Prenatal Massage for every mother
In our culture, prenatal massage is a luxury. However, prenatal massage and daily massage in general, is a regular practice in Ayurveda.
There is no quicker way to make your whole body happy than to simply have a massage and a bath.
You need prenatal massage everyday.
If that sounds more like a pipe dream than a reality, you’re reading the right article. You might be thinking there is no way. After all, who is going to give you a massage everyday of your pregnancy?
You need to rub oil on yourself. Everyday would be nice. A few days a week will work. The important thing is this: you need to develop practices that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are your best caretaker.
How to give yourself a prenatal massage:
Set aside some quiet time for your massage. 5-15 minutes is enough time to massage the oil on your body (preferably before you shower)– though if you have
no time, rub the oil on your skin (instead of soap) in the shower. Do this daily.
You will need:
- Warm room: make this a comfortable and special time for yourself.
- Oil: sesame oil vatas, sunflower or coconut oil for pittas and olive or mustard oils for kaphas.
- Squeeze bottle: for easy access throughout the massage fill a squeeze bottle with oil
- Hot water in a bowl or in the sink: put the squeeze bottle in the warm water and allow the oil to warm to at least body temperature
- Towel or mat: choose something that you don’t mind getting oily. You might want one to stand on and one to dry off with.
What to do for your Self-Massage
- Undress completely and stand on your towel or mat.
- Starting with a small amount of oil in your hands begin to gently rub the oil into your scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp and hair with your fingertips. If you would prefer to keep the oil out of your hair simply omit the use of oil for this part of the massage.
- Vigorously work down your body until the oil has been massaged into every part of your body. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes over all your joints, chest and abdomen. Cover every inch of skin, attuning to your bodily tissues with your hands. Spend extra time on areas that are less integrated (for some this is thighs, buttocks, breasts).
- Take ample time to massage the soles of your feet as this can have a particularly relaxing and soothing affect.
Rinse off the oil in the shower. Take time in the shower to allow the oil on your hands to mix with the water from the shower to massage your face and ears. Use gentle circular strokes to massage your cheeks and forehead, move out towards the ears in stroking motions around the eyes and lips. Soap is drying to the skin, including to the anus; try switching to oil instead.
The benefits of self massage during pregnancy
The biggest benefit is that you gain a tool you will use the rest of your life. Also, if you regularly massage yourself during your pregnancy and postpartum period, it’s not a big leap to start rubbing oil on your infant. In fact, it will become a natural part of your routine. Prenatal self-massage leads to infant massage. Infant massage leads to toddler massage. Toddler massage leads to small child massage. Etc. Etc. Etc. Soon you have created an adult that know how to take care of themselves. The benefits of self massage range from de-stressing yourself to optimizing how your baby forms.
Read more on how to rub on your self by printing the handout below. This is one of the basic tools taught and emphasized in the mamabirthing e-course!