Pregnancy is an absolute blessing and a wonderfully special time, but it can also be really rough on your body. That’s why it’s so important to practice self-care during pregnancy. You need to take care of your body so that your body can take care of the baby growing inside of you.
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These are all ways that I practiced self-care during my pregnancy. While I have found all of them to be safe for me and my baby, keep in mind that I am not in any way affiliated with a doctor, midwife, or nurse. You should consult your doctor/midwife before making any big lifestyle changes or if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe during pregnancy.
I’m a firm believer in the power of essential oils. They have been a great asset to my family’s health, and the good news is that you can use many of them during pregnancy!
These oils can be used for relaxation, to aid sleep (hallelujah), and to treat other symptoms such as allergies or colds. However, some oils can cause contractions, so you’ll want to avoid those particular oils. Read more here, and be sure to consult with your doctor/midwife before using any types of oils.
In a time when your body is stretching beyond its limits, it’s so important to be comfortable! For me, comfortable clothing is a MUST. Many women find that leggings (like these) are the most comfortable, and I’m really loving my maternity t-shirts (like this one).
Since sleep also becomes less comfortable towards the end of pregnancy, a body pillow (like this or this) can be a lifesaver! You can also use a regular pillow for your legs, but most women prefer the total body support.
Make yourself and your family a priority
Taking care of yourself physically is important, but taking care of yourself emotionally is just as vital. Something that helped me was to make myself and my family a priority. It felt a little selfish sometimes, but I knew that if I didn’t take care of myself, I wouldn’t be as healthy.
I made time each day to rest a little bit, and I made sure to spend lots of time with my husband. For those of you with kids, this may be a little harder and look a little different. Trying planning a family date night a few times during your pregnancy!
Take a break
You don’t have to be supermom. You’re allowed to sit down and read a few chapters in the middle of the afternoon because you feel tired. You can take a day off from cooking dinner and order a pizza.
This goes back to making yourself a priority. Your baby needs a healthy mama, not one that’s already worn out before labor even begins. Prioritize what you have to do, and take a break from some of the less important things. The world will not come crashing down, and your body and baby will thank you.
I know this has been preached at you by every doctor and nurse you’ve come across during your pregnancy, but eating healthy is key to taking care of yourself during pregnancy. Your baby is depending on you for all of his/her nutrients, and your body needs those nutrients, as well!
Make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, as well as all of your fruits and veggies. My downfall is snacking, so I make sure to have healthy snacks on hand, like crackers and cheese, strawberries, or KIND bars. Just be sure to pay attention to what’s going inside you.
Allow yourself a few cravings
I’m about to contradict myself. I know I just told you to eat healthy, but now I’m going to tell you to let yourself have a few cravings every once in a while.
I’m NOT telling you to eat ice cream every time it sounds good (which is all the time for me), and I’m not telling you to go crazy with this. But give yourself a little wiggle room. If you really need something sweet for your afternoon snack, eat a cookie or two. You’ll be fine. Allow yourself a few cravings, just don’t go overboard.
Y’all, I don’t like yoga. It’s always just seemed like over-the-top stretching to me, and they throw in some weird spirit stuff sometimes, and I’d rather just go run a few miles. However, prenatal yoga can be a great asset to pregnant women! The muscles in my ribs started aching in my second trimester, and many of the yoga moves are designed to stretch those muscles and get women ready for labor and birth.
You can find lots of videos on YouTube; two of the most popular series are Pregnancy Yoga by Tonic and Prenatal Yoga with Lara Dutta. You can also check with your local gym or fitness center; many of them offer special prenatal yoga classes!
That’s right; you gotta get moving to take care of yourself! I know that seems counter-intuitive because you’d really rather just lay on the couch, but exercise is good for you and baby!
You don’t have to start Insanity or join CrossFit (in fact, don’t do that), but get up and go for a 30 minute walk. Take a few minutes and do 25 squats. Try some push-ups or jumping jacks or wall-sits. Talk to your doctor or other mama friends and see what exercises they recommend. Not only is exercise good for you, but you’ll feel a lot better once you get moving!
How do you practice self-care during pregnancy? Did any of these help you stay healthy? Leave me a comment and let me know!
For the expectant mama: