In the massage community it is an often observed rule to avoid massaging a woman that is in her first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The liability and the threat of miscarriage within these first weeks, along with nausea are long thought to have the newly pregnant woman at risk while receiving massage. This is passed on from therapist to therapist, but is actually an old wive’s tale in my profession. The science just doesn’t back it up.
Regardless of the scientific backing for early pregnancy and massage, I always ask my clients to first ask their doctor or midwife about massage. The above rumors are also heard by the other parts of the medical community and you can’t ever really know how your practitioner feels until you ask directly. In most instances, the ob/gyn will say that massage is a benefit to the stress of pregnancy, so go ahead and schedule. I also share the rumor with the client so that they can use their own judgements in the decision. And if they felt comfortable, and their provider felt comfortable, we would continue with their massage routine.
An article that goes along these same lines can be found at www.massagetoday.com
In nearly half of all known losses, the embryo was chromosomally abnormal and not viable or able to sustain life. Other possible risk factors include genital and reproductive structural abnormalities (retroversion of the uterus, bicornuate uterus, fibroid tumors, etc.), infections (chlamydia, rubella, listeria, ureaplasma, mycoplasma), maternal disease (diabetes, renal disease, thyroid conditions, nutritional deficiencies), ectopic pregnancies, hormonal imbalances, immunological rejection, maternal age (the older the gravida, the greater the risk of miscarriage), and environmental factors such as first- or second-hand smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to organic solvents, and excessive radiation. Massage is not a contributing factor in any of these physical or environmental circumstances, and is not causative in a miscarriage.