We all live busy lives, including when we’re pregnant. Or perhaps especially while pregnant. Which is why one of my favorite pregnancy rituals was taking a few minutes every single day to stop and connect with the baby while I massaged my body and nourished my skin.
Not only is this self massage good for mama, but according to Dr. Deepak Chopra, it’s also great for baby. In his book Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives (where I got the self massage idea), when Chopra talks about self massage, he says: “When a pregnant mother is anxious, stressed or in a fearful state, the stress hormones released into her bloodstream cross through the placenta to the baby. Hundreds of studies have confirmed that chemicals released by the pregnant mother’s body are transported into the womb and affect the unborn baby … When you’re calm and centered, your baby is able to grow peacefully.”
Makes sense, right? Besides helping to feel calm, it also made me feel deeply connected to both the small changes my growing body was experiencing and to the baby. I used the time to talk out loud to the baby which feels silly at first, but after awhile, it comes really natural. And on top of that, the massage helps relieve itchy, dry skin, fights stretch marks and discoloration, increases circulation, soothes achy muscles and joints, AND helped me sleep when I did it at night!
Here’s how to do it:
Gently massage oil or body butter (here’s a list of my favorites) into your skin, beginning at the extremities and working towards the middle of the body.
Use long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints.
Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions.
Massage the body with love and patience for 5-20 minutes depending on what your time permits.
I really loved this ritual and looked forward to it every single day! If you try it, I hope you do, too!