You are so happy to be pregnant, but along with that beautiful little life inside of you come aches, pains and stress that weren't there before. You don't want to take drugs to relieve your ailments. What do you do?
More and more doctors are recommending you do what women from around the world have known and have been doing for centuries. These are women who don't have access to pain medication but work closely with the body's natural and incredible ability to heal itself. Some of these holistic techniques include massage, yoga, meditation and more recently chiropractic. These methods work naturally with the body and I can surely say that they helped me through my pregnancy!
Massage feels great any time but brings a new appreciation when you are carrying around a little baby inside. Some say it is the best time for a massage! However, there are some considerations for prenatal massage vs. regular massage you should know about.
First, make sure that whoever massages you is aware that you are pregnant. Second, there are certain herbs often used in massage oils that that are best avoided during this time. For example, rosemary, sage, juniper, parsley seed, aloe vera and cinnamon among other less common herbs are believed to stimulate the uterus and could be dangerous during pregnancy. Lavender or peppermint are soothing and can be added to massage oil to help relax you.
If you are uncomfortable trying herbs, just use unscented oils. For spot pains, try "Tigerbalm" sports balm. This is a menthol and camphor rub that penetrates deeply to soothe sore muscles. In the past you could only find this in Asian markets, but it's become more common and can often be found in drug and grocery stores in the medicine aisles where you would find other menthol rubs.
After your first trimester you should not lay on your stomach anymore, so back massage can be done lying on your side. If you can't afford to go to a massage therapist, enlist the dad-to-be. It's often difficult for your partner to watch your discomfort as you grow through pregnancy, and this is a great way to involve him and allow him to be part of the process. He doesn't have to be a pro at it; just the power of touch can be healing. If he doesn't feel comfortable doing full-body massage, get him to do a nice foot massage in front of the TV at the end of the day.