Self care in pregnancy
I am currently 23 weeks pregnant — wow where of earth has that gone?!
I must admit I completely underestimated how different being pregnant the second time around would be. Running around after my 4 year old son who doesn’t understand the concept of “Lets sit down quietly for 5 minutes” for the last 7 weeks of the summer holidays has been tough!
Not to mention the aches and pains, the sickness and the mental and emotional challenges too.
But I got through it.
I made sure that I incorporated self care into my routines as often as I could. Perhaps I should have done this a lot more — my husband and best friend would defiantly agree — but I am getting there.
Self care in pregnancy can include most of the things already on your self list or routine but I have highlighted a few ideas here that really should be done daily throughout pregnancy to ensure you are healthy and happy, for you and your growing baby.
Self care in pregnancy:
- Taking time to rest; Ok, hands up, I am the absolute worst at this. But I am going into my 6th month now and I am finally beginning to realise the importance of getting enough rest. It can be a nap, a lie down or if like me you already have children then grab the duvet, stick on their favourite film and snuggle together on the sofa. This will not only give your body time to recharge but your mind too.
- Exercise; Please consult your GP or midwife before starting any kind of exercise. I know I have just told you to rest but equally getting the right amount of exercise each day is important to. Swimming, aquanatal classes, prenatal pilates or yoga. Walking is even enough. I walk every day. Usually between 45 minutes to an hour. I love it and with my bad back it’s not too strenuous. Plus, mentally exercise has been proven to boost your mood. Win, win!
- Being positive; I am naturally a positive person. I will always look for a positive in every situation. However, during pregnancy this has sometimes been difficult. That awful nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something is wrong with my baby. Questioning whether I can cope with another baby. Can we even afford it? The worries in pregnancy are endless. So trying to be positive is so important. I use quotes to boost my mood. Write them down and stick them around your home, put them as a screensaver on your computer or phone. Doing things that make you smile. It doesn’t matter what it is or if you think it’s stupid or silly — no one has to know — I put my sons Disney CD on and belt out a few tunes. It instantly changes my thought pattern.
- Eating and drinking right; This one can be tough in pregnancy with the morning sickness and cravings but it really is such an important one. The main thing is to drink lots of water. This is great anyway even if you are not pregnant. I am not great at this but I am improving. I will feel awful even if I am the slightest it dehydrated, exhausted and head-achy. Also try switching to healthy snacks rather than crisps and chocolate you will not only notice a change psychically but mentally your moods may improve too.
- Ask for help if you need it; Again I am the worlds worst at asking for help. It infuriates people close to me but I promise I am getting better. I have written before about how pregnant women are expected to be full of joy, happiness and excitement throughout their pregnancy but sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way. For me I struggled a lot in the first 14–16 weeks. I’ve even had a few ups and downs since but thankfully for me things have settled and I am enjoying my pregnancy but never feel like you are a bad mother or going to be a bad mother because you are not loving every second! I would defiantly recommend that you keep talking to those around you. and if you begin to feel ‘different’, ‘weird’ or ‘off’ then contact your midwife or GP. Don’t leave it and put it off until you are feeling ‘bad’. There are so many people out there to help you. If you do end up being diagnosed with depression or anxiety there are many options open to you — not just medication — so don’t let that put you off getting professional help. You are not alone in this.
So there you have it. A few self care ideas for pregnancy that I think are important to use throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Please do comment or get in touch if you have any other ideas, I love hearing from you.
Love Amy x