The following is part of a series of posts detailing the information in my free download 26 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Labor.
Tension. I know her well and I'm sure you do too. Sometimes she is a fleeting visitor; other times she parks herself right in that sweet spot where my neck meets my shoulders. Maybe she likes your jaw, or she settles just behind your eyes. Wherever you may find her, Tension is no stranger. Noticing where she is taking up residence in your body, and then releasing her, will bring your awareness inward and deepen the connection to your baby.
First, wherever you are right now, close your eyes and connect with your breath. Listen to the sound of your inhale and exhale. Feel your breath as it flows in and out. In this short time, you may already feel a release of Tension.
Now bring your awareness to your head. Notice if Tension is there and on your exhale, breath her away.
Check behind your eyes, and your jaw. What about your lips and your tongue? She likes to hid in those places too! With each exhale, soften and release this one small part of your body.
Slowly, with each breath, scan your entire body... neck.... shoulders.... elbows.... wrists.... fingers.... chest.... belly.....low back.... hips....
Stay here in your hips and low back. Breathe. This is a favorite hangout for Tension. She likes the extra energy that your hip muscles are expending to support your growing baby. So notice her here.... then send her on her way with your next breaths. As many as it takes.
Keep on scanning your body... knees... ankles..... arches of your feet... toes..... Exhale and soften. Inhale. Exhale and release
Bring your awareness to your baby and breathe here. Now, send up a prayer of gratitude for the hard work your body is doing and sweet baby you are growing. Breathe all your love and attention to your child and just be.
The following is part of a series of posts detailing the information in my free download 26 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Birth.
This is one of my favorite ways to connect with baby because it feels sooooooo good for mama, too!
No matter which way you are getting massaged, the key is to bring your full awareness to your baby. I like to first start by listening to my breath. Listen to it as you inhale.... and exhale. Once your mind starts to quiet down, bring your awareness to your growing child. With each exhale feel your body soften around his or her little body. You are providing a warm, safe environment for them to grow, so thank your body for the amazing job it is doing of nurturing this little human.
There are several ways to go about getting massaged. Some are easier and cheaper than others, but all are beneficial to mom and baby!
This is the most decadent way to get massaged. A good prenatal massage therapist will become your best friend, especially late in your pregnancy when every ligament is stretched to the max and every muscle is working overtime.
Enlist the help of your partner to give you a massage at the end of a long day. This is a great way for your partner to connect with you (both physically and emotionally) as well as the baby, too.
Simple Hand or Foot Massage
You'll need a partner for this, too. Get out your favorite lotion or oil and find a nice peaceful place to put your feet up. As your partner massages your hands or feet, allow your breath to slow down as you bring your attention to your baby. Send all your love and energy to him or her as you feel the love your partner has for you, too. BTW, a simple hand massage is simply divine, you won't realize how much you needed one until you get one!
Self-given Hand Massage
Don't let time, energy or lack of another person around prevent you from connecting with your baby and enjoying the benefits of a massage. A simple self-given hand massage can often work wonders. Take off your rings, find your yummiest lotion and spend five minutes massaging your own hands. Listen to your breath. Imagine how much work your hands will do for your baby once he or she arrives. Imagine the meals they will prepare, the tears they will wipe away, the loving embraces they will give.
No matter how you get massaged, the important thing is that you are taking some time out of your busy day to connect with your child.
In the comments, tell us how you plan on working a massage into your day today.