Care During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding with Lymphatic Massage and Essential Oils

Care During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding with Lymphatic Massage and Essential Oils

Nurturing Your Breasts: Care During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding with Lymphatic Massage and Essential Oils

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are transformative journeys in a woman's life. As you prepare for the arrival of your little one and embark on the incredible experience of breastfeeding, taking care of your body, including your breasts, becomes paramount. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of caring for your breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a focus on the power of lymphatic massage and essential oils.

Breast Changes During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnancy brings a cascade of hormonal changes that directly impact your breasts. As your body prepares for lactation, your breasts undergo significant changes, such as increased size, tenderness, and sensitivity. Navigating these changes with care can lead to a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy and breastfeeding journey.

Lymphatic Massage: A Gentle Touch

Lymphatic massage is a gentle and therapeutic technique that can provide numerous benefits for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in fluid balance and immune support, and gently stimulating it can aid in:

  1. **Edema Reduction:** Many pregnant women experience swelling, especially in the breast area. Lymphatic massage can help reduce edema by promoting fluid drainage and reducing discomfort.
  1. **Improved Circulation:** Proper lymphatic flow encourages the efficient transport of nutrients and oxygen to your breast tissues, promoting overall breast health. Supporting the lymphatic network in the breast tissue also helps to rid and release accumulated toxins which can lead to poor breast health long term. 
  1. **Relaxation:** Lymphatic massage induces relaxation and reduces stress, which can be particularly beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Massage and gentle loving touch helps to stimulate and release oxytocin, the bonding and love hormone that has a relaxing and drowsy effect on the body and mind. 

How to Perform Lymphatic Massage

Here's a simple guide to performing lymphatic massage on your breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  1. Choose a Comfortable Position: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position with good back support. Privacy is key. You can also do this in the shower.
  1. Use a Gentle Touch: Apply a small amount of natural oil or lotion to your breasts ( I love Living Libations Breast Oil) to reduce friction and skin drag. Essential oils like lavender or chamomile can add a soothing aroma to the experience.
  1. Massage Technique: Use gentle, sweeping motions with your fingertips, moving from the inside of the breast out towards the midline and underarm. Avoid pressing too hard, as the lymphatic system is close to the surface of the skin and responds best to light touch - think 5-10% pressure.
  1. Repeat: Perform this massage for a few minutes on each breast, being mindful of any tenderness or discomfort. You can do this daily or as needed.This is a beautiful practice to do daily befre your baby arrives, often effortlessly encorporated into your belly massage routine. It is also very beneficial for the breastfeeding parent to maintain breast health during breastfeeding. 

Joelleen Winduss Paye, IBCLC Lactation Consultant, Midwife & Naturopath

JWP Holistic Lactation Consultant  @jwp.ibclc

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