10 ways to have a pain-free pregnancy
No generic advice, just science-backed techniques that–actually-work.
Fact: Pregnancy looks different for every woman. Some suffer from morning sickness and general fatigue, while others find themselves dealing with an assortment of aches and pains. Pop culture often paints a rosy picture of these precious nine months and while it can be a wonderful period, our bodies are also going through significant changes during this period of time. If you are looking to make it through this period safely and with minimal pain as you prepare for the next chapter of your life, here are the expert-approved ways to make the journey smoother:
1. Try prenatal yoga for pain relief
The practice of yoga dates back to ancient India, and down the generations, its wisdom has remained untested. If you are looking for relief from lower back and abdominal pains, there are several yoga poses that can offer significant help: if you are just starting out, opt for the wide-legged squat, triangle pose, sitting side stretch and seated straddle.
2. Opt for prenatal massages
Massage therapy is a popular choice across ages for getting relief from physical pain, and it comes as no surprise that prenatal massages are highly sought after by mums-to-be as well. As the baby bump expands outwards, the body’s posture is realigned in a manner that can place increased stress on the legs and lower back. A massage done by a licensed professional can offer relief from these pains by easing the stress placed on the muscles.
3. Relax your mind, body and soul with meditation
When addressing pain, it is also essential to take care of the inside as well as the external symptoms. Research has found that a soothing session of meditation can trigger the body’s relaxation response and regulate the release of stress hormones in the body. If you are looking to get in on its benefits, find a quiet spot in the house and practise mindful breathing while listening to a relaxing audio track or opt for a guided meditation session through an app.
4. Go swimming to release body pains
Surprised to hear this? Well, don’t be because swimming is widely regarded as one of the safest exercise forms for pregnant women. The good news is that an hour in the pool won’t just prove therapeutic for your mind; it can also help ease the pain caused by the sudden swelling of the torso in a short period of time. However, it is essential to ensure that you practice swimming in a safe space at a moderate pace without placing too much exertion on your body.
5. Invest in body pillows for a restful sleep at night
After the initial euphoria over the pregnancy has passed, you’ll begin noticing all sorts of changes in your body – including the fact that sleep can prove more elusive once the first trimester has passed. To ease the weight placed on your lower back and pelvis, it helps to sleep on your side with a pillow placed between your knees. You will also find that body pillows make for a worthy investment to support the body from the chest to the lower back.
6. Revise your shoe closet
…in favour of designs that support your back. It is known that heels are a no-no during pregnancy to avoid placing undue stress on the curvature of the back. However, flats can be just as troublesome as they can leave your feet unsupported. For best results, it is advisable to opt for low-heeled shoes that can help rebalance the weight placed on the body as you walk.
7. Add almond oil to your shelf
Almond oil has long served as a staple in Indian households for its therapeutic and skincare benefits. While it can prove beneficial for keeping pregnancy-induced stretch marks at bay, it can also be handy for relieving discomfort. After your morning shower, lightly massage the skin around your breasts in an infinity symbol to boost lymphatic drainage and offer reprieve from those odd, inexplicable aches and pains.
8. Eat right for a healthier digestion
Yes, constipation is during pregnancy and no, you aren’t the only one facing it. As the body musculature relaxes, it leads to slower movement in the intestines which often causes constipation in three out of every four pregnant women. The solution? To swap the foods causing the indigestion only your plate in favour of a high-fibre diet that can keep constipation at bay. On your next grocery trip, reach for fresh fruits and veggies while also doubling your water intake to promote healthy bowel movement.
9. Practise aromatherapy
Can the solution to pregnancy pains be found in the vials of essential oils? Recent studies have proved yes! Whether you are battling nausea and an upset stomach, trying to provide relief to aching muscles or trying to calm your mind about labour, there’s little that the right oils can’t accomplish. While sage, basil and camphor are to be strictly avoided, you’ll find that peppermint, chamomile and lavender oil can help ease pain when used in the correct dosages.
10. Try to stay stress-free
There is no denying that stress can make every stage of pregnancy more difficult than it actually is. Preparing for what’s coming next can be an overwhelming process, so don’t feel guilty in putting yourself first. Take some time to figure out what would make this period more relaxing for you: do you need to get more sleep at night by going to bed early? Do you need to talk to an experienced professional about the doubts and worries in your mind? Would sipping on a calming brew, such as peppermint tea, help soothe your nerves?
Take this time to listen to your body and give it the care and love that it needs and you’ll find that your body will lead the way and get you through all the changes coming your way!