Why self-care in your pregnancy is essential
Being pregnant can be a wild experience for some. A lot of your focus will be doing things that are good for your baby, but a big part of protecting your baby is actually looking after yourself. Why? Because it provides your baby a sense of comfort and protection. I didn’t realise this the first-time round, and now with a second baby on the way, I wanted to share some self-care tips that will get you feeling a whole lot better physically, mentally and emotionally as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. These tips are small, really easy to do and make such a difference in your pregnancy journey.
Why self-care is important in your pregnancy
You are most likely so focused on growing a little human that you have forgotten how important it is during this time to prioritise your own health and wellbeing. Pregnancy is hard work; you are trying to grow a baby and it is exhausting. While it may be an extraordinary thing, it brings a series of demands and unpredictable moments that you may not be prepared for and finding the time for your own needs may be the last thing on your mind when it should be the first. Let me share with you something I read recently and found really interesting… a study on ‘the perception of self-care in pregnancy’ had proven that with even the smallest amounts of self-care during pregnancy not only increased overall happiness for you during and life as a new mum, but it had showed signs of providing your baby a sense of comfort and protection.
Crazy right?! This study is essentially saying that by taking care of you, you are taking care of your baby.
….I will just pause there for dramatic effect and let you reread that bit again, ‘by taking care of you, you are taking care of your baby’ ….
Does this not change the way you see how you treat yourself in your pregnancy experience? It definitely has for me, and with some simple acts of self-love this time round, I am feeling so much better for it! I have 9 self-care tips to share with you that relate to physical, mental and emotional support during your pregnancy.
3 Self-care tips to support your physical health
You are trying to grow a baby which means you are carrying more weight and the physical demands are becoming strenuous. Maintaining your life while pregnancy isn’t easy and in fact encouraged not to because of the effects it has on you and your baby. So these 3 tips are to help you fight symptoms such as weight management, fatigue, and sleep.
Moving your body and go somewhere peaceful
They say regular exercise promotes the release of endorphins which boosts your mood, increase blood flow and therefore helps decrease headaches. So go somewhere and soak up some vitamin D while you are at it. I recommend going by yourself where you can relax your mind and body and focus on being still and present in the moment.
If you don’t feel like going out, find a quiet room and jump on the program KICBUMP. It is on the Keep It Cleaner App and contains a series of pre & postnatal Pilates, meditations and educations videos to help support a healthy lifestyle and pregnancy related physical aches and pains.
What is so great about KICBUMP is that the exercises are instructed a professional and up to 15 minutes that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Prepare your needs for birth in advance
I am a planner. I like to be organised, but the reason this is a self-care tip is because pregnancy is unpredictable, and anything can happen and any time and while you are focusing on your baby needs for earth side you may not of planned your needs for life as a new mum or the birthing experience. A way to reduce stress and anxiety is by putting together a list of things you need and need to do by a certain time that is manageable and realistic. This can help provide you a sense of control and ease for when that moment arrives and changes your life forever.
Make your bedroom a sanctuary
You are going to want to rest as much as possible as you get further along in your pregnancy. In fact, it is encouraged to sleep as much as you can. What better way to relax than creating a space where it is encouraged to switch off and unwind?! Get some essential oils diffusing to encourage sleep, remove technology so there are no distractions, invest in a pregnancy pillow for ultimate comfort and support of your changing body and take magnesium to help reduce any muscle tension and restlessness.
3 Self-care tips to support your mental health
Pregnancy is stressful. And as we experience it, we experience a range of emotions that leave us clueless to what life is going to be like which can cause us severe anxiety. Did you know that up to 20% of women suffer from anxiety during pregnancy?! This is massive and is to be taken seriously. Your mental health plays an important role in how you will manage life with a new baby and as a new Mumma. These 3 tips are to help bring your mind to a peaceful state, getting rest, and making time.
This one takes a little practice, but it works at helping you keep centred and connected which ultimately relaxes you. The easiest way I found to do this without it feeling like a chore was to do a meditation session when I went to bed at night for 10 minutes. I use the CALM App, and I make this apart of my daily routine regardless of how my day was. They key is consistency.
Oh you will hear this a lot during your pregnancy and when it is your first, you will be so occupied with getting things ready you will miss all the opportunities to sit back, relax and enjoy some you time. The way to think about this being so important is to realise that once you have had your baby, you will never have alone time again, literally. So, enjoy some relaxation and sleep where you can. Get into a nice warm bath enriched with a magnesium soak to soothe any pregnancy related aches and pains and simply enjoy the aromatherapy.
Even though you can never be truly ready for what you are about to experience, there are some things you can prepare for that will reduce your stress and worries in life with a newborn. The first aid course is a must. The education programs I love and highly recommend is by Tiny Hearts. Tiny Hearts Education put your mind at ease when it comes to birth and first aid of your newborn baby. Conducted by paramedics you know you’re in safe hands. What is even more stress free for you, is you being able to do it online, so you can do at your own pace.
3 Self-care tips to support your emotional health
You can thank hormones for contributing to your emotional highs and lows during your pregnancy. From feeling like you are surviving the first trimester, to thriving in your second, then teary and fed up in your third, this rollercoaster is only temporary ladies, so hang in there. While you are going through a lot of physical changes, your mind is also going through a lot of change, so these 3 tips are to help you cope along the way.
Find a support network
Find people who are going through similar stages to you or who have been in your position before. No one can truly understand how you are feeling unless they have been through it themselves, and I definitely found that I related to people who could help give me advice who had experienced what I was experiencing and it got me through some very emotional days, in particularly during my postpartum stage as a new mum.
Do what is best for you
There is so much information out there, and opinions, that I highly recommend setting some healthy boundaries to help keep you sane and stress free during your pregnancy. Only you know what is best for you, and you should feel empowered to ask for help where you feel you need it. Whether it is about your birthing options, raising a baby or even how you manage your symptoms, it is up to you to reach out for help and I highly recommend asking for it. Now is the time to reach out, and people are around who want to be there for you.
They say a great stress reliever is to write down your feelings, and while it may sound silly to some, journaling as an expectant mum, is not only a great way of managing stress but also a nice keepsake. Psychologist Diane Sanford, co-author of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide says that expressing your feelings can ease stress, and in turn boost your physical resilience and immunity. So why not give it a try, and see how you feel.
And remember …. create a sustainable pregnancy self-care routine and stick to it.
So, there are my top 9 tips to providing yourself a self-care routine during your pregnancy. You are not going to get this time back, and it is really important to prioritise you and what self-care means to you and stick to it. At the end of the day, what matters is that you are feeling good during your pregnancy, mentally, physically and emotionally. You got this Mumma.
Thank you for reading the Something for Mumma blog! Do have a topic you’d like us to address or a story you'd like to share? Email us, we’d love to hear from you! And if you’re looking for beautiful, self-care essentials for your pregnancy self-care routine, head to our collection today