Health Female Adda
10 months ago
Pregnancy Tip #40 — Massage your salivary glands

Not many people might have told you this, but massaging your salivary glands during pregnancy has a host of benefits for both the mother and the baby. What goes into your mouth helps in nurturing your body and also in the growth and development of your baby. But it is not just enough to eat the right food to ensure nourishment, how you eat your food also plays a role. The thumb rule is to chew your foods properly before swallowing it, here is why.

In Ayurveda, it is believed that foods that are chewed properly before swallowing help in proper dissemination of nutrition, boast cell function, nurture the baby and keeps the mother healthy. Foods that are swallowed without proper chewing can lead to a dysfunctional digestive system and during pregnancy this could mean inviting problems like — acidity, bloating, flatulence, GERD, etc. Chewing food initiates secretion of saliva which contains enzymes and digestive juices. If you fail to chew your food properly you might not produce enough saliva.

Saliva is alkaline in nature with a pH value of 8 and has amylase or digestive juice which helps to break down carbohydrates. When food is mixed thoroughly with the saliva it becomes slightly alkaline and when it enters the stomach it gets mixed with stomach acids which have a pH value of 3. This helps in neutralisation of the excess acids and minimises acidity, which is common during pregnancy. Here are ways to deal with acidity during pregnancy.

But if you have a dry mouth then probably even chewing your food might not help, a little massage of the salivary glands might help. To do it right, slightly massage the parotid salivary glands in front of the ears and sub-mandibular salivary gland which is under both sides of the lower jaw. With the tip of the finger give a light circulatory massage to both the glands for three minutes after doing pranayama or any other breathing exercise. Proper secretion of saliva ensures good starch digestion because of amylase in the saliva. This salivary massage can also be done by keeping a slice of kokum or lime in the mouth.

Image source: Shutterstock

(Inputs are taken from the book Grabhasanskar by Dr Vikram Shah and Dr Geetanjali Shah)


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