Pregnancy is the one time in your life when you really deserve some pampering. If it was down to us we’d prescribe a regular massage for all pregnant women!
Whilst we’d like to wave a pregnancy massage wand over every FittaMamma and send everyone off to a spa, the second best option is to share some tips from our lovely friend Jan Bastard at Motherlylove and encourage you to take some time over the festive season to relax and enjoy a massage at home.
Regular foot massage can help you to relax and sleep better as well as alleviating the symptoms of tired, achy feet and swollen ankles. Massage has been shown to reduce the level of the stress hormone, cortisol whilst at the same time increasing the production of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone. Pregnancy massage isn’t just good for you, reducing your stress and anxiety it’s good for your baby too!
Make yourself comfortable, put on some relaxing music and remind your partner that you’re growing a baby …… a relaxing foot and leg massage is a small contribution to the process of pregnancy! Many pregnant women suffer from poor circulation in the feet and the warmed oil and massage can help stimulate blood flow.
Motherlylove Foot Loose massage oil at the ready?
If you don’t want ‘rub, rub, stroke, stroke, is that better, can I stop now?’ make sure your massage partner is prepared with Jan’s instructions!
Pregnancy Foot Massage
Apply a small amount of massage oil to your hands and warm it in your palms before you start and then begin stroking the top of the foot with firm slow motions, using your thumbs to apply pressure to the underside of the foot. Begin at the toes and move slowly up to the ankle and lower leg then repeat moving in the opposite direction.
Repeat three times on the top and bottom of the foot.
Use your thumbs to make circling movements all over the soles of the foot.
Clench your hand into a fist and use the knuckles to gently slide along the arch of the foot from the ball to the heel and back. Repeat at least five times on each foot as the arch of the foot may ache and become tense.
Cup each heel in turn with one hand and rotate the ankle at least three times in each direction using the other hand, loosening stiff joints and relaxing tired feet.
Firmly (but gently) pull each toe, beginning with the big toe, sliding the fingers from the base of the toe to the very tip. Roll and squeeze the toe between the index finger and thumb, repeat with each toe in turn. This motion relaxes tired feet and stimulates blood flow.
Finish your pregnancy foot massage by repeating the stroking motions you started with and then move onto the lower leg and ankle, massaging in more oil using upward firm slow movements. This is beneficial in helping to prevent cramps and restless legs as well as improving swollen ankles.
Take time to relax after your massage with your feet up. Enjoy!