Massage and pregnancy

Being pregnant can be wonderful, amazing, beautiful…and… uncomfortable. All the extra pressure from baby may lead to back pain, knee pain or sciatica. You may know these discomforts can be resolved with a prenatal massage. However, did you ever consider massage for edema? How about Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)? What IS that, even? Read on to find out more about what massage can do for you when you’re growing a human inside you.

Muscle pain

This is likely the number one reason women seek a massage while pregnant. A growing fetus causes your whole body structure to shift and often results in muscle aches and pains. Just like a regular massage, a prenatal massage can help ease these symptoms.


We discussed in our last blog, “Acupuncture and pregnancy“, that acupuncture can help with sciatica. Well, massage can also be a great help! The fetus puts pressure on certain body parts which can result in pressure on the sciatic nerve. Often the result is shooting pain in your glutes and legs. Gentle massage can help relax muscles and take pressure off those nerves.

Take a look at the picture, below, to get a good idea of where the sciatic nerve is in your body. You can see it starts in the lower back and tucks under the sacrum. A large part of the nerve resides right where baby lives. It’s no wonder many women feel the pain of sciatica when pregnant!


Pubic symphasis separation aka Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

The pubic symphysis is a joint connecting the left and right pubic bones together (just above the pubic arch in this picture). During pregnancy, this joint can separate and cause pain. wrote a great article explaining more: “Until the baby is born, the symphysis pubis will not tighten back up. The trick is to manage the pain. This can be done by releasing the tightness in the muscles attached to the pelvis. These muscles house the nerve endings that cause the most pain experienced related to SPD. Releasing these muscles with a focused prenatal massage, can reduce the pain.”



When you’re pregnant, swelling in your lower legs, ankles and feet is most likely caused by the retention of fluids. This is called edema. To relieve edema, it’s helpful to get fluid moving through and out of the body, and massage is good at this.

There is even a specific type of massage for this edema, called lymphatic drainage. This is safe for both mom and baby and we offer it at VAMT! Check out this article by for more info.


Ever try sleeping with a bowling ball in your stomach? Not the easiest thing in the world. Many women report trouble sleeping due to baby movement, poor circulation, pain and stress.

Massage is well-known for addressing all these symptoms and it’s no different with pregnancy. If both mom and baby are happy, that means a good night sleep for all.

Thank you for stopping by this week. We appreciate your interaction and would love to hear from you! Please comment bellow to continue the discussion. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us at 651-756-8525 or visit us at

Until next time!
Rachel Kristyniak, Licensed Acupuncturist at VAMT

Rachel was born and raised in St.Paul, MN, where she currently lives with her husband, Chris and Shih Zhu, Stewie. She graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences in 2017 with her Masters in Chinese Medicine. Rachel found Chinese medicine on a journey to understand and tend to her own anxiety and depression and now has a passion for helping others who experience a similar reality. She enjoys treating a wide variety of conditions and welcomes anyone looking for care.


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