New mothers have it hard. Settling into life with a new baby is tough. There are sleepless nights, baby blues, and physical challenges as we recover from childbirth and pregnancy. Our hormones are up and down, we can feel stressed, unbearably tired, and frankly, overwhelmed, both physically and emotionally. In those first few months, we’re always on the lookout for tips to make life easier, ways to get more rest, and things to make ourselves feel better. An infrared sauna is something that many mums are turning to, to help their bodies recover, and to give their mood a boost. When it comes to postnatal self-care, time in an infrared sauna can be a great option.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
A traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air inside the sauna. As you sit and relax, this hot air warms your body. In an infrared sauna, infrared light is used to warm your body directly, without needing to warm the air in the sauna first. This can cause you to sweat faster, getting the benefits of a sauna, without the extreme temperatures. An infrared sauna can soothe muscles, improve heart health, help you to relax, and boost your immune system. But there are also some benefits more specific to new mothers. Here’s a look at them.
It Can Reduce Bloating
It can take a long time for our bodies to get back to normal after pregnancy, and that’s fine. But a lot of us focus on losing tummy fat and regaining muscle. We also carry a lot of water during pregnancy and it’s normal for our tummies, hands, and feet to look bloated and swollen.
Infrared sauna sessions can help you to shed excess water, reducing bloating and helping you to lose water weight. Reducing swelling like this doesn’t just change how you look. If your hands and feet are extremely swollen, it can make life with a new-born very uncomfortable. Reducing swelling can reduce pain and improve your quality of life.
Just remember to drink lots of water before and after your session to stay hydrated.
Infrared Saunas are a Great Detox
During childbirth, most of us have medication, or an epidural to help us manage our pain. You might also be prescribed pain killers, antibiotics, and other medications as you recover. These can linger in your body for a while, which makes the detoxification properties of a sauna especially beneficial. As you sweat in the sauna, you’ll flush out any leftover toxins and chemicals, helping your body to rest and reset.
It Boosts Circulation
During pregnancy, your blood can get thicker, and even grow in volume. This is to help your baby develop and to help your blood clot more easily and prevent excess blood loss in childbirth. The pressure of your baby on your pelvis can also decrease circulation to your lower body. This can mean that many women get varicose veins during or just after pregnancy, and their circulation might suffer in the long term. A sauna can help boost circulation and improve your heart health.
An Infrared Sauna Can Boost Metabolism
When you are in an infrared sauna, the heat warms your body from within. While increasing your circulation, this increased inner body temperature can also boost your metabolism. In one session you could burn extra calories. It also means that you could continue to burn off more calories for the rest of the day, without having to work out or do anything different.
Time in a Sauna Can Reduce Joint Pain
During pregnancy, our hips, knees, and ankles are under more pressure than usual. We often ache more, especially during the end of pregnancy, and many women are surprised to find that their joints continue to ache in the months after childbirth. A sauna, like all heat therapy, can reduce inflammation and ease both muscular and joint pain.
It’s Great for Your Mental Health
As new mothers, time alone doing something for yourself is essential for good mental health. Getting a sauna is a great way to get some rest and time alone, reducing stress and boosting your mental health.
An infrared sauna can be a much-needed treat for new mums, with plenty of other benefits on top of the mental health boost and all-important time alone. But remember, any kind of sauna will raise your body temperature, and so is unsafe for expectant mothers.