Thinking about Treating a Pregnant Mom with Back Pain? Read This First

Have you had any pregnant women come in for a massage, complaining of back pain?

Back pain is a common complaint for women who are pregnant, but if you’re not certified in prenatal massage you should consider getting certified in that modality before you put your hands on a mom-to-be.  According to, the American Pregnancy Association maintains a list of massage therapists who are certified in prenatal massage techniques.

While women who are pregnant can certainly benefit from massage, doctors recommend waiting until after the first trimester to receive massage therapy. Because a woman’s blood volume doubles during pregnancy, deep pressure or heavy manipulation is not recommended.

The following blog is a great example of the “conflicting research” regarding women’s bodies and therapy during pregnancy but contains useful facts from current studies.

Image courtesy of: Meli’s Eye

“Many women think back pain during pregnancy is very normal.

With the literature reporting as many as 72% of women experiencing pain(1), it seems extremely common.  Women seek out relief through physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy or sometimes can’t find any relief at all.

But would you know what is safe and what isn’t if a pregnant client came into your practice?

As healthcare providers, we took an oath to do no harm.

When we receive a client that is pregnant, we should be fully aware that everything we do to mom, we are doing to the baby.  A recent Clinical Practice Guideline was published that reviewed all the literature regarding pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy and has some great guidelines from diagnosis to treatment.”

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