Tips for a Perfect Foot Massage During Pregnancy

Few sensations in this world feel as good as a foot massage when pregnant. Due to edema, swelling, or just the fact that you are carrying at least 10 more pounds on your feet than you were earlier, there’s no denying it, those swollen limbs throb and ache, especially at the end of a long day on your feet.

While a foot massage sounds tempting, you might wonder if it’s safe during pregnancy. As long as you avoid specific areas on the foot and ankle that may trigger contractions you can enjoy the soothing foot massage you have been dreaming about for days. Additionally, if you have reddened, swollen, or warmer spot on your lower legs, don’t get a massage and see your doctor immediately. If you have a history of blood clots, be sure to consult your doctor before getting any massage.

Important disclaimer: Remember before starting on your foot massage avoid the corners of your pinky toes and hollows on the inside and outside areas just below your ankle bones. If at any point you start feeling discomfort, cramping, or other issues during a massage, then stop.

If you can’t make it out to the massage salon or if you feel safer staying home, we have included clear instructions for you to give yourself the foot massage of your dreams!

Getting started

Find a warm and relaxing place to recline  with enough space to rest one foot on the opposite knee so you can reach it with both hands. (This gets trickier the bigger your tummy gets – a good excuse to teach your partner or a friend these moves!)

 STEP ONE: Introductory stroke

Grasp your foot with both hands and press your thumbs slowly along the bottom of your foot from the heel to the toes. This can be done as one smooth stroke or by walking your thumbs up the center line of your foot. It is important to focus on your breathing while you settle into the massage. Focus on your body and what it is telling you.


Rub the fleshy pad of each toe, then squeeze for 30 seconds. Grab the base of each toe between thumb and forefinger and pull up. Avoid your pinky toes as sensitive areas surrounding those toes may trigger contractions. It is the most important to really focus on the sensations in your foot, breathe deeply with every squeezing motion.

STEP THREE: Ball, arch and heel

Using both hands, work the ball of the foot. Try long, smooth strokes, or small circles with your thumbs. Do the same on your arch and heel. Knead your foot like you would dough, delicately but deeply.


Flex and rotate your foot several times to loosen it. With your hand flat, rub back and forth just under the ankle. Then stroke the top of your foot from toes to ankle. End with soothing strokes up the calf from ankle to knee. Avoid the hollows under or above your ankle bone, those areas can trigger contractions.

Voila, you have completed your first at home self-foot massage! It is just as important to really focus on feeling what your body is going through while being pregnant and growing your baby. Think of this foot massage as a way to connect with yourself on a deeper more spiritual level. You deserve it!

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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