~ Benefits of Postnatal Massage for the Mother (and oils to be used)!!

Who doesn’t like getting a massage?? No like really, I doubt there’ll ever be a person who wouldn’t like getting a message!! Massages are not only relaxing but have tremendous health benefits.

A postnatal massage is well known for relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief along with benefits of hormone regulation, reduced swelling, better sleep and improved breastfeeding.

A postnatal massage is a full body massage that is given to the new mommy every day for upto 40 days after birth. And if you are willing, you could continue longer than the 40 days!!

Some of the benefits that I felt of my postnatal massages were as follows:

– Eased sore spots and relaxed muscle tension, particularly in my abdomen, lower back, upper back, hips and legs!!

– Increased the flow of blood and oxygen to my tired muscles in turn helping me get rid of the toxins.

– Helped with breastfeeding as the body releases oxytocin while / after a good session of massage. Make sure to get your boobs massaged to help with clogged ducts or overflow etc… Sorry for the TMI 🙂🙃

– Got an excuse to take a break from the busy new-mommy life and routine and just relax!! Massage encourages the body to release endorphins – which is a natural pain killer and feel good hormones secreted by the brain.

The oil used when getting massaged has a vital role to play in the recovery of the body and regaining of strength and hence I am sharing the details of the concoction my ‘maalish wali’ used.

You’ll need:

Usually any oil is good enough, but a mixture of the oils I’ve listed below works wonders, as all their healing properties come together for the best results!

– Olive Oil

Olive oil helps get a glow to the skin and make the complexion fair which helps in lightning stretch marks. It also is beneficial in healing dry, flaky scalp conditions such as dandruff when massaged onto the head. Scalp massages with olive oil promotes healthier, shinier and more manageable hair by moisturizing it.

– Sesame Oil

This is the traditional oil of choice for daily ayurvedic self-massage. It is rich in linoleic acid, and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is very nourishing, and prevents the skin from getting excessively dry.

– Almond Oil

This is one of the most popular massage oils among massage therapists. Extracted from almonds and being slightly less oily than the others, it allows hands to glide easily over skin. Sweet almond oil is absorbed fairly quickly, hence does not leave the body greasy.

– Forest Essentials Ayurvedic Oil

I always add some Forest Essentials Ayurvedic Oil to my concoction, be it the Back Pain Relief one or just the Bela or Rose scented one. It has wonderful benefits to the skin and the body, but for me, it’s more like an addiction honestly. I am working on a detailed post on the Forest Essentials oils I am addicted to, so stay tuned for that.

If you have had a normal delivery, you are good to start your massage regime from whenever you are ready, but if you have had a C-section, make sure to consult your doctor before starting any kind of massage.

** Images courtesy Google**

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~ Pregnancy Must Haves…

Pregnancy is a special time indeed. You are carrying the most precious thing life could gift you with, a baby!!

Needless to say it’s hard-work. Not only is your body going through all the hormonal changes, mood swings, hungry pangs, exhaustion, nausea but you are over equal parts excited!! It’s a time where each woman needs to feel pampered and special and not worry about small things like comfort.

If you have read my take on each trimester: 1, 2 and 3, this post will interest you as today I am sharing my list of pregnancy must haves.

So, my list, in no particular order is as follows:

⁃ Prenatal Vitamins

In reality start eating these from the day you decide to start trying for a baby. There are many options in the market, I took the Nature Made Prenatals.

⁃ Pregnancy Pillow / Snoogle

This one is a life saver as it makes the task of sleeping, less daunting. Finding a comfortable position to sleep in, requires many many pillows and a pregnancy pillow not only replaces them all and makes more room on your bed, but it can later double up as a body pillow to be used post delivery.

The hubby ordered me one in the first few weeks after out we were pregnant and honestly the timing was perfect. It’s available online on Amazon and even in maternity stores.

– Water!!!

One of the 1st things the doctor told me to do was to drink lots of water! In general water is your best friend, but during pregnancy it’s even more so important. Having a good Sippy Cup kept me on track!

If drinking plain water is boring for you, take a look at some of my Flavored Water recipes!

⁃ Ginger Ale

I was blessed to not have bad nausea, but every now and then my stomach would give in and I would vomit. It was mostly smells for me that triggered it. Ginger Ale helped! A lot!!

