F is for Foot Massage

A foot massage during pregnancy can help relieve stress and pain in the feet of a pregnant woman.  The act of having her feet rubbed can also allow her to relax, which is always beneficial.  If a pregnant woman is experiencing high levels of stress, this can cause distress in the baby.  So yes, you can still have a foot massage when pregnant, and it may provide both psychological and physiological benefits.  Massage can cause a hormone release of endorphins, which are known to lower pain and generate a feeling of euphoria.

There are acupressure areas that are said to stimulate uterine contractions on the inside and outside of the ankles and at the corner of the baby-toe toenail.  So if you are worried about inducing labor with a foot massage, you can simply have your partner avoid the upper ankle and baby toe when rubbing your feet.  However, it is difficult to accidentally stimulate these points that could induce labor.  As always, if you have any concerns about participating in an activity, including foot massage, while pregnant please be sure to talk to your provider.  Some cases where foot massage should always be avoided are pitting edema, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the legs), and preeclampsia.

The overall consensus is: if you are having a normal pregnancy, then you can have a foot massage.  So ask your partner to take a break from Facebook, video games, or that book he is reading, and ask if he will help you relax and relieve some pregnancy pain with a nice foot massage.

If you have any questions about foot massage feel free to leave a comment.  Next week I will blog about the letter G… G is for Glucose Tolerance Test.