Pamper Your Pregnant Self

Second Trimester
You're showing! Now they all get why you've been beset by lethargy, anxiety and strange eating habits. With all this eating, shopping and, oh yes, being pregnant, you're probably in need of a little nurturing. Read on for treatments that will help ease the aches and pains that develop as baby grows.

Buddha Belly Mask: As your midsection stretches to places you never thought possible, make time to show your appreciation for your baby's temporary home by liberally applying this delicious (yet non-edible) moisturizing mask to your belly.

-- 1/4 cup avocado
-- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
-- 2 teaspoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
-- 5 drops chamomile essential oil

In a small bowl, mash the avocado then stir in the remaining ingredients. Add extra orange juice if the mixture is too thick. Spread over your belly and leave on for at least 30 minutes before using a warm washcloth to rinse off.

Third Trimester
There are only three short months left until your baby makes his or her grand entrance, which really means you have only a few weeks in which to pamper yourself in glorious and peaceful solitude.

Coping with Cankles: For the uninitiated, the "cankle" is the part of the body that looks like your calf but is where your ankle used to be. This alarming and unsightly phenomenon is due to edema, or fluid retention. Here's what you can do about it.

Reduce swelling in your feet: Lie on the floor with your feet up on the couch. Make lazy circles with your feet to help your muscles circulate your blood and lymph. Or, even sitting with your feet on an ottoman can help.

Reduce swelling in your hands: Raise your arms above your head and make slow circles at the wrist, alternating directions. When you feel like you can't do any more, lay your forearms across the top of your head and rest for a few breaths. Then, bring your arms down in front of you, palms facing up. Slide the inside edge of your left forearm along your right arm, from the crease of your wrist to the elbow, and then from the shoulder to the elbow. Repeat with your right arm.

From: SPA MAMA by STACY DENNEY © 2005. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, www.chroniclebooks.com.

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