The New Year is fast approaching. January is a time where many of us will set plans for the year ahead, consider any changes we want to make to our lifestyle and even set New Year’s Resolutions. In many cases, many New Year’s Resolutions are broken or failed by February, but during pregnancy, there are a few New Year’s resolutions that you may actually want to keep.
If you’re pregnant and looking to set yourself some resolutions for the New Year, here are some great places to start…
During pregnancy, it’s really important that you look after yourself, both physically and mentally. In recent times, factors such as social media, breaking news updates and constant COVID-19 updates can be pretty intense and have a huge impact on your mental health. You may find yourself worrying about the effects on your birth plan, your labor and even your maternity leave. Taking time away from the screens, switching off the news alerts and resisting the temptation to scroll before bed can really help you get some much-needed rest. The blue screen glow of a mobile phone can actually prevent the release of the melatonin hormone, keeping you awake for longer and making your sleep less soundly as a result.
Get more sleep
Could there be a better New Year’s Resolution? Whilst at times finding a comfortable sleeping position and avoiding the urge for yet another trip to the bathroom can be tough, sleep is extra important during pregnancy. After all, building a new human is hard work and your body needs time to rest and recuperate. A lack of sleep during pregnancy can actually be harmful for you and your baby, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and even pre-eclampsia. Poor sleep during pregnancy can also affect your overall immune system, leaving you susceptible to catching coughs, colds and viruses when you will want to be feeling your best. Be aware of your sleep patterns and try and stick to 8 hours a night where you can. There is absolutely no harm in having an occasional early night or well-deserved lie in too. Make the most of the undisturbed sleep – as your sleep patterns will experience some fairly significant changes in the months to come.
Lots of us set a New Year’s Resolution to eat more healthily, however this is usually due to desired weight loss or improving our overall health. Aiming to eat a healthy nutritious diet during pregnancy can be beneficial to baby and Mom to be. Eating a well-balanced diet can help your baby’s brain development and ensure a healthy birth weight. It can also prevent various unwelcome pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, leg cramps and extreme fatigue, the latter of which is often caused by iron deficiency or anemia.
Whilst some of your food choices may be affected by morning sickness, cravings or aversions, making a conscious effort to eat a wide range of nutritious food will have a hugely positive impact in the New Year.
The thought of exercising during pregnancy when you are already feeling tired might seem counter-productive, however staying active can do wonders for your mood and overall energy levels, releasing oxytocin and giving your body and mind a much-needed boost. Gentle exercise such as walking, cycling, maternity yoga and swimming are great options and suitable during all trimesters.
The more active you are during pregnancy, the better your body will cope with the changes during pregnancy, the labor and the post birth recovery, so this is a New Year investment that is sure to pay off.
Ditch the Clutter
Many of us enjoy a new year declutter, but during pregnancy the term ‘nesting’ is fairly commonly used. Many Moms to be will start to prepare their home and surroundings for their new arrival by popping old clothes on eBay, bagging up unwanted clutter and taking items they no longer need to Goodwill. Not only is this a great way to help create space for an attractive nursery room setting, but can also help raise some additional funds for your maternity leave too.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?