Are Massage Chairs Safe During Pregnancy? Myths Busted!
There are some myths and misinformation propagated by various sites on the internet surrounding massage chairs and pregnant women. However, despite these misgivings, massage chairs are actually a great investment for improving personal comfort during the pregnancy months. Plus, once you have a massage chair, you can continue using it after the baby is born!
Let us clarify some of these rumors and explain the exact potential health benefits and possible risks that pregnant women may face if they use massage chairs during pregnancy.
Benefits of Relaxing in a Massage Chair While Pregnant
Everyone knows that pregnancy can be a stressful, intense experience for any woman, even those at the peak of health. It changes one’s body and comes with a host of side effects that may cause lifestyle changes, mood swings, or temporary pain to various parts of the body.
In addition, as the pregnancy reaches it's later stages, the body can become inundated with pain as it balances the health of the baby with the functionality of its mother.
Therefore, massage chairs can be a great help during the tumultuous months of pregnancy for several different reasons. Let’s go through each one individually.
However, although massage chairs can be great additions to your home before and after pregnancy, they do come with a few potential side effects that need to be considered before you make a final decision.
- Premature Labor- While a rare occasion, the massage points can sometimes stimulate a woman into labor, although this has only been known to happen while labor was imminent anyway. The massaging of a heavily-pregnant woman’s body can cause reactions in her nervous system which trick it into beginning the labor process.
- Stomach Sickness- Sometimes the heating pads and massage points can affect a woman's nervous system the wrong way and make her feel sick. This is especially true in a zero gravity massage chair since that type of chair relies on turning the person seated entirely flat. This can turn a pregnant woman's sensitive stomach.
Overall, the possible side effects which may be suffered by pregnant women are very minor and rare. They do not represent a significant deterrent to the majority of healthily-pregnant women if used properly and during the later trimesters.
Myths About Massage Chair Side Effects
There are also a few misinformative ideas that float around the internet about the dangers of massage chairs to women. Let’s clarify a few of those before we move on.
- Heating Pads- The heating pads included in typical massage chairs are in no way dangerous to pregnant women. They cannot raise the temperature of a woman's body enough to cause harm to the fetus or to induce premature labor. The pads are only hot enough to moderately raise the temperature of a woman's outermost skin layers.
- Fetal Complications - Massage points have been rumored to induce premature labor or cause complications of the development of the pregnancy, but the massage points are never painful enough to cause these symptoms in reality.
- Low Back Pain - While massage chairs are a great tool for relieving back pain, pregnant women should be aware that this symptom is often a sign that labor will begin soon. Avoid using the massage chair if you believe labor is imminent.
Best Times to Use Massage Chairs While Pregnant
Despite the relative safety of massage chairs, since a woman’s body changes very drastically during the process, there are times during the pregnancy in which it’s better or worse to indulge in some recreational relaxing.
- First Trimester - A woman's body changes in a multitude of ways during this stage of pregnancy and the chance for miscarriage is also the highest it will ever be. Therefore, stimulation of the body and its developing systems should be minimized. Although the risk of complications is low, doctors recommend avoiding the use of massage chairs during the first trimester.
- Second Trimester -This is the best time to use a good home massage chair, as the woman’s pregnancy is likely to be stable.
- Third Trimester - While massage chairs are fine to use during this period, a woman should avoid squeezing into a massage chair if she finds that her belly is too big.
As you can see, massage chairs are a great tool to help pregnant women remain comfortable and stress-free during their pregnancy.
However, care should be taken that these chairs are used responsibly and during the right months in the process to avoid any unnecessary complications, as there are a few, very small risk factors.
Overall, most women will find their massage chair experiences to be wonderful and relaxing.