Babymoon - Pregancy Massage
Definition of babymoon: ba·by·moon (bÄ·bÄ“-mÅ«n) - n.
babymoon n. a planned period of calm spent together by a just-born baby and its parents; occasionally, time spent by parents without their baby. A time of pampering enjoyed by an expectant mother prior to the arrival of a newborn.
Pregnant and Over The Moon
It turns out babymoons are as de rigueur as designer prams in the US and Britain, with literally hundreds of hotels overseas offering "babymoon packages" to soon-to-be parents who require a final fling before the dirty nappies and sleepless nights descend.
A babymoon can range from a hotel simply throwing a pregnancy massage into their usual weekend package to a hotel theming an entire break with baby-related paraphernalia. At the Whotel in New York for example, room service magically transforms to "womb service".
USA Today recently predicted 60per cent of expecting couples will take a babymoon this year. As of this year, entrepreneurial hoteliers in Australia are also starting to revamp their weekend packages to suit this growing market
Curing what ails you in pregnancy.
Most people enjoy human touch. A touch can convey comfort, love, awareness and many other sensations. It can also help alleviate aches and pains.
All of these are of benefit, especially when you are pregnant.
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:
- Tranquil relaxation and reduce stress. - Relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs. - Increase in blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling. - Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints. - Improves outcome of labor and eases labor pain. - Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues. - Provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional strains of mothering.
Laura Davis, RN, CMT has been a nurse for 23 years and started doing massage several years ago.
She then became certified in pregnancy and postpartum massage. She recommends that when you are looking for a pregnancy or postpartum massage therapist that you make sure the therapist is certified in pregnancy massage. "This means the therapist has taken special training and knows what is safe practice for mother and her baby. Just being a massage therapist doesn't mean they are qualified to give massage to pregnant and postpartum women," warns Davis. "Just because a brochure offers pregnancy massage doesn't always mean everyone is qualified to perform this type of massage."
Massage during pregnancy differs from a regular massage in a couple of ways. The biggest way it differs is that the person receiving the massage is pregnant, and therefore knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy of a pregnant woman are very important. This means that positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby she is carrying. There are also parts of the body that should not be massaged.
"The massage table will be set up so you will lie in a semi-reclining position. This is not only really comfortable, but safe for baby. Also you will turn from side to side to do your back and hips, there are body pillows, wedge pillows and extra padding to make you comfortable," Davis explains. "Never use the tables with the whole cut out for your belly, these cause undo stress to your lower back, it may seem like a great idea, but it isn't."
The room setting for a pregnancy massage is much like a typical massage, the room will have low lightening, you will lie on a warm extra padded table. Soft music will be in the background to help you relax and drift off. Some therapists will provide music with a baby's heartbeat in the background, some use candles to also set the mood and of course they smell good too. Be sure to tell your therapist if any of these disturb your senses. Sometimes there might be music or smells that don't quite agree with you and they are easily changed.
A questions I am often asked about massage is about the level of clothing one will wear. That is really between you and your therapist. Many moms choose to remove all of their clothing, though they are never uncovered, as they are always covered by the sheets. Some choose to wear their underwear or their bra and underwear. Whatever you choose to wear or remove is completely up to you and your comfort level.
Massage is beneficial for almost everyone. Even women carrying multiples babies can benefit greatly from massage. There may be certain conditions that may or may not be related to the pregnancy that would preclude massage or certain types of massage. This may include women at risk for preterm labor, women with blood clots or clotting disorders, and other ailments. Many therapists recommend that you have a written notice from your doctor or midwife before receiving massage therapy during pregnancy. Massage done during the first trimester is generally up to the therapist, the woman and her practitioner. Massage has never been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.
Massage can also be useful for labor. Techniques can be done by your partner or a doula. Davis says, "The time to learn the techniques is while your pregnant before you go into labor. It is a great idea to take your partner or friend with you when you get your massage, any professional therapist will encourage this, they can show your partner many comfort measures he or she can use at home and will also explain why some techniques are unsafe. These hits will really help out when your in labor!"
Great Pregnancy Excercise: Yoga
The benefits of prenatal yoga
Prenatal yoga classes are more popular than ever. When paired with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking, yoga can be an ideal way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. This age-old practice keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints.
Yoga is also beneficial because it helps you learn to breathe deeply and relax, which will come in handy as you face the physical demands of labor, birth, and motherhood. In fact, one of the first things you learn in a yoga class is how to breathe fully. The breathing technique known as ujjayi requires you to take in air slowly through your nose, filling your lungs, and exhale completely until your stomach compresses.
Learning how to do ujjayi breathing primes you for labor and childbirth by training you to stay calm when you need it most. When you're in pain or afraid, your body produces adrenalin and may decrease the production of oxytocin, a hormone that makes labor progress. A regular yoga practice will help you fight the urge to tighten up when you feel pain, and show you how to relax instead.
