These tips come from pain expert Vicky Vlachonis, author of The Body Doesn’t Lie.

Vicky suggests that one aspect of pregnancy is relinquishing control and trusting that your body knows what it is doing. That said, her suggestions are practical and help to reduce a variety of discomforts.

#1 No lower back massages.

Many pregnant women experience lower back pain. This area of the body is rich with nerve and blood supply to the ovaries and uterus, as such, it’s better left alone until after pregnancy.

As an alternative, ask your partner or massage therapist to focus on your gluteus (your butt muscles). When you massage and release tension in this important muscle group, you alleviate pain in your lower back and hips because often tightness in your larger muscles are the source of the strain. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, also takes pressure off your low back.

#2 Almond oil and figure 8’s for chest ache and discomfort.

After a shower and drying yourself off, slather yourself in almond oil. Use a generous amount of almond oil on your belly, thighs, and breasts. Apply the oil in an infinity symbol or figure 8 pattern around your breasts to alleviate chest ache or discomfort. This is also good to avoid stretch marks.

#3 Foot rubs, but not ankle rubs.

A trained reflexologist will know which pressure points will help give your feet some love. Avoiding the ankles is important because there are connected to the uterus and can trigger contractions.

#4 Get on all fours!

Getting on your hands and knees helps because the baby’s weight is not pressing down on your pelvis. Also, if you are doing a lot of sitting, then you are squeezing the belly, and this gives some relief.

By getting down on all fours, you can do a few cat/cow stretches to relieve strain and stretch out the back. You can also rock your pelvis in figure 8s to loosen the hips.

Cat/cow pose involves rounding the back (cow) and then dropping the belly and extending the neck long (cat).

#5 Go into the water!

A tub or pool or natural body of water. The pressure against your belly equalizes in water so you feel weightless, which calms the baby as well.

#6 Stay away from foods that will cause inflammation.

While cravings depend on the pregnancy and it can be hard to avoid indulging in comforting foods when pregnant, an anti-inflammatory diet will relieve inflammation, therefore, pain.

This means eating as much fresh food as possible, minimizing any consumption of processed food and fast food while eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

#7  Eat Digestive Aids

Constipation and hemorrhoids can be the bane of any pregnancy. The best digestive aids include bananas, steel cut oats, and brown rice. Grapefruit can also reduce nausea, and can improve your appetite and aid with indigestion.

Additionally, drinking warm water with lemon in the morning as well as ginger tea during the day can help with digestion issues.

#8 Heartburn help

Avoid cow’s milk dairy, rich fatty meats, pork, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, concentrated fruit juices, wheat, sugar, and sweeteners if you are experiencing a lot of indigestion.

#9 Relax when you can.

When you can, meditate, take baths, take a nap, listen to soothing music and spend time with people who soothe you.

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