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Posted by Deborah Sheppard, Mar 10 2012 6:47PM

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Massage during first trimester of pregnancy


I have been contacted by a woman who says she is about 6 weeks' pregnant; she would like a Natural Lift Facial Massage Treatment. I have completed the NLFM course and am also a qualified pregnancy massage therapist. I would have no hesitation about carrying the treatment out on a woman in her second trimester; I would just leave out the acupressure points and make sure the shoulder and neck strokes were very gentle, avoiding GB21, and of course, ensure that she was semi-prone and fully supported throughout the treatment, but I would appreciate other therapists' advice about carrying out massage in the first trimester please.

I look forward to your replies.


Angela Cooke
Mar 11 2012 12:18PM

Hi Deborah,
I personally would not want to treat a lady in the first trimester.
However Im not trained in pregnancy massage I am qualified in holistic massage and A&P but Reflexology is my main therapy.
For facial rejuvenation massage this is an interesting one. I could be wrong but one my own personal feeling would be that it's a treatment unlikely to cause a problem even so I would always err on the side of caution.
I may train to do reflexology in pregnancy in time but I would only ever treat a women afer the first 3 months.
I am wondering if when you trained in facial rej massage did your tutor not tell you if it would be contraindicated to treat a women in the first timester?

Deborah Sheppard
Mar 11 2012 3:33PM
Hi Angela,

Thank you for your response.

I've looked at the handbook they gave me and it recommends only treating women after the first trimester, so I will follow those guidelines as I think it's best not to take any chances. I always feel bad when I have to turn pregnant clients away, as I know how benificial massage can be for them. However, I agree that it is definitely best to err on the side of caution.

Take care,

Tracey Taylor
Sep 4 2012 10:48AM
Hi Deborah
I've just had a similar occurance. I've also done NFLM, but no pregancy massage course. Would you be able to give me somoe pointers as to massage in subsequent trimesters, please? Client was quite disappointed last night!
Many thanks
Deborah Sheppard
Sep 4 2012 12:36PM
Hi Tracey,

The best advice I can offer you is to attend a pregnancy massage course as they cover all the 'dos and don'ts' really thoroughly. I did mine with Gateway Workshops, and highly recommend them.

Other than that, make sure the client doesn't lie flat; she needs to be well propped up with cushions. And be careful with the acupressure points; it will be best to avoid some of them.

Sorry this is a bit short and abrupt but I'm just checking my emails before I start packing as I'm going away for a few days :) I'm sure other therapists will be able to give you some advice too.

Best wishes,

Tracey Taylor
Sep 4 2012 2:05PM
Thanks Debbie! Enjoy your break!!

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