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Advice needed - 16 week pregnancy full body massage

4 Posts
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Posts: 8
Topic starter
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago


I am just after some advice as I am a newly qualified therapist - I have a friend interested in full body massage and she is 16 weeks pregnant. Usually, I only do Indian Head massage on pregnant ladies but she is insisting on a full body massage.

I am worried that laying on her tummy may hurt/irritate her, so would like to know do I need to worry or would I be ok to do the full body (obviously following the usual guidlines for pregnancy i.e. don't use as much pressure around the lumber region etc).

If full body massage is a problem at 16 weeks, are there any adaptations I can make to still give a full body but perhaps not laying on her back/tummy?


3 Replies
Posts: 529
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago

As a general rule pregnancy massage is "safe" to be done after 12 weeks. The main thing is that if a miscarriage is going to happen it is likely during those early weeks and if someone has a massage they may blame the therapist. Pregnancy massage is generally done with the client lying on their side. When the client is lying on their back the back of the bed needs to be raised. You could also have her sitting in a chair to massage her back and then get her on the couch. I think there is a requirement to have trained in pregnancy massage before giving one. I am sure others will chime in with some more advice.

Reiki Pixie
Posts: 2380
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago

Hi L83

Unless your insurance company and/or professional body says you are not covered for pregnany massage, you can massage - no extra requirement necessary. Unless there is a medical problem there isn't a problem - pregnancy is after all a natural event.

But as E99 has said you can massage your client in the side position. Personally I work on a mat for pregnant clients as it is easier to support them with comfy pillows etc, especially under the knee to prevent pressure in the abdomen.

Side position is a great way of working as you can work the neck, shoulders, back, hip, leg. Then swap over. Then have the client supine, pillow on your lap with clients head on top to massage head, neck, upper body. Finishing with foot massage (especially with oedema in later stages). Or massaging the feet and then finishing the head up top. Not forgetting being careful with pressure around ankle area and top of shoulders as this might cause uterine contractions.

Best Wishes


Posts: 8
Topic starter
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago

Thanks for the advice πŸ™‚

I have decided that I am going to stick with doing her an Indian Head Massage with Reflexology...I have never had any formal pregnancy massage training (only an element within my IHM course) and I am not sure if my insurance company permits me to do it.

So best to be safe than sorry!

Thank you again