I am a huge fan of dry skin brushing, and the reasons to do it have exploded now that i’m pregnant.
You see, dry skin brushing moves around lymphatic fluid, and this is desirable because the body doesn’t have it’s own pump for this fluid, as opposed to, for example blood and it’s pump, the heart.
There are a number of effective ways to move around this fluid: some good ones in addition to dry skin brushing are hot and cold showers, a special lymphatic drainage massage, and…you guessed it…yoga! Yoga in itself is designed to pump your lymphatic system. No wonder pregnant women love and do lots of yoga.
And the best part of moving around this fluid around is that it really FEELS good! Once you start and you understand the feeling of lymphatic drainage and movement, you kinda get hooked.
Let me elaborate on dry skin brushing in case this concept is completely new to you.
How Do I Dry Skin Brush?
You will need a special dry skin brush which you can get at the health food store. There are different kinds, but I love mine – as pictured above.
Before you shower, after you’re undressed, you take the brush and make small circles from your feet and hands all the way to your heart. Start at your feet (top and bottom), and move up to all sides of the legs, paying special attention to your knee pits and groin where your lymph nodes lie. Move up your baby-belly and avoid the tender parts of the breasts (more on that later). Now do your neck stroking down to your chest toward your heart.
Next go from your finger tips (front and back of the hand) down your arms to your shoulders, on all sides, paying special attention to your elbow pits and armpits where your lymph nodes lie. Brush from your armpits across your chest.
Now brush your back, starting at your sacrum (base of the spine) and moving up the spine, wrapping around your torso, always toward your heart. You’re done! Get in the shower as usual. As a bonus, if you had dry skin, it will be fluffed off!
Why is Dry Skin Brushing Good in Pregnancy?
In pregnancy, our lymph nodes, in our groin can experience lots of pooling, especially as the uterus grows bigger. I like to combat this daily with dry skin brushing, hot and cold showers, and also legs up the wall – a yoga pose I do each night before bed (more on this pose in another post).
How can Dry Skin Brushing Benefit Me Post-Natally?
Please keep in mind I have no scientific evidence for what I’m about to share, but it worked wonders for me post-natally. In my journey of breastfeeding, I found dry skin brushing to have an extra benefit.
I was having some issues with blocked ducts, sore and inflamed ducts, and improper drainage of my breastmilk. I took to dry skin brushing from my armpit towards my nipple (not reaching it – ouch!) and all around my breasts from outside them in towards the nipple. This was incredibly helpful in increasing my drainage and working through blocked ducts! Along with deep tissue massage, expressing in the shower, cutting my dairy intake, and varying the positions in which I fed my son, I was able to avoid any further complications.
More sharing to come on some topics I touched on in this post: hot-and-cold showers and cryotherapy, legs up the wall, and that oh-so-lovely feeling of flowing lymphatic fluid. 🙂