Breathe Deeper with Prenatal Massage
With my first two pregnancies I felt like I couldn't breathe (just me?). It's like my lungs just couldn't take in enough air. I remember sitting in my office chair one day, feet on the floor, head against the back of my chair, my body extended completely flat just to make some room in my body for my baby, my ribs, and my breath. Granted, I'm a petite person. I don't have petite babies. There isn't a lot of room in there. But, I think there was more to it than my size.
When you are pregnant everything is moving, stretching and shifting as your posture constantly changes. As your belly grows, your shoulders and chest start to slump and taking a deep breath can be difficult. When your muscles are tight, its harder for things to expand. So, what can we do? Here are a few tips I would recommend to mamas as they find their bodies changing to accommodate a new baby.
1. Pay Attention to Your Posture: One of the most beneficial practices I did when I was pregnant was to see a Webster certified chiropractor. During the pregnancies I saw my chiropractor (who specialized in pregnancy care and the Webster technique), I was drastically more comfortable than the pregnancy I received little to no chiropractic care. It helped open me up, make room for baby, and balance my posture.
Even if you don't want to see a chiropractor, you can still pay attention to your posture. Try to sit with your feet on the floor and your bottom tucked. I like to use a little wedge which raises my hips above my knee level. When you do this, it automatically lifts your shoulders and creates more chest space.
2. Gentle Movements: I'm not educated in pregnancy exercise. Goodness, the only exercise I typically got while pregnant was wrangling my older kids into their jammies, helping them across the balance beam in their gymnastics class, or jogging around the bases with them at their t-ball games. BUT, I have discovered that some gentle, deliberate movements can help baby settle and your hips and back to relax. I liked sitting on an exercise ball and doing hip circles and figure 8's. To the left, and then to the right. I also really enjoyed doing gentle windmills. For descriptions of these and more movement ideas, check out Spinning Babies.
3. Prenatal Massage: Prenatal massage can help relax the muscles in your back, shoulders, hips, and even the little muscles in between your ribs (called intercostal muscles). Therapist assisted stretches can lengthen the tight muscles under your belly and open up your hips. With your muscles more relaxed, your posture can open up and you are better supported as your body changes. Getting prenatal massages was also one of the best things I did while pregnant! I remember being shocked at how good I felt afterward.
You can see many more benefits to prenatal massage here.
~Massage by a trained professional is safe during all stages of pregnancy, unless otherwise recommended by your healthcare provider~
TAKE A DEEP BREATH