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 body and mind of the pregnant woman. While there are many benefits of massage during pregnancy, there are a few little 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 doctor to get an opinion. Overall, leave 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 pregnancy first trimester – In the first three months of pregnancy, usually for any new venture 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 abdomen.

pregnancy massage

Massage position in pregnancy
The pregnant woman body needs to be positioned very comfortable, taking care not to put pressure on abdomen and chest. Soft pillows and padding 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 back..
  • Breast massage helps avoid stretch marks and keeps up the breast tone.
  • Foot massage helps to induce deep relaxation and avoid foot pain.
  • Head massage helps in relaxing 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 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.

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  1. can i do this at home by myself? i mean applying the oil all over and washing it off after a while? or should i go to a professional?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes it can be done at home. But the choice of herbal oil is very important. Consulting a doctor will be better.

  2. 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,

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, you can continue applying castor oil. But I do not recommend any oral Ayurvredic medicines for fibroid during pregnancy.
      You will have to take sufficient rest and stick to you gynecologist’s advice.

      Avoid fast foods, aerated drinks, Soda
      Avoid dairy products, soy products
      Restrict on non veg food. Avoid red meat and ham.
      Avoid bacon, sausage, egg yolks, avocado.
      Avoid highly salted foods.

      Increase green leafy vegetables, lettuce, broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, spinach, whole grains, bran, cabbage, soya food, lady finger, beans, almonds, sesame seeds, flax seed. garlic, basil

  3. Thanks doctor for the response.

    Among the dietry suggestions you have mentioned, the only place of problem is regarding dairy products. I take milk three times and one time curd. Now will this restriction mean I need to completely avoid them all. Though I am taking the recommended calcium and iron tablets, will the tablets alone be sufficient if I avoid dairy products?

    Also, just when I started my pregnancy my ayurveda doctor had advised me to take Shatavari Ghrita 1 sp in hot milk at night throughout pregnancy. Should I stop that also now?

    Basically, what is the reason for fibroids and how does it grow?

  4. Thanks for the response doctor.

    Is it a good idea to avoid daiy products during this time? I am worried about this point alone as I would drink 3 glasses of milk apart from regular curd intake during lunch. But I stopped on milk after I was discharged from hospital for fibroid treatment. It’s been three weeks now and I haven’t had any issues so far. I take my regular calcium and iron tablets though.

    What is the main reason to avoid dairy products when having fibroids? Is it due to Estrogen factor? I am a pure veg so all other factors in diet you have mentioned are taken care of.

    Also, can I continue my regular evening walks? or any light yoga exercises.

    Another question botherng me, some people are against applying castor oil. Not sure if they felt it would induce false labour. Is this true? or it’s still safe.

    Please advise.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

  5. Dr.M.S.Kamath says:

    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.

  6. Hi Doc,
    My wife is one and half month pregnant. She use Dabur lal tail for foot, calf and lower back massage. And dhanvantari kuzhambu is used just to simply apply on the stomach. Timing is around 15 – 20 mins before bed in night. I will request you to give your views and guidance.

  7. Doctor, an article on uterine fibroids would be nice.

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

  9. Manjari says:

    Doctor u have not mentioned dhanwantaram taila by kottakal but my doc advised breast nipple pelvis pelvic floor around vagina and abdomen massage from 5th month using this oil. Is it contraindicatied. I dint see mentioning dhanwantaram at all.pls reply

  10. 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

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes, but no need of breast massage now. There are oral medicines like Shatavari kalpa, which can be taken after delivery, in case milk production is less.


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