Pregnancy can be tiring and stressful. Fortunately, there are many wellness treatments that can help.
Prenatal massage is a great way to alleviate the physical and mental stresses of pregnancy. Studies have shown that massage can alleviate pregnancy-related depression and anxiety, relieve the aches, pains and discomforts associated with pregnancy, reduce swelling, decrease levels of cortisol (the â€œstress hormoneâ€) and even make labor easier.
The American Pregnancy Association suggests that massage should be practiced by a prenatal massage specialist.
The most comfortable and healthy position for a pregnant woman during prenatal massage is side-lying. While some prenatal massage tables exist that have a hole for a pregnant belly, lying face-down without support can strain muscles and ligaments in the abdomen.
Acupuncture can be a good way to treat morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy. Make sure, however, that the practitioner has experience in treating pregnant women, as there are some pressure points that should be avoided.
Interestingly, an acupuncture variant called moxibustion, which involves triggering pressure points by burning a medicinal herb called mugworth, can sometimes cause breech babies to correct their position in the womb before birth.
Some hospitals will permit acupuncture during labor itself, which can relieve some of the pain of childbirth.
Meditation, a self-induced state of relaxation, is a calming process. It may be able to lower cortisol in the body and alleviate anxiety in pregnant women. For example, the body will release melatonin, a calming hormone, during meditation, which can also assist with pregnancy-induced insomnia.