Using a Massage Chair During Pregnancy: Safe but with Considerations

    using a massage chair while pregnant

    Pregnancy can be uncomfortable, especially before childbirth. If you’re thinking of getting a pedicure or a massage to relax, you might wonder if it’s safe to use a massage chair while pregnant. While experts don’t have a definite answer, many think it’s okay if used carefully. Still, some experts are cautious about using massage chairs during pregnancy because opinions differ. It’s important to be careful and use the chair properly if you choose to use it. You can also explore other ways to ease pregnancy discomfort.

    Are massage chairs safe while pregnant?

    You might think using an electric massage chair during pregnancy is no different from sitting in any chair, but there are three main worries about it:

    • Some worry the vibrations might harm your baby.
    • Others fear the pressure points could cause early labor.
    • If the chair has heat, you might overheat, which could harm your baby.

    Are these concerns valid? Not really.

    There’s been talk about massage chairs causing miscarriage or early labor, but there’s no solid proof of that. When used as directed, massage chairs are generally safe during pregnancy. Let’s check out each concern:

    • Vibration: It’s generally safe to use a vibrating back massager during pregnancy since the vibrations from a massage chair aren’t strong enough to hurt your baby, especially since you’re sitting down.
    • Acupressure: The pressure from these chairs isn’t forceful enough to kickstart labor. Real acupressure for labor needs more consistent pressure.
    • Heat: While the chair’s warmth is usually gentle, it’s wise to avoid getting too hot during pregnancy. High body temperature can be risky, so it’s best to skip things like hot tubs and saunas.

    Using a massage chair safely during pregnancy isn’t a big concern if you do it right. Just keep the settings gentle and the heat mild, especially for your lower back. It’s similar to using a heating pad, which is safe during pregnancy. If you start feeling too hot or dizzy, stop using the chair and drink water.

    When should you avoid using a massage chair during pregnancy?

    If you’re unsure about using an electric massage chair during pregnancy, it’s okay to skip it. It’s best to avoid using a massage chair during the first trimester and the last four weeks of pregnancy. There might be other reasons you want to avoid it too, such as:

    • Morning sickness: If you’re dealing with severe morning sickness, the movement from the chair might make you feel worse.
    • Sciatica: Even though you might think a massage would help with sciatica, it could actually make it hurt more by bothering already sensitive nerves and muscles.
    • Back pain: Pregnancy back pain is tricky, and a massage chair might make it worse by aggravating the area.

    If you’re in a lot of pain, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider or midwife about why you’re considering using a massage chair. They can help you figure out the best course of action, especially since certain pains, like low back pain, could signal preterm labor.

    Safer Alternatives to Help Deal with the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy

    We know pregnancy can be painful, with problems like sciatica and pubic dysplasia causing discomfort. While a massage chair might offer relief, there are other safe ways to ease pain during pregnancy. Talk to a healthcare professional about your pains to stay safe.

    Stay active

    Doing activities like walking or swimming can ease back pain and make your back stronger, which can help prevent other pains. You could also consider prenatal yoga or Pilates, but be sure to check with your doctor before starting anything new.

    Rest and ice packs

    Using ice packs on sore muscles and taking time to rest can give you both immediate and lasting relief from discomfort. When you apply an ice pack, it helps reduce swelling and numbs the area, which can soothe the pain right away. Resting gives your muscles the chance to recover and heal properly, which can lead to long-term relief from strain and discomfort. So, it’s a good idea to use ice packs and take breaks when you’re feeling muscle strain to help you feel better now and in the future.


    Moving around can be tough during pregnancy, but simple stretches, slow walks, or standing up and moving around every hour can help you feel better. You can also try specific stretching exercises for pregnant women, like the cat pose for your back or using a foam roller for your hips and buttocks. These exercises might ease your back pain.

    Physical therapy

    When you’re pregnant, you might feel new pains or notice old ones more. But there are ways to help. Many physical therapists know how to ease discomfort for pregnant people safely. If home remedies don’t work, ask your doctor about seeing a physical therapist.

    You can also talk to your doctor about using acetaminophen if you need pain relief. Acupuncture or chiropractic care might help too, but always ask your doctor first. Some recommend them during pregnancy, while others don’t.

    Is it safe to have a pregnancy massage instead?

    If you’re not comfortable using a massage chair or don’t have access to one, you might consider getting a regular massage instead. It’s usually safe but check with your doctor first. Massage can help you relax, improve blood flow, and sleep better, which is good for you and your baby. After the first trimester, prenatal massages are usually okay but talk to your doctor first.

    Make sure to see a licensed massage therapist who knows how to treat pregnant people and expect to lie on your side during the massage. They might also need a medical clearance letter from your doctor.

    Extra Precautions are Necessary Before Using a Massage Chair While Pregnant

    Using electric massage chairs during pregnancy is not fully confirmed as safe, but there’s also no evidence suggesting they’re unsafe. To be careful, keep heat and massage settings low, though for most pregnancies, using a massage chair is usually okay unless it’s a high-risk pregnancy. If you can’t use a massage chair but need relief, consult your doctor about getting a regular massage from a licensed therapist. You can also try other methods like warm baths, physical therapy, home remedies, or safe over-the-counter pain relievers after talking to your healthcare provider.