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Massage & Fitness Magazine: It's OK to Massage her ankles

Debunking a major myth in pregnancy

By Alice Sanvito, LMT

There are many misconceptions about prenatal massage in the massage therapy community. Some of these ideas may deny the benefits of massage to pregnant women who seek it and some of this misinformation could actually do harm by causing serious emotional distress.

Let’s look at one common misconception, examine how it may have come about, look at what the evidence tells us, and consider how Many massage therapists have been taught that massage is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The reason given is fear of causing miscarriage. This is probably based on fear of litigation rather than any actual potential that massage could cause harm. Most miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy and the most common cause is genetic abnormalities.

Many spontaneous abortions occur before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among women who know they are pregnant, the rate of miscarriage is 15 to 20 percent*. Since most miscarriages occur during the first trimester, massage therapists may fear that if a woman miscarries after receiving massage, she may attribute it to the massage. Most women do not know they are pregnant until they are well into their first trimester.

The only way to completely avoid massage during the first trimester is to refuse massage to all women of childbearing age, which is something most massage therapists would agree is excessive.

Read the full article on page 15 of Massage and Fitness Magazine, April 2015 - Download, Read or buy a copy at