Tips for holistic prenatal care
Prenatal vitamins, extra water, 30 minutes of exercise a day, eating folate rich meals, practicing Kegels, prepping the nursery, writing a birth plan, trying to avoid being sick for the third time in a day, and buying more pillows so you can actually get some sleep … you must be a pregnant mama prepping for your perfect miracle.
Two holistic practitioners in the Upstate think that adding in a few self-care visits might be just the ticket to helping you deliver a healthy baby. Catherine Hackett, a certified massage and bodywork therapist, and Dr. Michael Day, doctor of chiropractic and natural health, want to encourage pregnant moms to include massage and chiropractic care in that recipe.
Here are their tips:
- Day encourages expectant mothers to visit an International Chiropractic Pediatric Association chiropractor during the first trimester. “Once the pain from stretching muscles and ligaments is alleviated, then once a month is all they will need,” he said. He said many moms who come to him experience less pain during pregnancy and have a baby who is right in position for delivery.
- “Massage can be done from the time of conception through pregnancy, labor and afterward,” Hackett said, adding it is a way a woman can “get in touch with her body to create relief and comfort in a time that can be stressful and uncomfortable.” She encourages mamas to find a massage therapist that has taken coursework specifically for expectant mothers as massages after 21 weeks need to use bolsters and side lying positions for the comfort of the mother and safety of the baby.
- Many mothers benefit from massage during labor to “help with pain management and focus,” Hackett said. While not all mothers want to be touched during labor, she encourages them to consider the benefits. “Lower back massage and compression can make a mother more comfortable,” she said.
- Both practitioners agree that massage and chiropractic tools are wonderful noninvasive tools that more moms should explore in their prenatal care.