How to Massage Your Pregnant Wife

Seven Methods:Learn Correct Positioning For MassageLearn Techniques For MassageKnow the Precautions For MassageSpeak to a ProfessionalUse Essential OilsDecide on Your ApproachConsider Alternatives

Massage is a useful tool that can soothe sore muscles, improve range of motion, and provide a calm and relaxed feeling to expectant moms. Professional prenatal massages are one option, however, they are often expensive and fitting an appointment into a busy schedule can be difficult. As her partner, you can learn simple steps for how to effectively massage your pregnant wife.

Method 1
Learn Correct Positioning For Massage

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    Learn about the floor technique, which is preferable to a mattress because it provides a firmer surface.
    • Position 2 pillows on the floor to resemble an arrow point and have your wife lie on her side with her armpit between the 2 pillows.
    • Allow the pillows to support her stomach and back.
    • Place a pillow or two under her head for support of the neck and for proper spine alignment.
    • Keeping the bottom leg straight, bend the top leg and place a pillow or two under it.
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    Learn about the kneeling technique, which provides support to her belly while relieving pressure.
    • Have your wife kneel by the bed with her shoulders supported by the bed.
    • Place a pillow or two under her knees for comfort and be sure her belly is free from pressure.
    • Always let your wife determine her comfort level.

Method 2
Learn Techniques For Massage

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    Relieve back pain by massaging your unclenched fist on either side of the spine.
    • Begin at the nape of your wife’s neck and continue gently massing down to the hips.
    • Then begin gently moving back up the neck on the opposite side of the spine.
    • Incorporate both sides of the spine into the massage technique while staying clear of the spine itself.
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    Assist in reducing strain on the buttocks by massaging a soft fist gently into the bone at the base of the spine.
    • Use your fist to gently press in and down, tiling the pelvis just slightly as you do so.
    • Avoid moving down far enough to involve touching the tailbone.
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    Alleviate tired legs by gently rubbing the outer part of your wife’s legs.
    • Use small circular motions and begin where the foot meets the calf.
    • Slowly work your way up to the thigh and finish where the thigh meets buttocks.
    • Always work from the foot up and avoid massaging the inner thigh to help relieve swelling in the legs.

Method 3
Know the Precautions For Massage

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    Understand that any form of massage or essential oil usage should be avoided entirely until after the first trimester.
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    Follow every massage session with a large glass of water.
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    Avoid stretching the uterine ligaments. You do not want to place any pressure on the abdomen.
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    Stay clear of the pressure points on the ankles and wrists. These points have been known to stimulate uterine and pelvic muscles, and may cause contractions.
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    Never massage with a vigorous motion. Always use gentle, light strokes during pregnancy massage. Deep tissue massage should never be performed on a pregnant woman.
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    Discontinue the massage immediately if at any time your wife complains of any discomfort or dizziness.

Method 4
Speak to a Professional

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    Ask your health practitioner if it would be wise to begin massage therapy with your wife. If your doctor feels that your wife is a good candidate for prenatal massage, you can ask for referrals to qualified massage therapists for further instruction.
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    Locate a qualified massage therapist who is knowledgeable about pregnancy massage. Speak with the therapist to learn about safety and precautions that should be used, and learn about the special techniques that you can follow at home. If you have difficulty locating a prenatal massage specialist, ask for advice from friends, neighbors and colleagues. Keep in mind that you are looking not just for a massage therapist, but one who is familiar with the care of pregnant women.
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    Consider making a one-time appointment for a professional prenatal massage. Speak with the massage therapist and explain that you would like to duplicate her technique at home. Ask her to explain the important steps to you while she is massaging your wife. Many therapists will not mind taking the time to briefly discuss the key points with you during or after the massage session.

Method 5
Use Essential Oils

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    Consider essential oils as used in aromatherapy. Research has shown that essential oils can affect the body in various ways. Due to the warning against the use of common drugs during pregnancy, many have turned to essential oils for ways to obtain safe relief. However, remember to always check about the safety of any oils used during pregnancy, as pregnant women should avoid a number of them.
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    Discover what effects oils can have on the pregnant body. Find out which oils are used to alleviate what symptoms. Mandarin aids with morning sickness, insomnia and prevention of stretch marks. Grapefruit is helpful with retention of fluid and fatigue.
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    Avoid Cedar wood, Clary sage and Ginger, all of which promote menstruation and could lead to miscarriage. Clove, Birch and Black pepper can create skin sensitivity and should thus also be avoided during pregnancy (especially since skin is so much more sensitive during this time). Many oils can also be toxic so knowing what oils to avoid is essential for the safety of the baby as well as for mom.
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    Consider hiring a professional aromatherapist for the blending of personalized oils for what ails your wife. Many oils can be mixed to offer aid for multiple symptoms at a time.

Method 6
Decide on Your Approach

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    Determine if your wife is interested in special massage positions and techniques rather than just a generalized, all-over massage. Massage therapy has been very successful in relieving muscle tension and stress when performed correctly. Studies have suggested that the regular use of massage during pregnancy may help reduce risks during labor and provide better health for the newborn.
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    Learn what positions are acceptable for pregnant women and what relief can be expected by the various positions. Some pressure points and positions should be avoided during pregnancy, so it is imperative that you learn what recommendations have to be followed.

Method 7
Consider Alternatives

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    Indulge in simple, feel-good practices as often as possible.
    • Cuddle with your wife and gently stroke her scalp.
    • Take a walk together and converse.
    • Draw a warm bath for her.
    • Include candles and soft music to aid in the relaxation effort.
    • Sit her in a comfy chair with her feet elevated.


  • There are many different focuses of prenatal massage. Some women will benefit from massage that incorporates calming music or essential oils while other women’s main concern may be that special attention be paid to the type of stroke used or to specific areas of the body. It is a very personal decision, so ask your wife what her desires are. This will help you to better meet her personal needs, rather than to give her a generic, one-size-fits-all pregnancy massage.


  • Do not use pressure on the inner thighs. From the source article on BabyZone: "Second, you should not do any massage work on the inner thighs or “deep” massage work on the legs. As MacInnis explains, during pregnancy, the blood tends to clot more easily in preparation for childbirth. Clots can form in the inner legs and be dislodged through aggressive massage—an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal problem."
  • Always speak with a health care specialist regarding safety of oil usage and massage during pregnancy.
  • Seek immediate medical assistance if the use of oils or massage is followed by unusual discomfort or atypical symptoms.

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Categories: Development Stages | Essential Oils