Can I go for massage and aromatherapy during pregnancy? Read on for the do's and don'ts.
#1. Massage and aromatherapy during pregnancy
Massage is a wonderful way to unwind tired muscles and pamper yourself. The massage bed should have a cutout for your belly. Otherwise, you can position yourself with pillows so you are slightly on your side. However, massage of the tummy or breasts can cause contractions of the womb. If you notice strong contractions, stop that part of the massage. You may find that you are more sensitive to smells than usual. Aromatherapy is fine as long as it is pleasant for you. However, essential oils are absorbed through your skin into the bloodstream. Until more is known, avoid extensive skin contact with essential oil.
#2. Sauna or steam room during pregnancy
High temperature in early pregnancy is bad for the developing baby as it increases the chances of miscarriage and birth defects like spinal cord and brain malformation. Thus, all treatment that raise your body temperature should be off limits during pregnancy. These include the sauna, steam room and hot tub. Warm baths are fine as long as they are not super hot, since water cools off fairly quickly.
#3. Weight loss in pregnancy
Women who are not eating enough are more likely to have small babies. This can have serious long-term effects on the baby's health. Healthy weight gain of 10-12kg is expected throughout the entire pregnancy.
Your baby needs you to eat! Your baby depends on you for its nourishment. Remember that if you eat well, your baby eats well and if you starve, your baby starves.
#4. How to have a good night sleep?
Pregnancy is demanding physically and emotionally. The increasing size of your belly makes it hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. If you have always been a back or stomach sleeper, it may be difficult to get used to sleeping on your side. Also, as the growing womb presses on your bladder, you experience more trips to the bathroom, day and night.
Try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. It prevents the baby from pressing on the large vein (the inferior vena cava). Alternatively, use a pillow to keep yourself propped up on one side. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. This is because your liver is on the right side and lying on your left side helps keep the womb off your liver.
Cut out caffeinated drinks like coke, coffee and tea from your diet as much as possible especially at night. Avoid drinking a lot of fluids or eating a full meal within a few hours of going to bed at night. This might give you a better sleep with less interruptions to wake up at night to go the bathroom.
#5. Massage chairs and foot reflexology during pregnancy
Unfortunately, there is insufficient data and research done at this moment to address the safety of massage chairs and foot reflexology during pregnancy. Use at your own discretion.
#6. LASIK surgery during pregnancy
It is advisable not to have LASIK surgery during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your refraction may be different due to hormonal changes. Also there is the rare possibility that your response to the surgery might not be usual. There is no harm of the surgery to the fetus but your results may be affected. LASIK surgery can be done at least six weeks after breastfeeding.