Self-Care Tips During Pregnancy
Research shows numerous benefits of taking care of yourself during pregnancy, for mother and baby. Physical and emotional self-care are both so important. Put your feet up, make your favourite drink, and read on for a big dose of self-care tips during pregnancy, you deserve it.
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Mindfulness in pregnancy has been shown to reduce anxiety around labour, decrease pain relief usage, and lower the risk of post-natal depression. I read this mindfulness pregnancy book during my second pregnancy., and this pregnancy was significantly less stressful than my first. This was despite them being similar births on paper.
The way we practice mindfulness is by slowing down and being present. We may notice our bodily sensations, how we are feeling, and notice our environment. It is normal to have a lot of thoughts and worries when pregnant, so practicing mindfulness can help to calm our minds and make our pregnancy journey a more positive one. Some mindfulness pregnancy suggestions are:
- Get in a comfortable position and speak to your baby
- Deep breathing meditation
- Run a bath and listen to a mindfulness podcast
- Pregnancy yoga
- Go for a walk and tune in to nature
2.Dress your bump
Our bodies change during pregnancy, and the change is BEAUTIFUL. We are creating a whole human that we are going to cherish forever! Instead of getting stressed about the changes, we need to step fully into them and embrace them. Our bodies deserve our utmost respect and adoration. If we need a whole new wardrobe for 9 months then so be it. If you are on a budget then you could find some preloved items ( I absolutely love Vinted).
Throw out any preconceived ideas of what you think your body should look like, stop comparing, and just go with it. Wear what feels good for you, wear what feels comfortable, and wear that beautiful baby bump with pride. Some ideas on ways to dress your bump are:
- Wear airy and floaty clothing
- Wear soft and stretchy fabrics
- Buy whatever size feels comfortable
- Get comfortable underwear
Now is the time to fill your pregnancy mind with all of the positive, beautiful, and inspiring birth stories you can find. Read them on forums, watch them on youtube, and just make sure that they are positive and uplifting. If someone insists on telling you about their “negative” birth experience, then kindly decline. I love watching birth stories by people who practiced hypnobirthing. This really helped me go into my second birth with a positive mindset.
I was really scared to give birth the second time because I felt completely out of control in my first birth, but reading all about hypnobirthing, as well as learning all about positive birth stories, made my second experience a wonderful one. And, I wish I could go back to that day and relive it. Some places you can find positive stories are:
- Youtube positive birth vlogs
- The positive birth company
- The bump to baby chapter
- Birth without Fear Blog
- Positive birth podcast(podcastics)
- Positive birth podcast(doulaforyou)
4.Make the most of it
When you are pregnant it can seriously feel like it goes on forever. In reality, it isn’t a very long time. So, make the most of it as much as you can. I know there are times you feel like rubbish! tired, sad, scared, and lonely. They are normal emotions. You are not alone, you stand with all of the incredible pregnant women who went through it and are going through it at the same time as you. We see you, we feel you.
Enjoy feeling your baby move, allow yourself to feel excited about picking a name, gathering the baby clothes, and staring at your wonderful bump in the mirror. This is the time to slow down and accept anything that others want to do for you. I loved seeing my baby on the screen at my scans, I would fall in love with her, even more, every time. Some ideas for making the most of this time are:
- Create a bump cast
- Meet up with other mamas to be
- Journal your journey
- Create photos of your growing bump
- Go on dates with your partner or by yourself
- Prenatal massage
- Read a fantastic book
We’re not going to be unrealistic and say “Never eat chocolate or cake” because let’s be real, chocolate is my girl when I need her, she’s always there. And when you’re pregnant sometimes you need to just eat what your body is craving!
What we can also do is eat wholesome, nutrient-rich foods. And get creative with ways to eat them. There were some days in my pregnancy when I couldn’t bare to drink smoothies, but I had no problem eating fruits and vegetables whole. This post by Marygrace Taylor outlines some pregnancy-friendly superfoods. Some ideas for ways to eat healthy if it’s a struggle are:
- Eat little and often
- Add ice to smoothies and drinks
- Change the temperature of the food
- Find foods that you like the smell of
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