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Archive for August, 2010

How Prenatal Massage Can Benefit Your Pregnancy

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Prenatal Massage is massage during pregnancy that focuses on the special needs of the mother to help her adapt to the ever-changing body. Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. The skeletal structure of the pregnant woman must support an increasing amount of weight, her organs must shift to accommodate the baby, and there are significant emotional and psychological changes that occur as well.

There are various other symptoms of pregnancy that can also be alleviated by massage. Edema is the swelling of the joints during pregnancy. This edema is usually caused by reduced circulation due the increased pressure from the expanding uterus on the major blood vessels. Massage can stimulate the soft tissues to help reduce the collection of fluid in the joints as well as induce more circulation in the area to assist in removal of waste products through the lymph system. The late stages of pregnancy can induce sciatic pain due to the uterus resting on the pelvic floor and lower back. This pressure tends to lead to discomfort in the upper and lower legs causing swelling which puts pressure on the nerves. Massage can help reduce this nerve pressure by releasing tension in surrounding muscles.

With any type of therapy or treatment during pregnancy, always consult your physician to make sure that your pregnancy is progressing properly. Massage is generally not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy. Due to the increased risk of miscarriage and the pressure points on the feet and ankles that can stimulate uterine contractions, it is recommended to wait until the second trimester to begin receiving massage. Body positioning is a big factor in prenatal massage.

Most massage therapist consider side-lying massage to be the best option. There are tables that have holes in the center to allow the pregnant woman to lay prone on the table. These types of tables can still apply pressure to the pregnant belly and also can stretch the uterine ligaments due to the hanging of the stomach through the table. Contact the massage therapist to see what position they utilize during the prenatal massage so that you can make a decision based on your preferences. The benefits of massage can greatly benefit the pregnant woman. As always, consult your physician before adding massage as a therapeutic addition to your prenatal care.

Post Pregnancy Workout – Good Foods For Weight Loss

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

The good foods are the unprocessed foods that provide you with great nutritional value. They provide you with protein, good fats, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that are very essential for a healthy nutrition. Your diet should mostly consist of these types of food.

* Poultry, fish, eggs, and lean meats: These foods are high in protein, contain all the essential amino-acids, and most of the times, are great sources of Zinc, Selenium, Vitamins B6 and B12, Iron, and others.
* Vegetables: They are always recommended in any diet. They have a rich content of nutrition and provide a lot of vitamins and minerals that complement those found in both red and white meat. Most vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and take up a lot of space in your stomach. So if you are looking to lose weight after pregnancy, these can be great as they make you less hungry and allow you to limit the consumption of junk foods.
* Fruits: They are usually not very high in calories, and help fill you up fast. Making sure to get several servings of fruit a day might satisfy your sugar craving and provide you with the minerals, vitamins, fiber, and enzymes you need.
* Low fat dairy: These foods are relatively high in easily absorbed protein and provide some vitamins and minerals, especially Calcium. These foods would include cottage cheese, milk, and fat-free yogurt. Try to avoid the yogurts with fruits at the bottom as they are filled with sugar additives and not much fruit.
* Healthy fats: These come from nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc…, avocados, fish oil, flax seed, and extra virgin olive oil. These fats are helpful in maintaining good cardiovascular health and keeping both cholesterol and inflammation levels low.
* Whole grains and similar: Oats, brown pasta, brown rice, etc… are some of the best sources for carbohydrates. They also provide you with fiber and some vitamins and minerals. Compared to their white versions, whole grains have a lower chance of turning into fat stored by the body.

These foods are the cornerstone of healthy nutrition. They cover all the bases needed, and making sure to start consuming them while reducing your intake of processed foods is perfect to lose weight after pregnancy and to include as part of your post pregnancy workout.