A Little R&R
During pregnancy, and in the first months following the birth of your baby, your hormone levels change dramatically and your body creates an extra 3 litres of blood. Naturally, these changes have an enormous effect on your skin. Here are just a few reasons why it's never too early to start experiencing the benefits of MaterniCare:
Massage Colief Mum To Be into the skin to keep it feeling nourished and help protect against stretch marks. It is not recommended to use essential oils for massage during pregnancy. If you have any concerns, check with your GP before you begin.
Simple steps to follow for the perfect Tummy Massage
Lie down on your back and make yourself comfortable with pillows and blankets. Late in pregnancy you may want to do this sitting propped up with pillows but if you ever feel dizzy lying on your back, try a relaxing arm massage instead (see below).
Use smooth, very gentle strokes. No 'drumming' and no deep pressure.
If you would like your partner to help, get them to sit to your side and using one hand, start to stroke your belly in a clockwise direction.
Then start stroking with both hands, one following the other, in a gentle flowing movement.
Next, use gentle strokes moving from the side of the waist in towards the belly button using one hand then the other.
Finish with very gentle strokes up the centre of the tummy that glide off down the sides. Gradually, lighten the touch.
Place both hands gently over the tummy button for a few seconds then lift hands away.
Legs often get swollen and uncomfortable during pregnancy and massage is a great way to relieve the pressure and combat cramp. Simply use long, soft gliding strokes from ankles to thighs and down again. Repeat for as long as feels good!
Arm massage is very soothing and can be done whilst you lie on your side. For extra comfort, bring your top leg into a right angle, popping a cushion under the knee. Start by taking hold of the hand (to support the weight of the arm) and stroke from wrist to shoulder and down again, moving your moulded hand round the arm as you go.
As your partner uses very gentle strokes to rub in your nourishing Colief Mum To Be cream, why not take the opportunity to practise some deep breathing exercises?
The way you breathe really affects the way you feel. Learning how to breathe freely and deeply during pregnancy will help you feel relaxed, calm and more balanced on every level. Good for you and your baby.
It does take a little practice but with just a little patience and perseverance very soon deep breathing becomes second nature. It's a great tool for life, not just for pregnancy!
Find a quiet place you can be undisturbed for 10mins every day
Use plenty of cushions to support you and rest your hands on your tummy
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
Gently focus on deepening your breath in and making your breath out long and slow
Breathe in to a count of four and out to a count of six (try three and five if this feels too difficult)
Repeat five times
Stop if you feel dizzy and please don't hold your breath or hyperventilate
Another great way to relax with your partner is simply to sit and breathe together. Try sitting in front of your partner and leaning back into them. From this comfortable position both of you can easily rest your hands on your bump. Then simply practice taking slow, gentle breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. What a great time to have a chat about what's going on without any distractions.
You may feel your pregnancy is stretching enough but practising a few gentle yoga poses will help keep you supple as your bump grows.
Yoga is all about getting in tune with your body so if you don't feel comfortable then just stop for the day. Always practise in a warm room when you've got a good 10 minutes to be quiet and to really enjoy yourself:
Tailor pose – great for thighs, hips and pelvis
Sit with your back against a wall and a small cushion under each knee for extra comfort
Sit upright with the soles of your feet together in your hands and your knees open like two sides of a book
Breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out, let your knees relax towards the ground
Don't force your knees or put any strain in the movement
Repeat 2-3 times
Hero pose – a gentle resting pose
Sit back on your heels, knees apart, with a cushion underneath your bottom for support
Relax your back but keep your spine straight
Start with your hands under your bump then bring them up palm to palm in front of your chest
Breathe long, slow breaths and on each exhalation press your palms gently together
Repeat for 4 breaths
Don't stay in this pose for long if you have varicose veins
Mountain pose – great for posture
Stand up tall, your feet in line with your hips and your knees gently bent
Put your hands together palm to palm in front of your chest
Check your shoulders are back and face and jaw is relaxed
Look straight ahead and whilst taking long, slow breaths imagine you are growing taller and stronger
Hold for as long as is comfortable