High Risk Pregnancies

High Risk Pregnancies

Listed below are factors that can pose a threat to the mother, baby or both and require a written release from the prenatal healthcare provider before receiving massage to maximize safety and avoid legal liabilities.

It is also safe practice to refer clients to a massage therapist with advanced training in Pregnancy Massage.

  1. Mother’s age is under 20 or over 35
  2. Complications in previous pregnancies
  3. Three or more consecutive miscarriages
  4. Multiple gestation (twin, triplets, etc.)
  5. Maternal illnesses:
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic Hypertension
  • Cardiac and Renal disease or disorders
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Liver disease or disorder
  • Uterine Abnormalities (fibroids, surgery, etc.)

6. Rh-negative mother or genetic problems

7. Fetal genetic disorder

8. Drug or other hazardous material exposure


Precautions and Contraindications:

  • NO ABDOMINAL massage without specialized training
  • LEGS  AND FEET: Avoid completely if client is on bed rest (clots can form); Avoid percussion in lower legs; Varicose veins – moderate pressure proximal to them ok, over and distal to them use feather-light or no pressure; Avoid acupressure, reflex points, cross-fiber friction, deep tissue and trigger points on feet, lower leg and medial thigh; Avoid these specific points: SP-6, UB-60, KI-3.
  • BACK: No cross-fiber friction, deep tissue or trigger point work to Quadratus Lumborum; Work at “Oblique” angle to the back, not perpendicular.
  • SHOULDERS, ARMS, NECK AND CHEST: Avoid acupressure points: GB-21, LI-4, TH-15. Use caution working around costal margins (diaphragm).
  • GENERAL: Avoid rocking movements with nausea; Avoid hyperextension of all joints; NO circulatory massage with underlying heart conditions; NO DEEP TISSUE work with unregulated diabetes; avoid techniques that detoxify the system; use caution with moist heat application – can increase blood pressure; many essential oils are contraindicated, ALWAYS check for compatibility in pregnancy and dilute.

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