Table of contents:
- Benefits of lymphatic drainage in pregnancy
- How to perform lymphatic drainage in pregnancy
- When not indicated
Lymphatic drainage for pregnant women aims to activate blood circulation and reduce swelling of the legs, feet and face, eliminating excess liquid through urine, and should be performed by a physical therapist or massage therapist.
Lymphatic drainage in pregnancy is contraindicated in the first 3 months of pregnancy and it is important that it be done by a suitable professional, because the belly, back and feet, which are the places where greater retention can be observed of liquids, have stimulating points that can cause premature birth.
It is important to emphasize that manual lymphatic drainage is a very light type of massage in which no force is applied.
Benefits of lymphatic drainage in pregnancy
Manual lymphatic drainage for pregnant women is a very light type of massage that helps to reduce leg fatigue, ankle discomfort and swollen feet, contributing to a better quality of life for pregnant women. In the postpartum period, drainage helps to eliminate excess fluids from the mother's body and improve her defenses.
The benefits of lymphatic drainage in pregnancy include:
- Decreased swelling in legs and feet;
- Improved blood circulation;
- Reduced risk of developing varicose veins;
- Improved nutrition of cells and tissues;
- Promotes good relaxation.
It is normally recommended to perform 1 lymphatic drainage session per week throughout pregnancy and postpartum to help promote a woman's sense of well-being.
How to perform lymphatic drainage in pregnancy
Lymphatic drainage in pregnancy can be done on the legs, arms and face, for this, you must apply a moisturizing cream to the skin and then follow these steps:
- Step 1 - Stimulate the main lymph nodes through the pumping maneuver for 5 to 7 times in a row, always at the beginning and at the end of lymphatic drainage. This stimulation is necessary to empty the region so that it can receive the fluid that will be drained.
- Step 2 - Slide the regions that must be drained with smooth and repeated movements, 5 to 7 times per area, sliding your hands always from the bottom to the top.
On the legs
Lymphatic drainage massage on the legs helps reduce leg swelling at the end of the day and should be done as follows:
- Slide the hands from the knee to the groin, repeating 7 times;
- Slide the hands from the ankle to the groin, repeating 7 times;
- Place your hands behind your knee and slide down to your groin, repeating 5-10 times.
See also how to prevent swollen ankles in pregnancy.
Lymphatic drainage in the arms is a great way to relieve fluid accumulation in the hands and arms and can be done by following these steps:
- Slide the hand from the elbow to the armpit, repeating 7 times in front of the back of the arm;
- Slide the hand from the wrist to the armpit, repeating 7 times in front of the back of the arm.
On the face
The lymphatic drainage technique on the face helps to eliminate the small swelling that appears near the nose and under the eyes and can be done as follows:
- Slide the fingertips from the nose to the ears, repeating 8 times;
- Slide the fingertips from the outer corner of the eye to the root of the hair, repeating 5 times;
- Slide the fingertips from the inner corner of the eye to the root of the hair, repeating 7 times;
To improve lymphatic drainage results, pregnant women are advised to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, walk 30 minutes a day, wear comfortable clothes and give preference to fruits, lean meats and vegetables.
When not indicated
Although it can be performed during pregnancy, lymphatic drainage may be contraindicated in some situations such as high-risk pregnancy, renal failure, hypertension, thrombosis and diseases related to the lymphatic system.