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Relaxing Hand and Arm Massage for pregnancy

This hand and arm massage in pregnancy is the best gift you can give a pregnant lady. Warning can be addictive.

Enjoy your massage!


Doing a Pregnancy Hand & Arm Massage in 9 easy steps


TIP:: A gentle hand massage will not be firm enough to stimulate any reflexology points. In pregnancy, the wrist and between the thumb and index finger is not massaged

Be guided by the pregnant lady to the pressure you are using when massaging. Too firm a touch can be painful, especially if she has carpel tunnel syndrome, which can develop in late pregnancy. Too light a touch and it will tickle.

Why would you massage your hands in Pregnancy?

You can have all these feelings when pregnant – anxious, stressed, fearful, feeling down, difficulty to sleep and need some loving by a caring partner.

Pregnancy and a busy life combined with repetitive tasks e.g. typing, computer, shopping, carrying heavy loads, can lead to a feeling of overworked hands.

Indulging in a hand and arm massage will feel wonderfully relaxed. Skin will be nourished, soothed and hydrated.

In Labour, a hand and arm massage can reduce fear, tension and help to gain trust. Reducing fear and tension can help reduce pain.

Caesarean section – a hand and arm massage can reduce anxiety.

Motherlylove Stretch Mark Oil

Preparing to massage

To give a massage have short nails. No jewellery or watches to be worn.

Before you massage:

  • Wash hands
  • Press the palms of your hands together firmly 3-6 times
  • Now shake your hand to release the tension.
  • Ask if she has any allergies, particularly nut.

If you choose a blended aromatherapy oil, check to see if it is suitable for pregnancy. Always choose an oil which uses a good carrier (vegetable) oil as they contain vitamins, minerals and are omega rich to nourish and hydrate the skin. The vegetable oils in Motherlylove blends are suitable for pregnancy, especially dry, sensitive itchy skins.

Our suggestion is to use Motherlylove Stretch Mark Oil for this massage.

What you will need?

  • 2 chairs.
  • Cushion to support the pregnant ladies back.
  • Small table for bottle of oil and tissues.
  • Pillow or cushion to rest arm.
  • Towel to cover pillow or cushion.
  • Bottle with oil or blended oil.


Look for any abrasions, cuts, rashes etc., which would stop you from massaging. Also any recent fractures or operation to the hands or arms.

Tip some oil in you hand and with gentle slow strokes, apply the oil to both sides of her hand and arm up to the elbow. There should be enough coverage of oil, for no drag on the skin.

1.Support the hand and with flat hands, use effleurage strokes to slide up her hand and to the elbow with slow and deep movements. Keep in contact with the skin and slide your hands from the elbow back to the hand. Always repeat 3-6 times.

Do not massage around wrist bones in pregnancy.

Turn arm over and use the same technique again.

Why?:This will warm up the hand and arm boosting circulation and helping lymphatic drainage. A redness of the skin (erythema), which is normal, shows that the blood circulation is improving. If the hand is very stiff the mum will start to relax at this stage.

2. Work between the bones in the hands from wrist to fingers in a very gentle, almost friction movement (using a caterpillar movement) with your thumb and then from fingers slide down to wrist. Do this 3-6 times.

Why?: This will help to boost circulation and remove toxins.


3. Gently and slowly pull on fingers using your index and middle finger around her finger – from base of finger to the top of each finger. You should repeat 3-6 times. Do not massage thumb area in pregnancy.

Why?: Eases tension and post operative pain

4. With index and middle finger (or thumb) use gentle chopping movement slowly from base of fingers to the top of each finger (not thumb). Should be repeat 3-6 times.

Why?: Eases tension to relax hand.


5. Turn hand over. Use alternating thumb strokes, across the arm from wrist to elbow and then sliding hands back down to wrist. Repeat 3-6 times.

Why?: Boosts blood circulation and lymphatic drainage

6. With the palm up massage the palm with small circles from the base of the fingers to the wrist and slide off up the thumb. You should repeat 3-6 times.

Why?: Relaxing and eases tension.

7. Then with your thumbs on her palm knead from the base of the fingers towards the wrist releasing the tension in the middle of the palm and towards the side of the hands. Works best when repeated 3-6 times.

Why?: Reduces anxiety, so relaxing.

8. Turn over hand and finish off with effleurage, which you started with (1). You will have started to build up heat. Repeat 3-6 times.

Why?: To feel relaxed and sleepy.


9. To finish ‘sandwich’ your hands around her hand and hold gently. Then slide your hands of hers.

Simple easy hand massage. Relax and Enjoy.


Pregnant – Please inform your midwife or doctor when you are using complementary therapies.

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Jan Bastard About the Author

About the Author, Jan Bastard

BSc. (Hons) complementary therapy/aromatherapy, RN, RM, Anaesthetic Diploma, IAIM.

For over forty years, and over two continents, Jan has worked tirelessly to help mothers have a positive birthing experience. She is also a mother and grandmother.