Ginger is known for its anti-nausea properties and this is a yummy and refreshing way to enjoy that. Also since it’s caffeine free, and caffeine anyways isn’t a good idea when it comes to baby, Ginger Ale is a win win even when it comes to soda options.

I preferred buying the small cans as I would have one entire can and it wasn’t too much, nor would it loose it’s fizz. Available in your local grocery store!

– Sparkling Water

This was like killing 2 birds with one stone!! Not only did it help with the occasional nausea but also helped with my water intake. A win win if you ask me!

This is often flavored and I loved the strawberry and lemon lime flavors the best. Available in your grocery store.

– Dum Dum Pops

Another hit for me when it came to keeping nausea at bay. Available in your local grocery store!

– Caffeine free Soda

I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy an occasional soda! Sometimes it’s the only thing that can lift your spirits and going the caffeine free route is best during pregnancy. I chose Sprite and Fanta as my partner in crime.

⁃ Fruits and healthy munch worthy snacks: Granola bars, mixed nuts, fruits bites etc.

Hunger will strike at the most weird hours and sometimes soon after you have had a meal. My biggest problem was running out of options on what healthy stuff to eat to curb the hunger.

My issue was I wasn’t finding everything I usually liked, appetizing any longer. That’s when the hubby ordered me a pregnancy approved Snack Box to try. I definitely found a lot of new options and flavors I liked via this box, bigger packages of which I then bought from my local grocery store.

⁃ Stress Relief and Sleep aromatherapy from Bath and Body Works.

This isn’t just a pregnancy thing for me, I have a full size bottle of each lotion on my night stand, travel size bottles of each lotion in my purse and also my carry on toilet kit. I swear by these scents!!

I also have them in body washes, soaps, bath salts and soaks. And now since they have pilow mists, I have that too!

Trust me, it works wonders to quite the mind and unwind the body making it ready for a peaceful slumber. These are available Online or in a BBW store near you.

⁃ Belly Book

This one was something I had always thought I’d keep when I got pregnant and right as I found out in my 5th week, I started this book. It was a fun way to document my pregnancy and I am excited to share it with Little Miss K when she’s older. I wasn’t ready to wait for it to arrive via Amazon, so I got mine at Barnes and Noble.

⁃ Stretch Marks Cream

This one is more for a cosmetic purpose but definitely helps. I liked the Just for Moms better than the Palmer’s one, but both did work well, so it’s really either or. Just for Moms definitely smells better!!

⁃ TUMS for heartburn relief

Heartburn was my nemesis!!! Every single night I had the worst heartburn one could possibly have.

Though cold milk and vanilla ice creams worked and were a yummier option, sometimes it came down to popping TUMS in the middle of the night.

⁃ Comfortable clothes:

Maternity Yoga Pants, Oversized T-shirts, Sleepshirts and a well fitting bra is your best friend. An alternative could be raiding your hubby’s closet, mine had lots of t-shirt options for me! LOL!!

I have a post dedicated to budget friendly pregnancy style, coming soon, so stay tuned for that.

⁃ Comfy Shoes

Since water retention is common during pregnancy, and so is swelling from all the extra weight you’ll be carrying around, your foot size will increase and it’s of utmost importance to wear the right shoes for the best support and comfort.

I’ll be talking about my choice for shoes in the pregnancy style post.

⁃ Pregnancy Apps and books

These books were very informative, old school style. You can find them on Amazon or any bookstore.

I also downloaded these apps below. Even though all of them basically talk about the same things, it was fun to read the additional things each of these had to offer.

My favorites were – What to Expect and BabyCenter. I absolutely loved the comparison of the baby size to fruits each week. Their week by week description of baby’s development was very helpful and I definitely learned a lot from their articles. And these apps don’t scare you, with what could go wrong, so that’s a win win!

– Oils

When I was 24 weeks along, my sister visited from India and got with her Forest Essentials oils – The Back Pain Relief Oil and The Stretch Mark Oil, it changed my life!

Since then I’ve gone through several bottles of the Back Pain Relief one as that’s one thing that has stuck around even 5 months postpartum.

If you follow me on Instagram (nshrivas) you must have seen this post of mine, talk about addiction to Forest Essentials!!

Well this was my list, hope it helps some of you to-be mommies out there, and for all you experienced mommies out there, I’d love to hear what we’re your must haves!!