Lymphatic Massage For Pregnant Women

Lymphatic Massage For Pregnant Women

Lymphatic massage for pregnant women

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and lymph nodes that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. It also regulates fluid in the body and this is particularly noticed during pregnancy. In a clinical study published by nursing research and practice in 2013 Cataldo Oportus et al “peripheral oedema is the most common and resilient manifestation in pregnant women. Its aetiology includes the retention of sodium and water and changes in the circulation related to the effect of the gravid uterus on the inferior vena cava”.

Lymphatic massage helpful for

  • Swollen ankles and legs
  • In you feeling fatigued and tired
  • Helps normalize milk flow
  • To reduce puffy eyes
  • Carpal tunnel in pregnancy
  • If you experience painful period from sluggish lymphatic system
  • After C/Section can speed up healing process
  • Increase energy levels

It is responsible for the healthy performance on many body functions including fluid retention, immunity, cleansing of blood and detoxification.


How is lymphatic massage performed?

Manual lymphatic massage (MLD) is a very gentle form of massage to help with water retention (also known as oedema) and to assist in the body’s natural detoxification process and clear away toxins.

It is ideal for those needing gentle handling, whether pregnant or for postnatal conditions. Depending on the condition, treatment can be whole body or localised to area needed.

If you are suffering from tired feet or water retention, manual lymphatic massage drainage during pregnancy can be helpful. This gentle form of massage encourages the flow and release of fluid held in the body’s tissues. This is why many women find lymphatic massage very beneficial, especially in the later stages of pregnancy usually in third trimester. Fluid retention can be very temporary uncomfortable causing swollen ankles and legs, thus reducing mobility and comfort.

When should I get it?

You can receive lymphatic massage at any time but it most helpful once you begin to feel fluid building up in feet of legs. You will see the difference after one treatment.


How often should I get lymphatic massage treatment?

This depends on the extent of your fluid congestion. Mostly women find it beneficial in the last trimester and some women receive treatment on weekly basis.

How can I help myself to reduce fluid congestion?

  1. Keep feet elevated above level of hips. Keeping feet and legs higher than your hips allows fluid to drain away from legs and feet.
  2. Changing diet can help with reduction of fluid retention. Avoid or cut out as much as possible processed foods. Reduction of sugar is always a healthy choice and switch to natural forms of sugar such as fruits, vegetables.
  3. Stay hydrated. It helps to keep lymphatic fluid moving.
  4. Keep active during pregnancy. This helps by using muscles in legs to pump fluid up from feet and legs.
  5. Support tights can be useful but you need to select correct amount of compression and a discussion with your lymphatic massage therapist will direct you to correct type of support you may need.

What should I expect?

This treatment is very gentle and. We use a very light pressure as the lymphatic system is very superficial.


Remember to make sure your lymphatic massage therapist is qualified in manual lymphatic drainage from a registered school. Don’t be afraid to ask where manual lymphatic drainage therapist trained.

Research taken from lymph drainage in pregnany women a clinical study, Slyvia Cataldo, Lilian de Priva Rodrigues, Jose Maria Pereira de Godoy, Maria de Fatima Guerreiro Godoy. Published in Nursing Research and Practice 2013

For more information call Monaghan Osteopathy on 042 9692894 or 087 9177156.