If you’re pregnant you’re probably going to hear this a lot – “You need to relax during pregnancy!”
Trying to relax during pregnancy is not the easiest thing to do.
You probably still have work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and friend and family obligations.
Now you have to fit in meal planning for a better diet, prenatal visits, babymoon travel, financial planning for your maternity leave, and tons more.
You also have so much prep and planning for birth, labor, and Baby’s arrival. It’s a lot, we know.
But even though you are hearing it a lot we’re going to say it again. It’s that important.
Don’t forget to relax!
The first step, if you want to relax during pregnancy, is to put down the stress. Let it go. Tell it bye-bye.
If you need some tips on how to beat stress during pregnancy, check out this post.
Once the stress is somewhat under control, here’s how to take relaxation to the next level.
Take an Epsom salt bath.
Seriously. Soaking in a warm bath provides so many benefits to you and your growing baby. Below is a list of advantages, but first.
What are Epsom salts?
Epsom salts aren’t actually “salt.” The main ingredient in Epsom salt is magnesium. Every organ in the body needs magnesium to function.
It is “the second most abundant element inside human cells” and it regulates “over 300 biochemical reactions in the body through their role as enzyme co-factors.” (source)
That’s the long way of saying it’s important! Now here’s how it helps you while you’re pregnant.
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Benefits of Epsom salt baths during pregnancy
- Eases aches and pains.
The magnesium ions absorbed by your skin through the bath are a natural pain reliever. They help reduce inflammation and ease all those muscle aches in your legs and back from carrying the extra weight.
If your aches and pains aren’t bad enough for over-the-counter medications but they’re annoying enough to keep you from sleeping well or enjoying your days, try this bath. It could make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your pregnancy!
- Improves your mood.
Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that affects your mood. Low serotonin can make you feel cranky or irritable, or even depressed. Higher serotonin helps you relax and can get you to feel happier.
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath to relax during pregnancy isn’t just beneficial for you. Happy feelings mean less stress, which also means fewer stress hormones for Baby. When you balance your mood and reduce your stress, your baby enjoys benefits as well.
- Gently Detoxifies.
Detoxification via herbs or foods isn’t an excellent idea during pregnancy. You don’t want to dump a bunch of toxins into your bloodstream for your baby to deal with in utero.
However, detoxification with an Epsom salt bath is gentle enough for pregnancy. The salts will “[flush] out toxins and metals from your cells, which decreases pain and helps your body eliminate harmful substances.” (source)
- Gently Exfoliates.
Have you ever heard that shaving is one of the best and easiest ways to exfoliate the skin on your legs? Well, if you’re pregnant and in your third trimester (or even second!) there isn’t much shaving going on these days, right?
Let the Epsom salts do it for you! To help them along, feel free to gently rub your hips, thighs, belly, shoulders, and arms while in the bath. Gently rubbing will contribute to not only exfoliate, but to increase and improve your circulation. Better circulation means more blood to the placenta – just another benefit for Baby!
- Helps hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are a reality during pregnancy for many moms. If this has come up for you, the anti-inflammatory effects of an Epsom salt bath will help. The warm water will also help you relax your anal sphincter, which will bring you some quick relief.
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Before jumping into a bath too quickly, keep these things in mind:
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- Don’t make the water too hot. Increasing your body temperature too much can cause complications with your pregnancy. You should be aiming for a temperature that is very warm/comfortably hot, if you start sweating or are feeling overheated, get out of the bath and cool down right away. And definitely, don’t scald yourself!
- If you’d like to add essential oils to your bath, do your research first! Make sure the oils are safe for use during pregnancy. The Same caution goes for diffusing oils in the bathroom rather than adding the oils to the bath. Just make sure they’re safe for you and Baby.
- Ensure that you have something to hold on to, even if it’s your partner. Getting in and out of the bath can be tricky depending on the size of your belly. The last thing you want to do is slip and fall when you’re trying to relax during pregnancy. Before getting in the tub, make sure you have dry handles you can reach and hold if necessary. Otherwise, let your partner help you in and out of the tub.
- Only purchase pure Epsom salts. Don’t buy bath blends with additives like oils, colors, or perfumes. There could be chemicals in those additives that aren’t good for you or Baby.
How much do I use?
According to BellyBelly.com.au:
“The research indicates the ideal concentration for using Epsom salt baths is 2 cups of salts per standard size bath. Ideal soaking times is at least 12 minutes, two to three times per week.”
There you have it. Fill your tub. Add some Epsom salts. Sit. By far the easiest way to relax during pregnancy!
Enjoy your “me” time, Momma, and stay safe!
Featured image source: www.wzakcleveland.com