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Challenging Cultural Stigma: How Fear Hinders 1st Trimester Massage Benefits

1st trimester massage pregnancy self-care Jan 28, 2022

I've been getting massage throughout my first trimester, and it has given me a deeper appreciation and perspective on the power of massage during pregnancy.

I actually wish I had done more sessions in first trimester. They have been the highlight of my pregnancy so far, bringing me deep relaxation, a chance to tune into this little being who’s yet too tiny for me to feel, and alleviate my physical discomforts–especially some hip pain that pre-existed this pregnancy.

At 8 weeks, I had a massage with Cindy, at 10 weeks I had a massage with Angelica, and this week, which marks 12 weeks, I’m getting a massage with Callie. I’ll be seeing Heather for my first massage in the second trimester, and will continue rotating through these talented therapists throughout this pregnancy.

I’m sharing photos and videos of my journey on Instagram, if you’d like to follow along @sparrows_nest_massage

There’s a couple of important things I want to point out about first trimester massage because it’s one of those topics that’s shrouded in myth and culture-based fear.

Contrary to popular belief, massage will not cause a miscarriage. There have been no studies to show this, and there is nothing inherently dangerous about receiving massage from a skilled and experienced professional in early pregnancy. You might be thinking to yourself, then why was I refused a massage in first trimester by “such & such” establishment? The answer is that, because the vast majority of miscarriages happen in first trimester, they don’t want to be associated with a loss.

So what does that tell you about their values? Well, the same thing that it tells us about so many things related to pregnancy: They value liability protection above evidenced-based and mother-baby centric care. They’d rather deny care to a deserving pregnant person, based on cultural fears that reinforce a false sense of pregnancy fragility, than to provide true service. Can you tell I’m passionate about this?!

While I do think it’s wise to choose a well-trained and experienced therapist no matter what, I hope that this can allay some of the un-substantiated fears around first trimester massage. I’m committed to providing the best care to you, and you can come see us at any point in your pregnancy for a massage.

Here are a few benefits of receiving massage in early pregnancy:

First Trimester is the most stressful trimester for many people. You’re integrating this big news, imagining all of the lifestyle, financial, & relational changes you need to make–all while dealing with exhaustion & often nausea. Prenatal massage can help tremendously to reduce stress, and nurture you all while bringing good circulation to your growing baby.

If you had aches, pains or old injuries before you got pregnant, first trimester is a great time to get those worked out before the extra weight of pregnancy compounds them as time goes on. 

Please share this with anyone who’s in early pregnancy, or has been denied a massage from other establishments. We’re here for you!

Sending love and light to you and your family!

With Gratitude,

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