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Massage and Pregnancy

You wake up in the middle of the night and you catch yourself walking like a duck. You never thought you'd waddle, but here you are cradling a sore back. Aches and pains are just some of the challenges you face while pregnant that a good massage can help relieve. Even if you're not a big fan of massages, you can turn into a spaddict with all the symptoms your pregnant body can go through, especially in the late second to third trimesters. Just like many other expecting moms, you'll be tempted to run to any therapist and beg for some kind of massage comfort. But stop in your tracks before you do so. Make sure you visit a certified pregnancy massage specialist and are informed of what this kind of massage can really do for you.

What Your Body Is Going Through

There are plenty of reasons why you need to go to a certified pregnancy specialist rather than your trusty neighborhood spa or therapist. For one, you tend to supply more blood to feed your baby and sustain your enlarging organs. The changes in blood circulation puts pregnant women at risk of blood clots. Your body is hard at work to keep your baby healthy, so anything that may hamper your system's ability to do so will obviously pose a problem.

The Difference of Pregnancy Massages 

Certified pregnancy massage experts adjust their techniques to accommodate the changes in your body. They know how to keep you comfortable throughout your massage. The therapist will either use a specially designed bed or pillows that support your back, belly, and breasts. She understands how your back, neck, and head need a good massage while going easy on your legs, where blood clots are likely to form. She should prevent deep and strong pressure massages on your legs, directing massage strokes toward the heart. The abdomen is typically avoided, or very light pressure is used if the belly is massaged. A good therapist also recognizes the emotional changes you're going through, so she should be able to help you enter a completely relaxed state during the entire massage.

Benefits of Pregnancy Massages

  1. Relieves aches and pains
  2. Increases oxygen in the blood that supports nutrient delivery to the baby and mother
  3. Releases tension and tightening in the body
  4. Helps eliminate toxins that contribute to fatigue
  5. Improves sleep
  6. Helps increase flexibility
  7. Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
  8. Helps release hormones like serotonin and endorphin
  9. Reduces swelling in hands, legs, and feet
  10. Helps reduce anxiety and depression 

When To Avoid Pregnancy Massages 

Before trying out a pregnancy massage, make sure you have consent from your OB. Some therapists welcome women in their first trimester, but they often accommodate those in their second trimester just to be safe (since miscarriages are associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy). Avoid this type of massage if you'd had pre-term labor in the past, are prone to clotting, are feeling nauseous, and your pregnancy is considered high risk.

Pregnancy Stress Busters

Stress is a natural feeling during pregnancy. Your body is going through a lot of adjustments and expecting a baby is really a life-changing event. Learn ways to help manage stress while you are pregnant in this article. 

What causes stress?

Besides bringing a new life into the world, there may be a lot of things going through your mind. You might be thinking about your baby’s health, your work, or relationship with your partner. You may also feel anxious about the delivery and future expenses.

How can stress affect your pregnancy? 

Stress may cause your blood pressure to increase. High levels of stress can trigger premature labor (labor before the 37th week of pregnancy) which can cause a lot of health issues for you and your baby.Low birth weight and miscarriage are also other concerns.

What can you do to manage stress? 

Relax and Unwind 

Pampering yourself is one of the best stress busters. Cut back on chores or let others do it for you. Take time out for yourself. Get a pregnancy massage, take a warm scented bath, listen to soothing music, get your hair done, or simply curl up and read your favorite book.

 

Sleep

You might be feeling a bit more tired than usual. This is natural as your body is working more to protect and nurture your growing baby. Your body needs all the sleep it can get. Taking a short nap during breaks or going to bed early can help you get energized. Also, avoid caffeinated drinks or eating and drinking a full meal before hitting the sack so you won’t have a hard time sleeping.

Exercise

Exercise has many benefits even when you are pregnant. It can lift up your spirits, increase your energy, and lessen pregnancy discomfort. It also improves sleep, makes you prepare for childbirth, enhances your self-image, and helps you recover and get back in shape quickly after giving birth. Try to do pregnancy stretches or prenatal yoga. Take a 20 to 30-minute stroll or even go for a swim. But do not do any strenuous activity or exercise to the point of fatigue. Always remember to consult your doctor before embarking on any new activity.

Eat Healthy 

Your developing baby gets all the nourishment from you so it’s best to take your prenatal vitamins everyday and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Taking certain vitamins is a big help in reducing tension during pregnancy. 

Snack on foods packed with iron and folic acid such as nuts and fortified cereals. Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables for additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also include foods high in omega-3 essential fatty acids such as salmon and walnuts, which are good for your baby’s brain and eyes.

Get Support

You don’t have to face your pregnancy blues alone. Talking to your partner, friends, and family can lessen your anxiety. You can also try online pregnancy support groups or talk to experienced mothers. They can usually relate to what you are going through and may provide motivation, encouragement, and good advice.

Pregnant at 40

They say life starts at 40, but did you ever think that you would be pregnant at 40? These are some of the things you may expect during your pregnancy.

Advantages 

By the time you are 40, you may already have a good career, you might be more financially stable and you may be a lot more knowledgeable, mature, and have a far better understanding of life. All of which can help you cope with a great deal of pregnancy issues and concerns.

 

Disadvantages

The risk of chromosomal abnormality to your baby, such as Down Syndrome, is higher with advanced maternal age. Late-age pregnancies can also cause miscarriage, low birth weight, physical abnormalities, and stillbirth. 

You may also be at risk of getting high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. High blood pressure can escalate to Preeclampsia and then Eclampsia, a serious medical condition that can cause seizures and can even be fatal. 

Diabetes can make your baby larger than usual and might require you to undergo a cesarean section. It also increases the risk of birth defects and miscarriage. There is also a possibility that you and your baby will develop Type 2 diabetes after birth.

What to Do

Get Prenatal Care 

Going to the doctor early and regularly for prenatal checkups is your best way to increase your prospects of having a healthy pregnancy and a well baby. Prenatal care includes pregnancy education, planning for childbirth, regular exams, screening tests, early detection, and prevention of potential problems.

Don’t forget your other doctors too. It is best to keep your underlying conditions treated and managed to prevent any harm that these may bring to you and your unborn child.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Taking your prenatal vitamins help prevent birth defects and help in the growth and development of your child’s brain and spinal cord.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Not everything is found in your prenatal vitamins. Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body and developing baby need. Snack on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, lean meat, nuts, beans, and low fat milk.

Exercise

Consult your doctor before doing any exercise regime especially if you have any underlying condition. But nevertheless, you will gain a lot of advantages from doing physical activities. It can reduce pregnancy discomforts, give you more energy, and minimize stress levels.

Avoid Dangerous Matter

Nothing can bring you and your baby more injury than smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking illegal drugs. It can cause bleeding, birth defects, low birth weight, and still or premature birth. 

Get Optional Tests

Ask your doctor about amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These are tests that sample the chromosomes and genes of your unborn child to know if an abnormality is present.

  

Be Happy

No matter what age you are, having a baby is a wondrous event to look forward to. Savor and cherish every moment. Stay positive and enjoy the journey ahead with your new baby.

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2017
May