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6 Natural Ways to Pamper Your Pregnancy
Excerpted from Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy
by Colette Bouchez

If you're like most women, the moment you discover you're pregnant, your whole world turns upside down! But while all eyes remain focused on baby, sometimes you may begin to feel that you - and your needs - are fading into the background. You might even feel a little guilty about wanting some special attention at this time.

According to Colette Bouchez, author of Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy no woman needs - or deserves - a little pampering care more than a mother-to-be! If you're a working gal - and especially if you are already caring for one, two or more little ones at home, then Bouchez says taking even just a few moments a day for yourself, can go a long way in not only helping to relieve your tension and stress, but also ensure your baby is happier and healthier as well.

To help set you in the right "diva direction" she offers these tips for pampering your pregnant body, mind and spirit!

  1. Revel in a lavender foot soak! Fill a small plastic basin with warm water to which you add up to 5 drops of essential oil of lavender. Immerse both feet and soak for ten minutes. Studies conducted at the Nagano College of Nursing showed how just one 10 minute soak not only increases circulation to legs and feet, but also brings about measurable changes in the autonomic nervous system - the area of the brain that controls stress and anxiety.

  2. Soothe sore, swollen, tender tootsies. Fill a 16 ounce soda bottle with water and put it in the freezer. After it's frozen, place on the floor and roll your foot back and forth over the bottle in relieve aches and spasms.

  3. Soothe dry pregnancy skin. Try this Sweet spot Honey Moisturizer: Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Rub into hands, elbows, heels, and anywhere that feels dry. Leave on for ten minutes, rinse with warm water.

  4. Try a relaxing aromatherapy bath. Combine 2 drops each of oil of neroli, lavender and lemon, with 6 teaspoons of apricot kernel or sweet almond oil. Add to a warm tub and soak away your worries! Caution: Ideally, bath water during pregnancy should be no hotter than 100 degrees. If you like it warmer - up to 102 degrees - don't soak for longer than 10 minutes.

  5. Take a super relaxing nap - (and yes, you should take them often) - try 15 minutes snoozing on a lavender pillow. By dusting a pillow case with lavender powder, or tucking a potpourri of lavender flowers under your pillow you might find you fall into a gentler, relaxing nap. Do however choose only French or English lavender. Spanish lavender can be very stimulating.

  6. Pamper your pregnant belly (and help reduce your risk of stretch marks). Soak a washcloth in a small dish of warm milk, and apply to your tummy. Re-dip and re-apply for up to 15 minutes, then add a rich moisturizer like pure cocoa butter.

About the author: Colette Bouchez is the former medical writer for the New York Daily News and author of the top selling books, "Getting Pregnant", and "The V Zone". She writes daily medical reports for Healthday/NY Times Syndicate, and feature health articles for WebMD.

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