15 Precautions And Benefits Of Massage In Pregnancy

Massage in pregnancy is beneficial in many ways. It is called prenatal massages. Pregnancy massage has both physical and mental benefits. Massage helps to relax both the body and mind of the pregnant woman. While there are many benefits of massage during pregnancy, there are a few small but important precautions to be exercised.

Massage in pregnancy- Is it safe?
Yes, massage in pregnancy is safe, if done with due caution. In some cases, massage in first trimester is not recommended. It is better to consult a doctor to get an opinion. Overall, except a few rare conditions, massage during pregnancy is safe.

When not to massage during pregnancy?

  • There are certain conditions when massage is not recommended. In all those circumstances, avoid prenatal massages.
  • Massage in first trimester of pregnancy – In the first three months of pregnancy, usually for any new venture, the doctor’s consultation is highly recommended. The same thing applies to massage.
  • Some massage techniques such as deep tissue massage is not good. Special care must be taken while massaging abdomen. I would say, just gentle application of oil is more than good for the abdomen.
pregnancy massage

Massage position in pregnancy
The pregnant woman body needs to be positioned very comfortably, taking care not to put pressure on abdomen and chest. Soft pillows and paddings are needed.
A sitting position is also good.Benefits of massage in pregnancy:

  • Back massage with particular Ayurvedic oils helps to relieve back pain pregnancy. Mild to moderate pressure can be applied over the back.
  • Breast massage helps avoid stretch marks and maintains the breast tone.
  • Foot massage helps to induce deep relaxation and avoid foot pain.
  • Head massage helps in relaxing the mind, relieving anxiety.
  • Body massage helps relaxation and strengthening of muscles, joints and bones. Relieves aches and pains.
  • Calf massage helps to relieve leg cramps.
  • If daily massage is done starting from early days of pregnancy, stretch marks in pregnancy can easily be avoided.
  • with proper Ayurvedic oils, itching sensation and dark skin discoloration can be avoided by massage.


  • Overall, bar a few exceptions, prenatal massages is a must have.
  • It is better to consult doctor before going for massage.
  • It is better to get the pregnancy massage from a massage therapist.

Which oil to use for pregnancy massage?
Sesame oil
Mahanarayana oil
Dhanwantharam tailam
Narayana taila
Ksheerabala taila
Kottamchukkadi taila
Balaswagandhadi tailam
Ashwagandha Bala Lakshadi tailam
Lakshadi oil – these are commonly used.

Any oil in Ayurveda for thigh pain during pregnancy?
Usually for joint and muscle pains, Mahanarayana oil is used for massage during pregnancy.

23 comments on “15 Precautions And Benefits Of Massage In Pregnancy

  • Vidya

    23/09/2014 - 8:14 pm

    Hello Doctor,

    I am 5 months pregnant and diagnoised with Uterine fibroid. Till now it was silent and did not cause any issues. Just in my 20th week, I experienced lot of pain and was admitted to hospital for a week. After some treatments, I can now manage with caution and care at home. My question here is : Is there any natural treatment for fibroids during pregnancy in Ayurveda that I can consult and try? I also read several articles on the net that applying warm castor oil on the fibroid region everyday for over a month helps in relieveing pain as well as shrinking the fibroid. I always look out for natural treatments for any of my health issues. So far I did not have any such major issues as such. Not even in my first pregnancy. This has created lot of worry for all of us. Please help.

    Eagerly awaiting your inputs.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    20/10/2014 - 7:36 pm

    Hi, if you are pregnant, then no problem with continuing with a cup or two of milk.
    No need of castor oil usage during pregnancy.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr.M.S.Kamath

    09/03/2015 - 12:00 pm

    Dear Drf. This information need to be popularised carefully. I am not sure weather Ayurvedic texts recommend massage(Abhyanga) in pregnancy. There is a garbhini paricharya described in Ayurveda where all sorts of manipulative treatments are contraindicated. Please note this.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    25/01/2017 - 10:43 pm

    She can continue applying both the oils. No problem.

    Reply to comment
  • Kamal

    19/03/2017 - 4:25 pm

    Doctor, an article on uterine fibroids would be nice.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      20/03/2017 - 6:15 pm

      Will write shortly.

      Reply to comment
  • Tanushree

    31/03/2017 - 12:48 pm

    Hi.. I’m at my 5th month of pregnancy. I’m using sesame oil for massaging whole body
    . Is it ok?

    Reply to comment
  • Briji

    26/05/2017 - 2:57 pm

    Hi doctor ,iam in my third trimester.i heard breast massage using oil will help to increase breast milk.is it true?we are using pure coconut oil for massage.pls help

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    28/05/2017 - 11:09 am

    Dhanwantharam tailam is indeed useful. Please go ahead with your doctor’s advice.

    Reply to comment
  • April Marco

    20/11/2017 - 11:46 pm


    I am on my 1st trimester. Is it safe to use dhanwantharam thailam oil to massage all over my body? I developed hives while pregnant and looking for something to relieved it. Please let me know.

    Reply to comment
  • OfferUp

    27/11/2017 - 5:34 pm

    For itchy nipples & breats in pregnancy which oil should be used to massage it? Thanks sir

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    05/12/2017 - 10:51 pm

    Hi, it is fine to follow castor oil massage. It does not affect the chances of pregnancy.

    Reply to comment
  • Dhanya

    19/02/2018 - 3:32 pm

    Hi Doc,
    I heard that Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu during pregnancy is not good. It is given to old aged people. Is it true? Am in my 7th mnth and my doc said to mix equal quantities of Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu and pinna thailam and massage before bath.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      01/03/2018 - 5:03 pm

      Hi, for massage, it is safe to use during pregnancy.

      Reply to comment
  • Savanna

    14/03/2018 - 2:50 pm

    I am 6 weeks pregnant and I continue using sesame oil throughout my body before bath..Is it safe to apply oil on my stomach during this time?
    or shall I discontinue until the start of 2nd trimester?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      15/03/2018 - 1:46 am

      It is safe to apply sesame oil to stomach. Do jot apply any pressure while applying.

      Reply to comment
  • Athi

    27/03/2018 - 3:41 pm

    Which oil is better to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? Eladi, naalparamadi or dhanwandharam?

    Reply to comment
  • Anu

    11/04/2018 - 7:35 pm

    I am having sinus infection, is it safe to use Karpooradi Thailam on face and steam during pregnancy. It kind of opens my sinuses and am able to breath better with karpooradi Thailam inhalation but just not sure about it’s safety. Thank you

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      12/04/2018 - 6:42 pm

      It is fine to continue using it once in a while. I do not recommend it daily.

      Reply to comment
  • Anu

    12/04/2018 - 6:59 pm

    Thank you Dr Hebbar for the quick reply. Do you recommend any other oil ?

    Reply to comment
  • sumi

    23/05/2018 - 12:34 am

    hi Dr iam 3rd mnth pregnant whether i can use nalpamaradi oil for body massage before bath any complication?

    Reply to comment
  • Saby

    04/09/2018 - 1:20 pm

    Is it ok to mix til tel and coconut oil for bidy massage from 6 th month of pregnancy

    Reply to comment

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