Pregnancy, they say, is one of the most beautiful phases in a woman’s life.
And why not, with all the pampering from family members, the eager anticipation and counting down days! However, the side of pregnancy no one really talks about is how it comes with its own share of aches and pains, and guess what! You can’t just pop pills as you might be used to, as most of the OTC painkillers are a strict no no during this phase. Now don’t worry, that doesn’t mean pregnant women need to wallow in pain through those 9 months! So what can you do? Well, let’s find out.
1. Blow them hot, blow them cold! A hot or a cold compress can work wonders on common muscle aches such as a niggling back ache or even a headache. Alternate the hot and cold compress for best results.This method is considered the safest as you’re not getting anything into your system that can harm you or your tiny bub, and should ideally be your first course of action whenever you feel achy. If, however, compresses fail to relieve your pain, do get in touch with your doctor who may prescribe a medicine which is safe to have during pregnancy. However, never self medicate during this phase, even though you may have been using something for years and believe it is safe.
2. Touch of health – a good massage A certified masseuse can help a lot in alleviating nagging aches and pains that start appearing as the pregnancy advances. I still remember the wonderful lady who was recommended by a friend and who I had almost started regarding as my guardian angel. A few soothing strokes of her gentle hands, and I’d miraculously be free from sore backs, knees and swollen ankles. So try to find someone who specialises in prenatal massages, but do make sure you verify those credentials! Always check with your doctor.
3. Essential Oils A hot bath with just a few drops of essential oils like lavender or ylang ylang is a great way to relax those sore muscles. However, lavender oil is known to stimulate contractions of the uterus and hence, should ideally be used sparingly in the 1st trimester. I, personally, had a hard time with persistent migraines and a gentle massage with just a drop or 2 of essential oils would help me a great deal. Please ensure that you dilute the essential oil before using.
4. Acupuncture Many studies show acupuncture is an effective, safe option for pregnant women contending with the common and often disabling issues of pelvic pain, backache, sciatica, joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome back pain during pregnancy. However, as with anything else, the credentials of the acupuncturist is of prime importance.
5. Prenatal Yoga Yoga is known to work on decreasing pregnancy related lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic. A single session of yoga was proved to have reduced self-reported anxiety by a 33% and stress hormone levels by 14% in a study of expectant moms published in the journal Depression and Anxiety.