Carrying your baby for nine months can be a little harsh on your legs and feet. Swollen, sore, and aching feet are many pregnant women’s problems. Especially at the end of the day, their feet are too tired and plump. That is the time when you crave a foot massage.
But the question comes, is it safe to have a foot massage during pregnancy? Are there any risks? How to do it? And many more. We are going to answer all of those doubts.
Can pregnant woman have foot massage?
The very first question that swings in the mind is whether a pregnant woman can have a foot massage or not? The answer is YES. You certainly can have a foot massage while being pregnant, it can do wonders for you.
But there are certain points on the feet that you must be careful about to avoid uterine contractions. It is always advisable to have a foot massage from a trained practitioner to avoid any problems.
Benefits of foot massage during pregnancy
Pregnant women tend to gain extra weight and that leads to strain the muscles. This puts extra stress on fine bones and tendons in the feet. A foot massage can help a lot in this situation. Following are the potential benefits of foot massage during pregnancy:
- Reduces depression and anxiety: Pregnancy is full of feeling depressed and anxious and endless mood swings. One moment you are happy and the other is full of irritation from anything around. It is okay. A foot massage therapy of 20 minutes every weekend can help a lot with the mood swings.
- Shortened labor: A research revealed that getting a foot massage from a professional can reduce the labor time by 3 hours and those women tend to take fewer medicines than others. But it is only possible if the message is given correctly by a trained professional.
- Benefits for the baby: Mothers who get foot massages and prenatal massages give birth to a healthy with good body weight. The chances of premature delivery are less and labor is eased. An interesting fact also says that massages at the time pregnancy also makes the baby calm.
- Postpartum benefits: The massages during pregnancy can help in reducing postpartum depression and also lowers the cortisol levels in women.
How can I massage my feet during pregnancy?
Here is your step by step guide to massaging your feet during pregnancy:
- Sit and be comfortable: Find a comfortable chair and sit with your one feet resting on the opposite knee. Do not try this on the bed as it will strain your back. If your baby bump is bigger then it will be difficult to do so. Guide someone who can help you by giving you a foot massage.
- Initial stroke: Hold your foot with both the hands and then using your thumbs press along the bottom of your foot from heels to toes. Move along the line on your foot. Make sure to not put extra pressure. Be gentle.
- Massaging the toes: Coming to the toes, gently press the fleshy pad of each toe and squeeze it for 30seconds. Then grabbing the base of each toe, pull up using thumb and forefinger. Then pinch the web between the toes.
- Massaging ball, arch, and heel: Using both hands, massage ball of the foot. Make small circles with your thumbs. Do the same with your arch and heels. Then rub gently across the top of the foot.
- Massaging the ankle: Flex and rotate your foot several times to loosen. It will make it more flexible and will relax the muscles. Then rub back and forth just under the ankle. End with soothing strokes. Keep the pressure light.
Pregnancy is a sensitive time and we don’t want you to get into any trouble. So though you can massage your feet at home, we would recommend you visit a trained massage therapist who can help you better.
Someone who is specialized in prenatal massages will give you a better leg massage during pregnancy than anyone including yourself. He/she will charge up your feet in no time.
Essential tips for a foot massage during pregnancy
Foot massage during pregnancy can be beneficial but here are a few tips to be considered before going for your foot massage appointment:
- Always use a generous amount of massaging oil or lotion to reduce friction.
- Warm a bit by moving your ankles round and round to loosen the muscles before the massage.
- Keep the strokes light and the pressure should be soft. You must not feel any pain. Rub gently so the feet get warm. It will increase blood circulation in the feet.
- Squeeze the heels
- Sit comfortably so no part of your body feels any strain.
Risks of getting a foot massage during pregnancy
Everything has its pros and cons. Foot massage during pregnancy can be a bit risky too. There are certain acupressure points on the feet that can induce labor. So be careful about the following acupressure points on the feet:
- Spleen 6: This acupressure point is located on the inner ankle. It is about three fingers width above the inner ankle bone. Pressing this point can cause pain in the lower abdomen. Hence, it must be avoided.
- Urinary bladder 60: This acupressure point is on the outside of the leg. Between the Achilles tendon and the main ankle bone. This point is massaged to induce labor. Must be avoided in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Urinary bladder 67: This is is on the corner of the pinky toe right near the toenail. Pressing this point can also result in contractions and will get your baby in the delivery position.
Foot massages are highly soothing and beneficial for expecting mothers. But some acupressure points are sensitive for them. It is important to stay cautious and aware of everything you do during pregnancy.
Stay healthy and stay safe.