Ever wondered how you can practice self-care during pregnancy?
Most of the time, pregnancy is a season of skin troubles, morning sickness, excessive tiredness, incessant weird cravings, and pain.
It is also a period that you also need to make sure you are properly nurturing the life inside you.
This can make anyone feel overwhelmed, which is why nourishing your own body (and soul) is vital.
Here are some invaluable tips on how to take care of yourself and they are from mums who were once in your present phase
1. Eat Healthily
It’s tempting to reach for the high-sugar foods, especially when you’re tired.
A well-balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods staves off cravings and ups your energy during pregnancy.
Now, more than ever is the time when you should pay attention to what you eat and ensure it’s an adequately nutritious diet.
Always go with healthy options and avoid the over-processed stuff whenever possible.
Even when it comes to snacking, be sure to choose foods that will contribute to a positive mood and give you energy boosts.
For instance, fresh fruits and veggies, and high-protein snacks can boost your mood and energy levels.
Also, it will keep you healthier and in a better frame to handle the physical changes that could affect birth.
Consume cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar.
Food containing an excessive amount of salt should be consumed sparingly.
Ensure you don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs. These may lead to growth retardation, mental deficiency, and craniofacial or musculoskeletal abnormalities of the fetus.
Also, try not to miss your prenatal multivitamins.
2. Get Enough Rest
Take catnaps during the day and ensure you get plenty of sleep overnight.
Growing a baby uses up a lot of energy.
As your body grows a baby and experiences hormonal changes, increased drowsiness is sure to surface.
Therefore, getting enough rest during those early weeks will be a much-needed part of your pregnancy self-care routine.
Getting adequate sleep at night and lots of breaks during the day will help provide the energy and stamina to help you cope better.
Today’s world is a high-paced one and stress can have a negative effect on your emotional and physical wellbeing.
You’re welcome to try mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and massage to bring your mind into a peaceful state.
Really, this will help you cope better with the busyness of daily life and have yourself properly cared for during this time.
3. Move Your Body
While rest is fantastic, regular exercise promotes the release of endorphins, (the body’s feel-good hormones) that boost your mood.
And activities such as brisk walking, swimming, yoga, or low-impact aerobics are great ways to promote a healthy body and mind during pregnancy.
However, high impact activities such as running, horse riding, weight training, are feasible under the supervision.
They should be done after a medical practitioner’s consultation to avoid strain or injury, particularly to the abdomen.
Moving your body during this time will benefit you in many ways, from your ability to better cope with the added weight and discomforts, and will also help your body prepare for labour and delivery.
Just be sure to keep it simple and not have an activity that’s supposed to be for self-care turn into a stressful engagement.
4. Stay Hydrated
The essence of staying hydrated during pregnancy cannot be overstated.
It is essential for all individuals at all times to drink plenty of fluids. While this is true, pregnant women need it more.
This is because they are more prone to dehydration.
Water is required to produce extra blood volume, build new tissue, form amniotic fluid, carry nutrients, aid digestion, and flush out your wastes and toxins.
Your growing fetus and the physical changes taking place require more water intake for a number of processes.
This means, staying hydrated will ensure the baby’s water needs are met while helping you avoid issues like pregnancy fatigue or overheating.
5. Keep A Journal
Self-care is not complete until it is all-encompassing. Here, we mean, ‘one that takes care of your physical as well as your mental health’.
Journaling is a great pregnancy self-care practice that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. You could call it “your pregnancy journal.”
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, or something remarkable happens during your pregnancy journey, just put down your thoughts in a journal.
The act of jotting down your thoughts and worries goes a long way into relieving you off all that heavy emotions.
It gives you clarity on better ways to address the issues.
Write down the things that got you worked up, as well as the things that made you happy and you are grateful for.
This might not seem a big deal, but remember it’s the little things that can make a big impact and help you stay mentally healthy well during your pregnancy.
6. Pamper Yourself
Love a good massage? You can book yourself regular pamper sessions. This is a lovely way to treat yourself.
You could opt for a night of a good warm deep bath, with a favourite face-mask. Or even go for a body massage or a pedicure.
A cozy room with some candles lit, relaxing music in the background, a trip to the mountains, a beach, or sitting out in the sun and soaking up some vitamin D?
Take yourself to a place where your mind and body can be still, allowing you to focus inward and breathe deeply.
Taking care of yourself and nurturing a human life inside of you, is a chore!
For which you deserve to pamper yourself as you see fit, from time to time.
7. Clothing: Ensure They Are Maternity Friendly
For maximum comfort, the clothes to be worn this period should be non-constrictive, adjustable, lightweight, preferably cotton, absorbent.
Simply put: If it doesn’t contribute to the enhancement of your general sense of well-being, have a rethink of the choice.
The same goes for footwear.
They should be comfortable and well-fitting, easy to wear, (especially in the last trimester when it is difficult to bend).
Preferably, flats or shoes with a low heel, not more than 1 or 1 ½ inch should be worn.
These shoes should also have a good solid base of support (broad heel) for stability in place of tottering during this time.
Also, if you can have your partner or any other person available to give you a good foot rubbing from time to time, is another great pregnancy self-care act.
The foot massage enhances leads to better circulation of blood, while toning of the feet muscles.
Get more pregnancy tips here.