing a bit easier.