The first myth is that massage can cause miscarriage.
A miscarriage is described as a “spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is visible” which is at 20 weeks.
The causes of miscarriages have to do with maternal conditions and embryonic abnormalities.
In fact in nearly half of all cases, the embryo was chromosomally abnormal and not visible, which is clearly unrelated to massage.
The second myth is that massage is contraindicated in the first trimester.
The first line of reasoning is that most miscarriages happen within the first trimester, so if the practitioner does not give a massage, blame for the miscarriage is avoided.
As we just went over, the science does not attribute the miscarriage to the massage.
The second line is that most women suffer from morning sickness, and waiting for the nausea to subside is best. This has validity but not every women suffers from morning sickness and not every women who has morning sickness has it in the morning.
It is OKAY to call and cancel if you are feeling nauseas or are vomiting before the massage. We would not be able to go through with the massage anyway. When you do feel nauseas, there is a pressure point on your wrist.
The third myth is that the abdomen should never be massaged during the first trimester.
The fear is that the practitioner may cause a miscarriage by pressing to hard and dislodging the placenta.
Only a traumatic shock to the abdomen could cause serious injury.
The fourth myth is that the feet and hands should not be massaged during pregnancy.
While massage on acupuncture points on the feet, lower legs, and hands is contraindicated, it requires deep sustained pressure.
Women generally experience moderate to serious swelling in their feet and legs as pregnancy progresses, and performing lymphatic drainage will always be the method we use to treat those areas.
Lymphatic drainage will reduce the swelling without damaging sensitive lymph vessels, and is the only safe technique for the legs up to 3 months postpartum.
Myth five is that a pregnant women should lie only on her left side, whether in bed or on the massage table.
Although sleeping on the left side is usually preferred, it is not required, and sleeping on the right side is sometimes more appropriate.
Women are often encouraged to sleep on their left sides because the position improves blood flow to the placenta, keeps the heavy uterus off the liver, keeps the weight off the growing fetus off of the inferior vena cava and aorta, and promotes improved kidney function, which helps reduce swelling.
However women’s muscles and joints may become sore after you lie on the same side for many months, and its most important that you get your sleep (which is very difficult if the only way you can sleep becomes sore).
Right side sleeping is actually preferred in cases of heartburn and indigestion because this position allows the stomach to empty at a faster rate, and sometimes the position of the fetus makes lying the on the right side more comfortable.