Up until about 28 weeks, I was pretty active. I was participating as much as possible during Be Better Workouts, taking morning walks/runs and doing TRX or Cardio Barre on Wednesdays at my favorite local gym, OC CoreWorks. Now it’s a different story. Now I can hardly walk without limping. My morning walks affect me for days after, all because of a horrible sciatica pain down my left leg. It’s the worst when I step out of the car or try to get out of a chair. It starts at my lower back, shoots down my butt and, luckily, stops at my upper hamstring. On bad days, it rides across my hips to my tailbone and opposite hip. Am I telling you about my aches and pains to complain? Maybe a little, but mostly to tell you about my newfound passion for the power of Epsom salt baths.
I was told by multiple mothers who have experienced this pain that I should try prenatal chiropractic. I was referred to Dr. Valarie at South Coast Midwifery in Irvine, Calif. I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of trying chiropractic during pregnancy, but my body left me no other option. The second I walked into the office, I felt at peace. A very comfortable environment, equipped as a birthing center in addition to offering prenatal care classes. Dr. Valerie gave me a 35-minute deep tissue massage and ended with an adjustment. I left feeling sore and, honestly, a little beat up. She gave me specific orders. Ice when I got home and then an Epsom salt bath for relief. There it was . . . I was introduced to the power of the Epsom salt bath during pregnancy.
I went out and bought Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt with Lavender. Why lavender? Because my husband and I love diffusing the Doterra lavender essential oil at night, and I thought it sounded like a good combination. In a nutshell, the bath was relaxing and healing. Just what the doctor ordered. The warm water relaxed my muscles, and the Epsom salt replenished my body with magnesium. Why that was important I didn’t truly understand until this week’s #bebetter52 challenge.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge, Epsom Salt Baths, was written by my friend and guest blogger Nicole Carnes from Cocoganic, She does a remarkable job of describing the symptoms of magnesium deficiency and the role of magnesium in your body. Turns out Epsom salt is not salt at all, but magnesium sulfate. One of the most interesting parts of the blog was that magnesium is best consumed through your skin. One study highlighted by LiveStrong asserts that the ideal concentration for Epsom salt baths to raise levels of magnesium is approximately 500 grams, or two cups, of Epsom salt dissolved in 15 gallons of water – “the amount that fits in a standard-size bathtub. Ideal amount of time spent soaking is 12 minutes, two to three times per week.”
Reminders for Pregnant Women:
Pregnant women should aim for around 350 milligrams of magnesium per day.
You should not consume Epsom salt orally while pregnant because, according to the FDA, it isn’t safe when taken orally. It is completely safe to soak in.
Make sure you don’t take too hot of a bath. You don’t want to risk overheating in the tub.
Awesome Facts about Epsom salt
Relieves aches and pains: Epsom salt is a great anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
Relaxes and improves your mood: Magnesium produces more serotonin when absorbed through your skin. Higher levels of serotonin can improve your mood. Serotonin also helps you sleep.