Foot Spa While Pregnant – Safe or Not? Pregnancy is a wonderful, inspiring and amazing experience that many people are lucky enough to have. The road to becoming a mother or father is one of the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding moments in anyone’s life. Becoming a mom is incredibly rewarding, but your body can undergo some extensive and difficult changes. For instance, you may experience back pain, hair loss, breast soreness, and pain in places you never imagined. Anyone will tell you that during pregnancy, you should take greater care of yourself than you ever have before. It can be beneficial to both mommy and baby to pamper an expectant mother. If you have experienced the wonderful world of pregnancy, then you know that it’s not all rosy cheeks, glowing skin and the joy of motherhood. The real road to motherhood includes sleepless nights, back pain, morning sickness and aching feet. You reach a point where you would give anything to see your feet again, or to have a relaxing foot rub to release the stress from your feet. You may be sick of your partner and cannot stand the sight of their face during your latest mood swing. We’ve all been there. Having a little bit of alone time where you can unwind and rest your feet without being bothered is vital to your mental and physical wellbeing. Foot spas are a great way of relieving the stress of pregnancy, along with the pressure on your legs and feet. Ensuring that you have no leg or foot pain is very important to a happy mom-to-be. Keeping your body mentally prepared and ready for giving birth is just as important as keeping your body physically prepared. An expectant mother that is under a lot of stress or anxiety before birth can lead to complications during labor. You need to give yourself the best start before having a baby that you possibly can. This means keeping your mental wellbeing stable as well as your physical wellbeing. You can unwind with a foot spa at home or visit a reputable spa. Just to be safe, make sure that you always consult your doctor or a health professional first. Some people will say that a foot spa is never a good idea for a mom-to-be, but as long as you visit a professional, it can be one of the best ways to relax and indulge yourself before giving birth to your bundle of joy. A foot pampering session could not only cleanse and moisturize your feet, but you could also get a little uplifting feeling with a pedicure at the same time. Feeling rejuvenated works for the way your feet look and feel. Make sure you visit a pregnancy-certified massage therapist so that they can sooth your feet without the worry of touching pressure points. While a foot spa may sound incredibly inviting to an expectant mother going through a lot of bodily changes, you should be aware both the benefits and the risks. Advantages and Disadvantages What are the advantages of using a foot spa while pregnant? One of the main benefits of using a foot spa is that they reduce the effects of Edema. Edema is a condition that causes fluid retention, and will therefore cause your feet and legs to swell. The great amount of weight gain that can occur when pregnant often stimulates the Edema condition, and so many pregnant people desire foot spas to massage their aching feet. Using a foot spa can be relieving, relaxing and can lighten the load of being pregnant. It is generally safer to use a foot spa for this purpose during the last trimester of pregnancy as you will experience less uterine contractions. Despite pregnancy being an exciting and exhilarating period in your life, your mental health can suffer drastically. Some people may experience mood swings, depression and stress. Expectant mothers may experience extreme mood swings which can be alleviated with a foot spa. The relaxing use of the foot spa can induce endorphins and hormones that can lighten your mood and emotions. Foot massages also reduce your body’s natural levels of cortisol. Cortisol is the natural stress hormone that is present. By massaging your feet, you are lowering these levels and gaining that total relaxation feeling. What are the risks of using a foot spa while pregnant? Foot spas are sometimes designed to alleviate pain, and do this by activating pressure points in your feet and ankles. By activating these pressure points, you can induce early labor or contractions. Some machines use reflexology which can trigger your uterus to begin contracting, and lead your body into thinking it needs to go into labor. In this sense, if you are not at your full term, early labor can in the worst case scenario lead to miscarriage. Make sure that if you do need to relieve pressure from your legs and feet, always do it softly and carefully to ensure the health of your baby. Tips for using a foot spa while pregnant A relaxing foot spa filled with warm bubbly water and essential oils sounds like a dream to an expectant mother with aching feet and swollen ankles. But many essential oils are unsuitable for pregnant women or developing fetuses. We recommend that you use calming oils such as lavender or chamomile. Frankincense can lower blood pressure and reduce the feeling of anxiety. You could also use Tea Tree for antifungal properties. You should avoid essential oils like rosemary as it may spike your blood pressure. Similarly, basil may negatively affect the development of the fetus in the womb. Sage may also cause bleeding in the womb, so it is imperative that you take note of what oils are helpful and which ones are harmful. Always consult a professional before adding anything to your foot spa water. You can always use a plain foot spa if you are concerned. A little warm water with some epsom salts and no vibration will still alleviate the pressure from your feet, whilst ensuring your baby is safe. When you are pregnant, it is important to remember that you have to maintain a steady body temperature. High temperatures or changes in temperatures can damage the fetus in the womb, therefore it is imperative that you keep an eye on bathing in warm water. Pregnant women should avoid bathing in water above 100 degrees fahrenheit, to ensure the safety of their baby. Therefore it may be necessary to bathe your feet in warm water than in hot water. In addition, the main thing to avoid when using an at home foot spa or massaging your feet while pregnant is the ankles. There are a multitude of acupressure points in the foot and toes, so you need to take caution when using a foot spa with vibration or rolling pads as they may touch upon these points. Pressing on the pressure points in a pregnant person’s feet may cause uterine contractions or induce early labor which can cause many complications and sometimes even miscarriage. So it is vital that you avoid putting stress upon those areas of the foot and consult a professional first. Is it safe or not? The general rule of thumb of using a foot spa while pregnant is that it is usually safe. As long as there is not extensive force upon pressure points, it will not induce labor or contractions. Light massages of the toes and feet are usually okay, as long as they are not pressing hard upon your feet. Having a partner massage your feet can help destress but you should always seek advice from a medical professional first to ensure that the risk areas are avoided. Generally speaking, most health experts will argue that you should not use a foot spa within your first trimester, or until after 37 weeks. This is to ensure that there are no complications or early contractions during your pregnancy. You may use a foot spa with little to no vibration, and no rollers that may aggravate your pressure points. As you should with anything when you are pregnant, you must exercise caution and bathe with moderation. If massaging the feet by hand, then make sure that you are careful and light-handed to not aggravate dangerous pressure points. Although pregnancy can be tough on your legs and feet, try to remember that this discomfort is temporary and the health of yourself and your baby is paramount. In addition, using a foot spa postpartum also has a multitude of benefits. As they are proven to reduce stress, depression and anxiety levels, you may benefit from foot spa to reduce some pressure post birth. But for now, put your feet up and relax…you are on an amazing journey creating human life. You deserve to relax. Please note: We are not medical professionals, and you should always consult with your doctor before starting anything new when pregnant.