No matter where you are in your pregnancy, we have a reminder for you. As much time as you are investing into preparing your life for your baby, you deserve the same.
We get it though — it’s easy to forget about yourself when a new baby is in the picture. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite pregnancy self-care tips for you.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
If there’s one thing we’ve learned here at Expectful, it’s that self-care treatments like pedicures and long showers probably won’t benefit us much in the long run. They’re good for the moment, but don’t change what’s happening at the core. That’s why our first tip is to find a pregnancy self-care practice that’s free, easily-accessible, and convenient to start pretty much anytime.
Make your mental health a priority! A low-cost way to start that now, would be making meditation and mindfulness a part of your wellness routine. Regular meditation during pregnancy can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. Through mindfulness you can learn to maintain an inner calm regardless of your external circumstances.
If meditation isn’t your forte, there’s plenty of other options: journaling, talking about your feelings, therapy, establishing a sleep routine, spending time outside, and more.
Establish a Support System
We weren’t designed to go through life alone. That village everyone talks about when it comes to raising a child is so needed, even in our age of hyper-connectivity and smartphones. We know that can be tricky nowadays, but you’ve got options!
If you want to deepen your support system, try joining a support group. You might even enjoy one that’s hosted by a lactation consultant or doula. They’re fun ways to get helpful advice, learn, and share with others who might be going through the same struggles as you.
Have specific questions about baby sleep, feeding, or your postpartum healing? Expectful hosts weekly live Q&As with lactation consultants, pelvic floor therapists, pediatric sleep specialists and midwives.
Even if you don’t have questions — a safe place to share your feelings, connect with others in a similar situation, and simply allow you to be seen and heard, sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Try Prenatal Yoga or Pilates
Moving your body is always a good idea. Though, you’ll want to be sure not to overdo it when you’re pregnant (or TTC). If you already have a workout routine, then talk to your doctor about whether or not you can keep it up during this time.
If you want to try something new or start a routine that’s low-impact, but high high-result, try yoga and pilates. Similar to meditation, yoga and pilates can help relieve tension. They may also reduce the production of stress hormones produced during pregnancy.
Have Regular Prenatal Massages
Pregnancy is hard on the body. From sore joints to swelling feet — whatever new pain is pestering you, it could be alleviated with prenatal massage. In fact, some research even shows prenatal massage can help with nausea and vomiting, better sleep, and decreasing anxiety.
Before you have a massage during pregnancy, be sure to have it cleared with your doctor!
Clean Your Routine
Pregnancy tends to be a time when we evaluate everything in our lives. From the materials we wear, the foods we eat, to the products we use on our skin and in our home. While it can seem tedious to think about all the potentially harmful ingredients out in the world, try to start small and work your way up.
One place you might easily start? Your fridge and pantry! Check out what foods you’re eating and what those ingredients are. Make healthy swaps where you can and start incorporating fresh, whole foods like fruits, veggies, and grains.
You might also consider cleaning up your beauty routine, checking out the labels on your soaps and lotions, and even swapping your candles for non-toxic alternatives.
Listen to Your Body
Life can start to feel pretty hectic just before a baby arrives. So giving yourself a little extra TLC is not only expected, but we highly suggest it!
Chances are you will find yourself more tired than usual, so if you have time for it, plan to nap during the day. If you feel like you could use a boost, try a light walk outside in the sun and get some fresh air. Or, if you notice any new aches, try to get in touch with your doctor to go over any concerns.
Remember, your health matters just as much as anyone else’s. So if your body is giving you signals to take a break, listen!
Make Self-Care a Routine During Pregnancy
If you’re like most people, then you probably haven’t made self-care a huge part of your routine. As mama’s ourselves, we understand that. Starting now can help you establish a pregnancy self-care routine that you can carry through the postpartum phase, and beyond.
Taking time to yourself can feel weirdly selfish. Or maybe you just don’t have an extra set of hands to help give you a break. No matter where you stand, we hope you’ll be able to make time for yourself as you embark on this next part of your journey.
Even if it’s just a five minute meditation with an Expectful guide before you go to bed — small changes can make a big impact!