Pregnancy can be quite the whirlwind of emotions. Dealing with exhaustion and tiredness, aches and pains, unfamiliar bodily sensations and anxiety or worry about your impending labor can at times leave us Moms to be feeling a little out of sorts. Whilst it’s common to focus entirely on protecting your baby as they grow; it’s also important to look after yourself too. Here are some quick and easy wins for practicing self-care during pregnancy:
Eat Well – Whilst during the first trimester you may find morning sickness plays havoc with your appetite; it’s important that you eat well during pregnancy – not only as nourishment for your baby but it also helps reduce the risk of iron deficient anaemia which can leave you feeling tired and week. You should aim to eat a balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as foods rich in vitamin D, vitamin C and iron to ensure boost your energy levels and immune system. It’s also important to stay hydrated too, drinking lots of fluids (ideally water) throughout the day.
Exercise – When you’re feeling tired or nauseous, the the prospect of exercise during pregnancy may seem counter-productive, but getting outside for a brisk walk around the block can not only improve your mood, but stimulate melatonin production which helps you switch off and relax more easily when it’s time for bed. Fresh air and exercise can be a great way to reduce anxiety and give your vitamin D levels a boost.
Unplug – During pregnancy it’s important to allow yourself to get lots of rest and as tempting as it may be to scroll through social media when you wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night; the blue screen can actually hinder your efforts in achieving a good nights’ sleep. Now more than ever, the breaking news updates, scare mongering and fake news on social media can also heighten your anxieties and leave you feeling worried or stressed. Take time to unplug, leave your phone downstairs at night and read a book or listen to a guided meditation instead. Trust me, you will feel better for it!
Pamper yourself – Whether its painting your finger nails (and your toe nails if you can still see them!), rubbing lotion into your bump or having a nice relaxing soak in the bath – embracing in a little me time is a great way to calm and soothe your muscles if you’re feeling tired. Keeping your skin clean and hydrated can also really help if your bump is itchy or dry, whilst also helping prevent or reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
Sleep – During pregnancy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a nap in the middle of the day if you feel that you need it. In fact – embrace the opportunity! When your baby arrives, those lazy undisturbed Sunday mornings watching TV in bed or having a relaxing breakfast in bed with your partner may become just a little more hectic. Make the most of them whilst you can!
Stay Connected – In these unprecedented times, it’s important to make sure you have a strong social support network; which can not only prevent you feeling lonely or isolated, but is great for your mental health too. Join pregnancy or parenting groups, online forums and embrace the video calling with friends and family. It’s great to remember you are not alone and that your friends and family are only a phone call away.
Say no – Finally, remember that if you don’t feel up to that night out with friends or would rather have a takeaway than dress up and eat out, there is no shame in pushing back and saying no. On the flip side however, there is no right or wrong way to feel during pregnancy, so if you’re feeling comfortable and want to get away from the house for a while; do what feels right for you!
The phrase happy baby happy Mom definitely applies to pregnancy too; so however you look after yourself during pregnancy, make sure you take even just a few moments each day to practice a bit of self-care and look after your physical and mental wellbeing.