Prenatal Massage and Exercises to do during pregnancy
Mostly pregnant women should exercise unless her pregnancy is high risk or her doctor has advised her to stay in bed.
Improvement in energy level, blood circulation and chances of speedy recovery are some of the benefits of exercising during pregnancy. There are several benefits to exercising during pregnancy.
It has been seen that women who did regular exercise had shorter and easier labor and this is definitely a reason to go ahead and work out. Wondering what kind of exercises is good to do when pregnant?
Here are some of the exercises to do during pregnancy that are good and safe for pregnant women are:
Walking is safe throughout pregnancy. It is the best exercise though it does not have much impact. Walking gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Never walk to the extent of breathlessness.
This is the number one exercise and the safest exercise when it comes to pregnancy. Swimming helps feel weightless and gives you relief for some time from weight gain associated with pregnancy.
It also provides you with optimal cardiovascular benefits. By swimming, you will feel less tired and sleep better which helps in dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy.
Yoga can help one both mentally and physically during pregnancy. With yoga, you maintain your muscle tone and stretch out tight ligaments during pregnancy which helps natural childbirth. Pranayam ensures abundant oxygen supply to the fetus which is good for the baby. Meditation helps calm your mind which relieves stress. It is a good idea to join a prenatal yoga class.
4. Weight Training
Weight training helps to strengthen and tone muscle during your pregnancy, which is required during labor. You should avoid heavy weights and weight-bearing exercises that require you to lie on your back.
Jogging is safe if you are an experienced jogger. However, jogging should be reduced further along you are in your pregnancy. Jogging should be avoided if you have placenta previa, pregnancy-induced hypertension or a chance of preterm is there.
Now here are some of the things that pregnant ladies should avoid:
- Any rigorous exercise program which you are unfamiliar with, you should avoid.
- Running should be avoided unless you are a very experienced runner. Even then consult with your doctor before doing so.
Mostly working out is good for pregnant women particularly if they’ve been active before. It is always safe to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. At the start of any exercise take it easy initially. It is recommended to exercise about 30 minutes 4-7 days per week. Be committed and exercise regularly.
Some of the precautions to be taken during exercising:
- Keep hydrated and avoid over-heating which can be dangerous for you and your baby.
- Getting your heart rate much over 140 is harmful so avoid such condition.
- Stop any exercise if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Warming up before any activity will reduce the likelihood of injury. Warm-up after activities will also help your heart rate return to normal
Prenatal Massage – Massage during Pregnancy
What is prenatal massage?
While pregnancy is a period of joy it brings with it a share of pains and aches. Several physical discomforts, backaches, muscular tension, etc. occur due to changing hormone levels, increase in weight and shifting posture.
Prenatal massages intend to improve circulation, moderate aches and pains, ease muscular tensions and other pregnancy-related symptoms. It does improve the mood of the mom- to- be and helps de-stress.
Some of the body parts which need special attention are back, neck and shoulder. Massaging the legs reduces blood pooling and full body massage to the head/scalp, feet, hands and face area provides relief from tensions and aches.
Is prenatal massage any different from regular massage?
Massage should be done gently and pressure should be applied only at particular places that experienced masseuse knows. Prenatal Massage differs from a normal massage as special knowledge of the body is required for this.
Pregnant mothers are very sensitive and masseurs will need to be careful when giving massages as to not harm the baby in any way.
The positioning of the mother and the intensity of the massage is very important. Prenatal massage cannot be done by anyone only experienced masseurs apply ways that are safe and effective and provide special pampering and comfort.
How does prenatal massage help?
There are many benefits of prenatal massage which includes:
- Increase in circulation
- Improvement of digestion
- Reduction of fatigue
- Reduction in swelling in hands and lower legs, fewer calf cramps
- Eases backaches, headaches, shoulder and neck aches caused due to muscular tension and postures to accommodate the increasing weight
- Minimizes pain in the pelvic/hip area
- Lessens stress on weight-bearing joints such as knees, ankle and lower back
- Promotes relaxation and deep breathing
- Reduces stress hormones
- Decreased insomnia
- Helps in maintaining proper posture
Do I need to consult a doctor before doing prenatal massage?
Though massage is safe for most mothers, still it is always a good idea to check with your doctor prior to getting one. For a woman with high BP or diabetes, prenatal massage is not recommended.
When and how often should I do it?
Mostly it is recommended to have Prenatal massage at least once a month. The duration of the massage can be anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour, depending on your comfort and time on hand.
Massage once a week during 2nd trimester and twice a week or more during 3rd trimester are ideal. This is to keep you rejuvenated and ready for the actual birth. No matter how far along you are, a massage during pregnancy is sure to keep you and your baby healthy and happy.
After delivery, new moms are under all kinds of emotional and physical stress, especially sleep deprivation. Postpartum massage is therapeutic, helping the body to return to its normal state by adjusting to the physical and emotional demands of their little one.
Thanks a lot for reading my article – Prenatal Massage and Exercises to do during pregnancy. Hopefully, read and enjoy it. Have fun and healthy pregnancy!