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6 fantastic ways to practice self care during pregnancy.
Finding out you’re going to be a mom is a special experience. There is nothing like the joy of knowing there will be a baby in your life in nine months. Being pregnant, on the other hand, is a different animal entirely. Although the result is amazing, having to go through the process is tough. Only women know what it’s like when their unborn child uses their bladder like a soft toy!
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but new moms are going to have to deal with plenty of aches and pains. Sometimes, the combination of the hormones and the child in your womb is very uncomfortable yet it isn’t as if you have much choice. Most women grin and bear it until the thirty-six weeks are up and the experience is over.
Thankfully, there are more options on the table if you value your comfort while being pregnant. Nothing will erase the soreness completely because there will always be an element of tenderness. Still, some tricks can help moms-to-be deal with pregnancy pains and alleviate the pressure. Below are six tips that will come in handy when you receive the good news that you’re about to be a parent.
Keep Working Out
First and foremost, the answer is yes – exercise is healthy during pregnancy. Women seem to think it’s unsafe yet there is nothing wrong with working out as long as it isn’t too strenuous. So, there is no excuse to quit burning the calories even when you’re with child. After all, there are plenty of benefits of getting the blood pumping.
For one thing, it will improve your circulation. Pregnant women tend to suffer from bloating and swelling, so this should keep your joints loose. Not only that but it also targets your backache, which is an inevitable symptom of being pregnant. Plus, there are the mood benefits that are essential too. When you’re suffering from morning sickness or in constant pain, it’s tough to stay upbeat. Exercise releases mood-inducing chemicals that encourage you to see the bright side.
If you’re wondering how to find the perfect balance, the key is to keep it short and sweet. Anywhere between fifteen to thirty minutes is plenty. And, try resistance-free activities such as swimming to make it easier on your body. Another alternative is to walk rather than to jog or run.
Don’t Stuff Your Face
It’s a myth that women can eat anything while they are pregnant and it doesn’t matter. The logic is that the baby needs as many nutrients as possible to be healthy, yet it’s about quality as well as quantity. If the fuel you put into your body is garbage, your unborn child won’t benefit. Not only that, but you’ll likely suffer from food-based problems. Yep, having gas isn’t nice but it’s an occupational hazard of being a mom.
The good news is it’s possible to ease the pain by eating correctly. To do this, it’s crucial that you include the main food groups within your diet. From protein to fats and carbs, they are all essential in the baby’s development in the womb. However, you might want to cut back on the stuff that doesn’t sit well. A good example is dairy products. Indulge every now and again, yet don’t go overboard as the body struggles to break them down into energy.
On average, women only need to consume up to three-hundred extra calories per day, or twenty-one-hundred a week. If math isn’t your strong suit, write down your eating habits in a journal to keep track of your intake. Also, listen to your body when something doesn’t agree with it.
Kick Back And Relax
While exercising is an important part of being pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have to be on your feet all the time. Carrying a child is a perfect excuse to kick back and relax and enjoy some much-needed tender loving care. And, there is a scientific element to it also, so it’s not as if you’re lazy and want to spend the whole day on the sofa.
Lying down with your feet in the air improves the blood flow to your joints and muscles. Considering the feet and ankles are the two areas which suffer the most, relaxing should help to reduce the swelling and, therefore, the pain. Do remember that the lower part of your body needs elevating. Otherwise, you might continue to suffer from swelling and clots.
There are mental benefits to consider too. It’s easy to spot the physical signs of distress, yet it can take a toll on the brain. Napping or watching TV is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and eliminate any anxiety. Plus, you can use the time productively by reading baby books and learning about what to expect when the baby arrives.
Get A Rub Down
One of the best ways to relax is with a massage. Light some scented candles, dim the lights and let your partner untie the knots in your back and shoulders. When the muscles relax, the tension will instantly dissipate and the aches and pains will feel less intense. Of course, you don’t have to rely on your partner if they aren’t very good at a rub down. The best Thai massage parlors usually have a pregnancy option which is suitable after your first trimester.
Even if you aren’t a fan of massages, you should consider giving it a go as there are additional benefits. A simple yet effective one is that it takes your mind off being pregnant. Although this sounds impossible, getting lost in the experience allows the mind to wander and focus on other things. On top of this, the body releases endorphins.
Why is this noteworthy? It’s because these are the chemicals that block pain by attaching themselves to receptor neurons. As a result, the signals received by the nervous system aren’t as intense and the soreness isn’t as strong. Think of it as a natural epidural administered by a masseuse. As moms know, anything which blocks the pain is a gift from God.
Your body will begin to seize up when it loses its range of movement. This happens when the muscles and joints get cold. Keeping warm is the trick as your body will benefit from increased flexibility. Wrapping up in thick clothing and turning up the thermostat are two effective methods. And, the former is very affordable if you’re worried about the rising cost of energy prices.
But, staying warm in general isn’t the answer. To reap the rewards, it’s vital that you localize the heat and target the problem areas. How can you do this? The answer is with heat packs, gels or creams. A heating pad goes deep into the muscles and helps relieve the pressure that builds as a result of being pregnant. Gels and creams work in the same manner, so pick the option which you prefer the most of is the easiest to use. Sometimes, it’s tricky to apply a pad to your back when you’re sporting a massive bump and there is nobody to help.
DIY heating pads are straightforward to make if you can’t be bothered leaving the house. Fill a sock (preferably a tube sock) with rice and tie the end. Then, put it in the microwave for one to two minutes until it reaches and maintains a comfortable heat.
Take Early Maternity Leave
Lots of women like to take their maternity leave as late as possible to avoid getting bored. Staying at home all day for a few weeks isn’t the most exciting way to pass the time. Still, continuing to work might not be the best option as workplaces aren’t made with comfort in mind. Unless your employer happens to be Google or Facebook, there won’t be a napping area or an exercise ball masquerading as a chair.
As a result, the office can be a hindrance rather than a help. At home, there is more scope to take a break and relax when the need hits you. Although bosses are as committed as ever to making life easier for their pregnant workers, they can’t cover every base. Plus, it isn’t as if you need to sit on the sofa all day long because you’re not working.
As long as you break the day up into chunks, it will fly by without any encouragement. For example, you can run errands, meet with friends for a coffee, or visit your relatives. That way, there’s no reason to stay cooped up in the house but you also have the flexibility of slacking off when required. If you don’t want to take early maternity leave, see if it’s possible to work part-time for a while. Going in three days a week is the best of both worlds.
Ladies, it’s about finding the right balance between staying active and healthy and taking a break. Once you are in a perfect rhythm, the aches and pains won’t feel as bad as they usually do.
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