Manual Lymphatic Drainage During Pregnancy

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Who would’ve thought that being pregnant would mean your shoe size jumping, or the constant fatigue, let alone the pervasive feeling of always being puffy and sluggish.

Pregnancy is easier on some of us than others especially when it comes to the multitude of side effects that can be experienced in the later trimesters. Stress, fluid retention, lack of sleep, and a myriad of other circumstances can wreak havoc on your body, specifically your lymphatic system. As a result of the mess going on inside your body, your external body can start showcasing symptoms you had not seen previously.  A growing baby needs a healthy internal environment to develop and thrive. Your lymphatic system is the key to your baby’s healthy development process by helping boost your immunity and carrying away toxins.

The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues. Some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up. Lymphatic drainage massages can benefit people with fibromyalgia, and other conditions.

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a very gentle form of massage and can help to reawaken the body’s immune system by encouraging the flow and release of lymphatic fluid. Manual lymphatic drainage can be a good complementary therapy to assist the body’s natural detoxification process and clear the body of any toxins.

MLD has numerous benefits and is ideal for those needing gentle handling, both pregnant and postnatal. Depending on the condition, treatment can be localized or generalized to the whole body. Areas that can be treated include the legs, face, back or the whole body.

Anyone can have manual lymphatic drainage, but it can be particularly useful in the following circumstances:

  • If you are feeling fatigued
  • Swollen ankles, inflamed legs, or any types of edema in pregnancy
  • To help reduce puffy eyes
  • Increase energy levels
  • Carpal tunnel during pregnancy
  • Aid stress relief
  • After a cesarean delivery to help speed up recovery and aid the healing process
  • Help normalize milk flow
  • If you experience painful period due to a sluggish lymphatic system
  • Reduce inflammation
  • To support the reduction of cellulite

If you’re suffering with tired feet or water retention, Manual Lymphatic Drainage during pregnancy can be very helpful. This gentle massage technique helps to encourage the flow and release of excess fluid held within the tissues just below the skin. This is why many women find it very beneficial, especially during the later stages of pregnancy, to help prevent or treat edema, fatigue, and bloating.

It is important to remember that your massage therapist needs communication to know if what she/he is doing is helping you feel the best you can. Make sure to be vocal if something does not feel right or if there is specific area that you feel need more attention. You know your body best and you deserve to treat it like a temple.  After all, it is growing our baby!

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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