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Myth: You can’t get a massage while breastfeeding.

Updated: Jun 27


Can I get a massage if I'm breastfeeding?

Contraindication is a long word with a simple meaning: a reason you shouldn’t receive a particular treatment, such as a massage. There are local contraindications—things like a small wound—that shouldn’t be massaged directly, but that don’t mean you can’t still get a perfectly good massage on other parts of your body. Then there are general contraindications, or situations in which you shouldn’t get a massage at all. Contraindications can be an illness like the flu, a treatment or medication like a strong blood thinner, or even something environmental, like a bedbug infestation at home.


But there’s another kind of contraindication that also seems to make the rounds on a regular basis: the mythological kind. Despite all the scientific advancements we’ve made in studying massage therapy over the years, there are a few persistent misunderstandings that just won’t seem to die. And while tales of mermaids and unicorns can brighten an otherwise dull day, these massage myths unfortunately prevent too many people from getting the professional bodywork they deserve.


Myth: You can’t get a massage while breastfeeding.

This myth is so insidious, because nobody needs a massage more than postpartum parents. The idea behind this misunderstanding is the belief that massage somehow squeezes toxins out of a person’s tissues, which are then released into the bloodstream. Since the body is “toxic” after a massage, the story goes, so is any breast milk produced at this time. The choice is between “pumping and dumping” after receiving bodywork, or avoiding massage therapy altogether until the child is weaned.


Fortunately, this isn’t even one of those half-true-but-it’s-complicated situations; it’s 100% false, no question. Normal cell byproducts are filtered by the body and are not a danger to breast milk, massage doesn’t release toxins, and massage can improve depression, body image, and (perhaps most importantly to new parents) SLEEP.


This is one of many massage myths. Check out a few others about about pregnancy, painkillers, and body weight.


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