My cousin recently sent me a text message that said “Im pregnant! It was unexpected but we are so excited! Do you have any advice?” Well, YES. I do. But how do you share the wisdom you’ve accumulated over 4 pregnancies and birth’s over text message?
The text got me thinking about my pregnancies and how important body oiling was for me for several reasons. It covers physical health, mental preparation, and spiritual connection.
Here are 5 reasons why body oiling was an essential practice during my pregnancies.
1. It's relaxing during a time of physical and mental stress
“Abhyanga provides the means for transdermal absorption of the healing qualities of the material used in the massage, and it helps the skin, which is the largest organ in the body, perform its diverse functions efficiently, whether it is allowing toxins to be released from the body or nourishment to be absorbed by the tissues. It is like oiling the engine of your car — if you do it regularly, your engine will be in peak condition, and give you years and years of trouble-free performance."
2. It provides time to connect with your womb space and baby
I would often get so caught up in my day to day tasks that I forgot about the human growing in my womb. Taking the time to relax and initially touch my belly provided an opportunity for me to whisper prayers and loving messages to her. It also provided an opportunity for me to love on MYSELF. Positive body talk is important, ALWAYS.
Try practicing this meditation next time you oil your belly:
- Sit in a quiet space with low lights + perhaps incense, candles or diffused essentials oils.
- Inhale fully + repeat your affirmation in your head (I AM…present, strong, courageous, calm, enough etc).
- Exhale fully.
- Repeat the inhalation + affirmation.
Try not to rush, but don’t feel bad if you can only focus for a few minutes.
You develop over time. It’s a practice. Eventually, it will help calm your spirit as you approach the portal to motherhood.
3. Body oiling helps drain the lymphatic system
Our lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins and waste from bodily tissue and relies on movement and massage to do its job. Body oiling is a great way to move that fluid out of the body while simultaneously receiving plant medicine to support your immune system.
“Moreover, during pregnancy, many hormonal changes take place including increased levels of progesterone, estrogen, HCG, and prolactin . These higher levels of hormones induce changes in vascular permeability, promoting extravasation of plasma with consequent edema. Other transformations that may occur due to these hormonal changes are the formation of varicose veins, sensation of heaviness, paresthesia, and cramp. Manual lymph drainage helps to reduce limb size during the day of pregnant women. Implications for nursing management: edema is the most common and resilient manifestation in pregnant women where there is a perceived need to treat or improve these symptoms in a clinic during this period; therefore, the outpatient nursing intervention with lymphatic drainage can effectively relieve this symptom afflicting these women.”
4. Body oiling supports your immune system.
“Researchers working with patients with compromised immune systems have found massage therapy can improve how the immune system functions,” said Jeff Smoot, 2015 President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “Those same benefits can translate to people seeking to fight off the common cold, flu and other seasonal illnesses.”
Massage increases the activity of the white blood cells , combating colds and viruses. By adding a daily, or even weekly self massage practice with body oils you can increase your immune system!
5. Body oiling is the perfect way for you to get to know your ever-changing body!
Pregnancy is a time of great change. One day you wake up noticing part of yourself you’ve never noticed before. For some, you don’t quite recognize the woman in the mirror. This can be challenging for some. It can be tempting to try and find the perfect body oil for pregnancy stretch marks. But we gotta be honest--stretch marks don't happen with every woman and they aren't entirely preventable. However, there are some oils can support changing, stretching skin and those include essential oils of frankincense, neroli, patchouli, lavender, AND argan oil. These are some of the key ingredients we've specifically chosen for our Pregnancy Safe Body Oils.
Try to remember that this season your in is a right of passage into a season of magnificent reward! Try taking the time to practice loving words of affirmation to your new curves. Your body is working the hardest it’s ever worked.
So how is the self oil massage done?
Use 3-4 pumps of our Body Oil, massaging the entire body and applying pressure.
“Apply light pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart. Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.
After you're done, relax for 10-15 minutes, letting the oil and the massage do their magic. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. During this time you can read something relaxing or uplifting and rest; or shave, cut nails, and get ready for the day. Dab excess oil off with paper towels if you like, then follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower. If your schedule doesn't allow for a daily massage, try to squeeze it in at least three or four times a week. You'll find it's worth it!”
Pregnancy to Postpartum Thoughts
The practices you develop in pregnancy are just as important, IF NOT MORE, in postpartum. As your life dramatically shifts into caring for a new being, there will be more times than not for you to put yourself last. Body oiling in postpartum is a way for you honor your body, calm your nervous system down, and create a small daily ritual that will pay dividends to your sanity. Our organic Jasmine + Sandalwood Body Oil is made specifically for postpartum (choose any of your favorite oils to use during postpartum, though--the point is just doing it). Set the time aside for yourself, it's just 20 minutes. And you deserve 20 minutes.
There are so many more reasons to add this practice to your holy wellness routine. I would LOVE for you to explore it yourself!
Choose your new favorite organic Body Oil HERE.