In a most of the Yahoo! Answers questions I have posed to pregnant women, the most common statement from expectant mothers is that foot massage was the most physically soothing thing anyone could do for them. Extra pregnancy weight causes particular fatigue and pain in the feet and joints that really begins to manifest in the second trimester and take both a physical and emotional toll on them. Not only will pregnancy massage help them feel better, it is also apparently the key to vaulting your status to sainthood in the eyes of expectant moms.
I've provided some basic instructions for a great spa foot massage that my wife loves, as well as the gear you will need. You can adapt as you see fit or depending on the materials you have.
* Butt covering
Certain acupressure points in the feet are thought to trigger early contractions. These points would most likely require prolonged, intentional stimulation on precise points, which is not the type of massage described here. But, I am not an acupressure specialist, I'm not a doctor, I'm not educated in massage, so basically proceed at your own risk.
- A small tub to soak her feet in
- Baby oil or Epsom Salt or gentle skin cleansing soap ($5)- Skin exfoliant ($16)- Skin moisturizer or lotion
- Optional: pumice stone foot scrubber ($2.99)
Dissolve some Epsom salts in a tub of warm water. Other options are some baby oil to soften the skin or a gentle soap. Soak her feet for a few minutes before you begin.
Working on one foot at a time, rub some exfoliant over the entire surface of the foot and up the calves. Massage the calf muscle up and down with your fingertips as you go.
Rinse the exfoliant from her lower leg and feet with the water in the tub.
(Optional.) Use a pumice stone foot scrubber on her heel and the ball of her foot to remove rough, dead skin. If it has a brush on one side, use it to gently brush the tops of her toes and nails.
Remove her foot and gently blot her feet and legs, leaving slightly damp.
Put a liberal amount of lotion on your hands and begin working it into her foot and up her calf.
Grasping her foot with both hands, gently rub the bottom of her foot with alternating thumb strokes from the heel towards the toe. You can also use your knuckles or the palm of the hand to massage the arch.
Grasp the heel with one hand and use the other hand to gently apply pressure on the big toe and ball of the foot to stretch the arch. Release and repeat.
Grasp her foot with your thumbs on top and pull out toward the sides from the center with the rest of your fingers.
Gently pull on each toe and 'pinch' the meat of the toe and nail with your thumb and forefinger.
Continue massaging the muscles of the foot and her calves using your thumbs and forefingers.
Repeat on the other foot and leg.