Pregnancy Massage- Contraindications/Warnings

Pregnancy Massage Contraindications and Warnings

High Risk Pregnancies
Do not proceed without written release of physician.

  1. Diabetic Mother
  2. Cardiac Disorders- heart disease
  3. Chronic Hypertension
  4. Previous Problem in Pregnancy – previous miscarriage
  5. Mothers under 20 or over 35
  6. Asthmatic Mother
  7. Suspected RH Negative Mother or other genetic problems
  8. Drug addictions or exposure to drugs
  9. Previous multiple births

Proceed With Caution (Physician’s Release Advised)

  1. Incompetent cervix
  2. Complications due to DES used during pregnancy
  3. Lung or live disorder
  4. Severe anemia
  5. Convulsive disorders
  6. Abnormal Fetal Heartbeat
  7. Decrease or absence of fetal movement
  8. Interuterine growth retardation
  9. Lupus Erythematosus
  10. Poor lifestyle habits (drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption)
  11. Low weight gain
  12. No prenatal care

Warning Signs of High Risk Factors

  1. Possible Miscarriage – bloody discharge, continual abdominal pains, sudden gush of water or leakage of amniotic fluid
  2. Urinary Tract Infections – very frequent urination with burning, low back pain increase in thirst and decrease in urination, chills and fever with 100 degree temperature or higher
  3. Pre-eclampsia – (toxemia of pregnancy – if neglected or not treated properly may develop true eclampsia)  Sudden rapid weight gain, systemic edema, increased blood pressure (hypertension), protein in urine, increased headaches
  4. Eclampsia (Toxemia) Emergency situation-refer to physician immediately– Develops in 1 out of 200 patients with pre-eclampsia; persistent severe headaches; persistent severe back pain unrelieved by change of position; severe nausea/vomiting; systemic edema; pitted edema, increased blood pressure; visual disturbances; convulsions.
  5. Gestational Diabetes – excessive hunger and thirst; increased urination in 2nd trimester; sugar in urine, no non-pregnant diabetes
  6. Other conditions – thrombophlebitis; systemic infections; skin irritations; varicose veins; kidney disease; heart disease; cancer; acute injuries such as burns, bleeding, fractures

Contraindications for Massage

  • Abdominal massage totally contraindicated for 1st trimester and limited to effleurage for remainder
  • Gymnastics/ ROM – do not do movements when nausea present; or when symphysis pubis separates ( 2nd trimester)
  • Pressure point around ankles and Achilles tendon should be avoided; pressure point between thumb and finger should be avoided
  • Swedish stokes that affect circulation should not be used in the 3rd trimester if the client has a heart condition
  • Tapotement contraindicated on the legs because of the increased danger of blood clots during pregnancy

Be conservative and consult the physician with any questions.  Obtain release to work on client.

Pregnancy Massage – Benefits of Massage and Stages of Pregnancy

Pregnancy Massage Contraindications and Warnings

Pregnancy Massage – Physiological Changes – Chart

Pregnancy Massage Resources – Free Online Articles,  Books/DVD’s,  Classes