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10w and turned away for a massage - was told "it could cause miscarriage". True? Would appreciate your views!

(18 Posts)
Sunnydale Fri 02-Oct-09 11:47:39

Last night, I went for a much-needed massage appt. I've been working 15 hour days, travelling a lot with work and generally feeling exhausted. I was SO looking forward to one hour or relaxation. But when I filled in the form saying I was 10w pg, the therapist refused to treat me. I can understand that they need to cover their backs, but what upset me was when she said massage could cause miscarriage. She also said - and I quote - that massage releases toxins into the bloodstream that could KILL THE FETUS.

Can this be true? Obviously I didn't want to do anything to jeopardise this much longed-for pregnancy, but I felt her words were a bit strong. What I also want to know is if they were misguided. Any doctors reading?

It just seems a little strange that we women often have stressful jobs, kids to look after, jolty buses to take, tubes to stand up in, planes to catch, wi fi and mobile phone radiation to absorb... and yet lying down having a body rub can kill the fetus. WTF?

Sorry - rant over. Would love to know your thoughts / if you have had a similar experience. (PS - I had a facial instead. I begged her just to rub my shoulders a bit, but she wouldn't...)

EldonAve Fri 02-Oct-09 11:49:38

I have had massage in early pg but I've always made sure they knew in advance or it was a therapist who offers pg massage

It's possible the therapist hasn't been trained in that area and thus wasn't happy

mackerel Fri 02-Oct-09 11:51:54

Provided you told her and didn't use any essential oils, she could massage you and leave out yur abdomen.

Meglet Fri 02-Oct-09 11:58:43

Agree that the therapist probably wasn't trained in pregnancy massage and wasn't confident in doing it safely.

sunny Good point about pg women having to dash around doing everything but not being able to get a massage. I didn't bother with massage when I was pg as no one local was trained in it sad.

orangehead Fri 02-Oct-09 12:02:53

There are some places that offer pregnancy packages including a massage. So I doudt it. Also they teach your dp to massage you antenantal classes. However I think you will find it hard to get anyway that will do it under 12 weeks, but more because they want to cover themselves.
When I was 12 weeks preg with ds1. Me and some friends had booked to go to a health farm for the weekend as bf was getting married the following week. I started bleeding on the friday so went to hospital. The consultant was discussing weather to admit me or not for obs or if he should let me go home and either come back if things get worse or if not just come back monday morning. I mentioned in pasing I was supposed to be going away (with intention to not go) he asked where I was supposed to be going and he told me to go and said it would probably be the best thing. So I went, however they wouldnt touch me except for a manicure, pedicure and facial. But still had a good time

sherby Fri 02-Oct-09 12:02:55

I had a massage the other week at 11wks pregnant

As long as not aromatherapy I can't see the problem

MrsBadger Fri 02-Oct-09 12:06:47

there is a reason she is a masseur not a midwife...

Floopy21 Fri 02-Oct-09 12:29:03

As a masseuse, when massaging a pregnant lady you should also avoid certain points on the feet which correspond to reflexology points, in early pregnancy over stimulating these areas could be dangerous. Same with abdomen. Sounds like she wasn't sure & covering her back. Some masseuses will massage people within 5 years of being diagnosed with cancer, some not (to do with the over stimulation of the lymphatic system & the possible 'dislodging' of cancerous cells around the body). Someone who knows what they're doing should be able to massage you whatever medical condition you have, you just tailor the massage.

bubblesincambridge Fri 02-Oct-09 13:58:49

Boots wouldn't even sell me some thrush cream the other week.

theyoungvisiter Fri 02-Oct-09 14:04:15

Many places won't give treatments to women in their first trimester.

I think the issue is not that the treatment is generally dangerous, but more that (sadly) so many pregnancies end in miscarriage at that stage, and if something unexplained happened to the pregnancy, it might lay the salon open to a lawsuit or just unfortunate publicity.

reikizen Fri 02-Oct-09 14:07:46

This kind of thing drives me mad! It just makes women feel so upset if they miscarry thinking there was something they did or didn't do that caused it. When I trained as a massage therapist we were taught to refuse a massage before 12 weeks as it may be dangerous. As a midwife I know this isn't true. Of course if you have a history of miscarriage etc then that would be reasonable, and avoiding the abdomen would also be reasonable on grounds of comfort but I fail to see how millenia of evolution could leave a fetus vulnerable to a back massage!

BaDaBing Fri 02-Oct-09 14:08:04

I am a qualified Aromatherpit and Swedish Masseuse and all during my training worked with a pregnant woman. Massage is perfectly safe and infact very beneficial in pregnancy. Aromatherapy is also safe, although there are some oils which are generally considered to be potentially risky (Clary Sage etc). Like floppy said there are certain things you avoid, tapotement, trapezius pressures etc, but any good therapist can tailor a treatment.

Where in the country are you? If you are west central Scotland I'll come out and see you!

AmazingMabel Fri 02-Oct-09 14:08:43

bubbles they won't give you thrush cream over the counter because thrush thrives on high levels of sugar which in a pregnant lady may be caused by gestational diabetes. Ergo you have to have a doctor be happy you're not developing diabetes before s/he can then prescribe the treatment.

Floopy21 Fri 02-Oct-09 15:30:39

I echo BaDaBing's offer! I'm trained in Swedish too - are you anywhere near Suffolk?!

mumandlovingit Fri 02-Oct-09 16:06:12

i go to a sports injury clinic and have massage done on my neck/back for migraine relief and ive been told i cant go now im pregnant. something to do with the blood flow and taking it away from the baby.

getting dp to massage me instead now

3littlefrogs Fri 02-Oct-09 16:16:38

I trained as a massage therapist, and generally the advice is not to have massage during the first 12 weeks. This is mainly due to the reasons theyoungvisiter has stated.

However, I would not massage the abdomen at this time. I would not have a problem doing a back, neck and shoulder massage - but I was also a practising midwife for many years, so have the background knowledge and experience.

I would not use essential oils, not would I use anything derived from nuts or peanuts.

I doubt if most salons would insure their therapists to carry out massage on pregnant women during the first trimester.

I think saying that the toxins released into the blood stream could kill the fetus is OTT though!

Sunnydale Sat 03-Oct-09 08:20:07

Hi everyone

Thanks so much for all your replies - really interesting. I'm glad to feel so well informed. Floopy and Badabing, thanks especially for your kind offers of a massage: sadly I live in London and don't have a car, so not very practical. But really v kind of you.
Well, all things considered, I guess I'll live with my stiff shoulders and crampy legs for another few weeks until the 12w mark is passed. If all is well with this bean, I'll be so happy I won't care how stiff I feel. I was just v worried about the scan, hence wanting the massage in a bid to try to relax.
All the best to any of you who are pg smile

3littlefrogs Sat 03-Oct-09 12:10:34

I live in London..... (North).

3 tadpoles at g mail dot com.

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