I am almost 32 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy really has been pretty good to me up until recently. I have not thrown up at all except for when I had that horrible stomach bug that put me in the hospital. I have not gained a lot of weight, had very little swelling, and no real “scares”. It has been pretty nice compared to my extremely crappy pregnancy I had with Ellie.
Now that we are getting closer to the end my body HURTS. I have not been able to get my weekly massage because my husband has been sick for a month, and I can definitely feel it. Out of sheer desperation I remembered salt baths were supposed to ease muscle pain and it worked! I have been taking a bath with a combination of Epsom salt, Himalayan sea salts, and some oils every night and my body feels much better afterward. I have had much less pain and cramping, it stops my braxton hicks contractions that I have been having at night, and reduces the pain I feel in my hips when sleeping. My skin is softer and feels healthier than it has in a long time. And, on a side note, since I have been taking this bath nightly my CRAZY HORRIBLE pregnancy dreams/nightmares have not been occurring. I am loving this added side effect as the dreams were truly terrifying.
Ow my achy pregnant body bath:1c Epsom Salt 1c Sea Salt (Celtic, Himalayan, Dead Sea, or “real salt”) 1/2c Baking Soda (aluminum free) 1/4-1/2c Chamomile Olive Oil Infusion 4-6 drops Lavender Essential Oil Combine in hot bath water (no more than 120 degrees, you are pregnant after all), mix with hands until salt dissolves. There may be a little bit of extra graineyness, that is the extra minerals in your sea salt. Add essential oil drops right before getting into the tub to get the full benefit of the oils. If you add them too soon the bath room will smell lovely, but the oil will have evaporated before it absorbs into your skin. Enjoy your bath with a nice glass of water or tea. Soak at least 20 minutes. Be sure to clean out your bath with baking soda when you are done so the next person to use it does not slip and fall!
How do these ingredients help?
Epsom salt is not actually a salt, but a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed in the skin making bathing in it an easy way to absorb all the great health benefits. Magnesium plays many important roles in the body including enzyme regulation, reducing inflammation, improving muscle, nervous, and digestive function. Sulfate improves the absorption of nutrients, flushes toxins, and helps ease headaches.
Here is a great site I found about the benefit of Epsom salt baths. It explains things so well I feel no need to go into more detail. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/health-benefits-of-epsom-salt-baths.html?page=1
Sea Salt is different from the over processed, de-mineralized, iodized “Morton” salt you get at the grocery store. It is naturally occurring salt with the trace minerals still intact having many health benefits, which the over-processed iodized salt does not provide. If you do not know about the difference please do your research! You will be glad you did.
Sea salt is effective at stabilizing irregular heart beat and regulating blood pressure, helps extract extra acidity from your blood cells (a leading cause of inflammation), balances blood sugar levels, is vital to nervous system function, the function of blood cells, the absorption of nutrients, the clearance of lung mucous, anti histamine, anti inflammatory, prevents and eases muscle cramps, along with being an over all good provider of micro nutrients. It also is known to soften the skin. You can use extra salt as a body scrub while you are in the bath to remove excess dead skin cells. It is very relaxing, especially if you combine the salt scrub with some oil.
I have also found the natural sea salt crystals help set the “resonance” of the bath. I prefer Celtic sea salt because I feel like it grounds me better. Yes hippie dippy as my father would say but it does make a difference for me!
Baking soda helps detoxify the body, neutralizes extra acidity in the body and softens the skin. It is a huge detoxifier, and because of this I only use a 1/2 cup per bath. I have read about using a pound a bath but I don’t want that much of a detox while pregnant or breast-feeding.
The chamomile olive oil infusion is for relaxation, anti inflammatory, and calming properties. It helps reduce anxiety and insomnia, it is anti spasmodic and works to calm and relax the nerves and muscles. The oil diffuses nicely in the bath and absorbs well into the skin. I find I rarely have to use oil after the bath for extra moisturization like I do after a shower.
Lavender essential oil helps circulation, eases aches and pains, reduces cellulite, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, reduces pain and swelling, relaxes muscles, and reduces joint pain. It is calming, uplifting, and balances emotion. It also helps with depression, insomnia, nervous tension, panic and stress. All things experienced at one time or another during pregnancy, at least from my experience.
What do you do to relax and take the pain away while pregnant?