The benefits of yoga aren't limited to your physical well-being. "Taking a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other pregnant women — to become part of a community," says Cynthea Denise, a registered nurse and prenatal yoga instructor in Oakland, California. Being in a positive, supportive environment with others like you can give you a regular emotional boost and keep you motivated to continue exercising.
Seek out an instructor who is specifically trained in prenatal yoga, but if that's not possible, make sure your instructor knows you're expecting, says Denise. You probably don't have many restrictions this early in your pregnancy, but remember to follow the 13 rules of safe pregnancy exercise such as drinking lots of water before, during, and after exercising to keep your body hydrated. Breathe deeply and regularly as you stretch. If you're a pro at yoga, recognize and accept that your regular routine will require modifications as time goes on. "Listen to your body and trust what it tells you," says Denise. If you're feeling pain or discomfort, make an adjustment or ask your instructor to recommend an alternative position.
Your joints are beginning to loosen up now, so proceed with caution. Be aware, too, that your slowly expanding girth will affect your sense of balance. Don't try to hold poses for a long time, and remember to sink into yoga positions slowly and carefully to avoid injury. Take your time and don't overdo it. Avoid lying flat on your back now, too, to keep blood flowing properly to your uterus.
You're probably feeling less graceful now that your belly is bigger, so perform standing poses with your heel to the wall or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby. Props such as blocks and straps can also help you move through different poses with greater stability. And remember: Don't hold poses for a long time; it's important to keep moving.
Best poses for pregnancy
Denise recommends the following poses, or asanas, during pregnancy:
Cobbler's or Tailor's pose (baddha konasana): This sitting pose helps open the pelvis. If you are very loose-jointed in your hips, make sure your "sit bones" are well grounded on the mat or blanket (gently pulling the flesh on each side of your bottom out a bit will help you find the right position). Place pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees to avoid hyperextension of your hips. • Sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other.
• Gently press your knees down and away from each other, but don't force them apart.
• Stay in this position for as long as you're comfortable.
Pelvic tilt or Cat-Cow: This position helps relieve back pain, a common problem during pregnancy.
• Get on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart, keeping your arms straight, but not locking the elbows.
• Tuck your buttocks under and round your back as you breathe in.
• Relax your back into a neutral position as you breathe out.
• Repeat at your own pace.
Squatting: Denise recommends that her prenatal yoga students squat every day to relax and open the pelvis and strengthen the upper legs. As you start to feel heavier in pregnancy, use props such as yoga blocks or a few stacked books on which to rest your bottom. Focus on relaxing and letting your breath drop deeply into your belly.
• Stand facing the back of a chair with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward. Hold the back of the chair for support.
• Contract your abdominal muscles, lift your chest, and relax your shoulders. Then lower your tailbone toward the floor as though you were going to sit down on a chair. Find your balance — most of your weight should be toward your heels.
• Take a deep breath and, exhaling, push into your legs to rise to a standing position.
Side-lying position: This is a good resting pose for the end of a practice.
• Lie on your left or right side with your head resting on your arm or a blanket.
• Put a body pillow or blanket roll between your thighs to give your hips some support.
• If you're in a yoga class, your instructor may guide you through some breathing exercises.
Other good poses during pregnancy: Also try the standing postures Warrior I (virabhadrasana I), Warrior II (virabhadrasana II), and Tree (vrksasana). These poses help strengthen your joints and improve your balance. Warrior poses can also ease backache and sciatica. Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha vrksanasana) can energize your whole body, but it's best not to do this position in your third trimester. Your yoga instructor may recommend variations on any of these classic poses.
Yoga precautions during pregnancy
As with any exercise, you need to take certain general precautions when you're pregnant. You may want to skip any movements that require you to lie flat on your back for longer than a few minutes, especially after the first trimester. Lying on your back can put pressure on your inferior vena cava, the vein that returns blood from the legs to the heart, which can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea. But some women are comfortable lying in this position well into their pregnancies. Your yoga instructor may leave the decision up to you, says Denise.
If you've never done a headstand or shoulder stand before, skip these poses. "Pregnancy is not the time to start an inversion practice," says Denise, although many women who are used to these poses can continue to perform them well into their second trimesters. Use caution or avoid these poses altogether during the third trimester. Skip positions that stretch the abdominal muscles too much, such as deep forward and back bends and deep twists. You're more apt to tear and strain muscles now because the pregnancy hormones that allow the uterus to expand also loosen other connective tissue.
Steer clear, too, of Bikram or hot yoga classes, in which the room is heated to 90 degrees or higher, since this could cause dangerous overheating, cautions Tracey Mallett, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor in South Pasadena, California, and creator of the 3-in-1 Pregnancy Workout DVD.
If you're looking for a prenatal yoga class near you, start by searching on www.yogafinder.com.
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