During pregnancy, many women experience changes in the feet, usually involving swelling, flattening of the arches, or even instability in their feet or ankles, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). This is caused by weight gain and a hormonal shift. Because of these changes, make sure you are extra sensitive and gentle when massaging a pregnant client because you could cause additional swelling or even induce labor if certain pressure points are pressed too firmly.

Additionally, be cautious when using aromatherapy. While essential oils can be used to enhance relaxation, you will want to avoid “emmenagogues” — substances known to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, potentially inducing menstruation.

Oils in this category include chamomile, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, jasmine, juniper, myrrh, peppermint, rose, sage, eucalyptus, and rosemary. If you are unsure whether or not an essential oil is safe, avoid it altogether.

Advise your client that in order to reduce swelling, she can wear a compression stocking, do low-impact exercises like walking, drink plenty of water, and stretch, the AOFAS states.

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