6 Home DIY Massage Tips for Moms-To-Be

As a woman’s pregnancy progresses, there are marked changes in the individual muscles in the body leading to the characteristic gait or pregnancy stance as the stomach moves out and the shoulders lean back. The woman’s joints become more mobile as the body adapts to the growing child. An important fact to remember before proceeding with any form of massage.

Pregnancy massage strokes and stretches need to be performed at a slower pace with less pressure and good support for the body. It is very important not to do sharp jerky movements due to the risk of overstretching. So, always remember to use gentle and slow movements.

As the baby grows, the weight of the foetus causes the mother’s centre of gravity to shift and move forward which could affect her balance. If there isn’t good muscular support from the lower back and the abdomen, the pelvis will tip forward and eventually lead to poor posture.

Around five months into a pregnancy, up to 70% of women will experience backache due to the change in their posture or the extra pressure placed on nerve roots which causes muscle spasms. It is also common for them to experience headaches, sore feet, and swollen ankles.

The good news is there are several self-massage tips that you can do at home that will help to ease some of the aches and pains experienced during the pregnancy without resorting to any prescribed painkillers.

  1. Serve up your own circulation booster

Back pain is very debilitating during pregnancy when a women is feeling tired and sluggish. As described above, one of the causes of back pain is due to muscle spasms. One way of combating this is to take a tennis ball and place it between you and the wall at the area where the back pain is feeling worse. Then gently relax your body onto the ball for a few minutes. Try this a few times until the muscles that have been tightening, start to relax. This not only helps with reducing aches and pains but also aids circulation of blood and fluids around the body.

  1. Facial massage

Mothers-to-be tend to focus so much on the changes of their body that they neglect their complexion. During pregnancy, the skin produces more oil, so you may find yourself breaking out in spots or occasionally, dark patches known as “pregnancy mask” will appear. The next DIY massage tip will not only relax the facial muscles which will help banish tension headaches, it also keeps the skin in top condition.
Mix a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of milk and apply to the face. Using the tips of the forefinger and middle finger on each hand start at the middle of the forehead and massage out toward the temples. Spend a few minutes massaging the temples by gently rotating the fingers in circles. Next with the tips of the ring fingers very gently massage from the bridge of the nose, across the cheekbones and up to the temples. Using both hands stroke the lotion from the neck up to the chin using alternate hand strokes. Then to release tension in the jaw, with both hands and using the tips of the fingers, massage from the chin up the jawline to the ears. Leave the lotion for 30 minutes and wash off with tepid water.

  1. Feet first

The shift in the mother’s centre of gravity causes a lot of pressure on the backs of the calves and the feet. This is one of the reasons why walking a short distance can feel like you’ve run a marathon. Get hold of the trusty tennis ball and place it on the floor. Then, place the arch of the foot over the top of the ball and roll it back and forth for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will help release the tension in the tendons at the base of the foot and promote good circulation.

  1. Reflexology to reduce nausea and vomiting

According to Chinese philosophy our bodies have specific energy points located on our hands, feet, face and other areas. These reflex points connect to various organs in the body and, when pressed, they will stimulate the organs to help them function better if this is carried out on a regular basis. There are several areas on the body that handle sickness, so when the area is massaged it can help to alleviate mild feelings of nausea.
There is a reflex point located exactly in between the collarbone where there is a slight depression. To help with morning sickness, press one fingertip in the hollow between the collarbone and hold medium pressure on that point for around 5 minutes.

  1. Reflexology for headache relief

It is during the first few months of pregnancy that many women suffer from headaches and this is due to the hormonal changes that are starting to take place in the body as well as the fluctuation of blood pressure. Keeping hydrated and focussing on your posture will help, but also try rubbing the base of the skull and the pressure point at the base of the wrist.
NB Make sure that you do not rub the pressure point between the thumb and the fore finger as this can stimulate your uterus to contract. If you have persistent headaches you must speak to your doctor as soon as you can.

  1. Best foot forward

Another “joy” of pregnancy is swollen ankles. Keeping your feet elevated and wearing flat comfortable shoes will help with this condition. There are also some simple massage and exercise techniques which can be carried out once a day to alleviate pregnancy puffiness.
Start by sitting in a comfortable chair and rotate the feet in a clockwise motion, then anti-clockwise. Next, point the toes outwards and inwards. After that, take some baby lotion and gently massage the sides of the feet with the palms of your hands, starting with the toes then work your way back towards the heels. This will help the lymph nodes do their job of draining the excess fluid, and promote healthy circulation to combat fatigue.

Author’s Bio
Dr. Clarence Ho is a chiropractor and owner of Adaptive Chiropractic and Adaptive Myotherapy. He has been working with patients of all ages, including pregnant women, for over six years. With his great understanding of the human body, he aims to help women find simple and convenient remedies that will lead to a happier and healthier pregnancy.