Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman`s life, but it can also be a period that is filled with anxiety and concern over the baby, the new role of motherhood and the many changes in your body. This is a time when a little relaxation will go a long way in promoting much needed rest and preparing you for the work ahead.
Many of the relaxation techniques described here are easy to follow and can be done in the privacy of your own home. And by learning how to relax while you are expecting, you will be much better equipped for the stressful, chaotic days of motherhood in your future.
Breathe In, Breathe Out…
It`s hard to believe that something we do without thinking all day long can be such an effective relaxation technique when our focus shifts to the act. However, deep breathing exercises can help to calm and relax the body, and they can be done anytime and anywhere. Concentration is the key to these breathing exercises, so that you are focused on filling your lungs and releasing the air and your tension slowly and completely.
Begin by sitting or lying in a comfortable position that will allow for the deepest breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose, focusing on your lungs expanding to their fullest capacity. You should feel this long, deep breath all the way down into your abdomen. Hold the breath for a second or two, then slowly release through your mouth, feeling tension leave the body along with the air.
There is nothing so completely pampering than a professional massage, so feel free to indulge while you are expecting. Make sure that the massage therapist you choose is experienced in working on pregnant women, and has the appropriate equipment to do so. Massage will not only help you to relax and rejuvenate; it is also a great way to ease the discomfort of your expanding abdomen.
You can also recruit your spouse for a back or foot massage that will make you feel like the pregnant, pampered queen that you deserve to be. Go easy on massage oils during pregnancy, since not all essential oils are considered safe during this time. When in doubt, consult with a registered aromatherapist for the best advice.
Get in Touch with your Inner Asana
Yoga is a great way to de-stress anytime, and pregnancy is no exception. This type of exercise will help to keep you toned and flexible during your nine months, and can even contribute to an easier labor and delivery. It is always best to perform yoga under the guidance of an experienced instructor when you are pregnant, even if you have done yoga in the past. This will ensure that you are performing your positions properly to avoid injury and that you are avoiding exercises that are not considered safe with an expanding belly and a less efficient equilibrium.
You may be feeling anxious about your condition, but there are techniques that you can use to help your mind and body remain relaxed and tension-free. Pregnancy is the perfect time to indulge in a bit of extra pampering. After all, once that baby makes his appearance, there will be very little time that you can call your own. Enjoy it while you can!