Self Care During Pregnancy

Self Care During Pregnancy

What a sigh of relief the moment I hit that halfway mark with each of my pregnancies! You can now feel the baby moving around, see your ever-growing belly and you might even know the gender!

Pregnancy ultrasoundThis is also around the time most medical providers may schedule an anatomy scan to check baby’s size, growth, anatomy and placenta via ultrasound. Getting that seal of good health all while seeing your babe move around on the ultrasound monitor can be the exact kind of reassurance some need, especially for parents who have undergone fertility treatments and might be dealing with a heightened level of anxiety throughout the pregnancy. Hopefully by now you have kicked the first trimester nausea and have gained some energy back to get into the reel of big purchases, big decisions and plan making that you may have been previously putting off all while realizing that baby will be in your arms before you know it!
Hence, I suggest this week as a good marker for instilling the necessity of self-care. We are so wrapped up in the health and well-being of the tiny human(s), we are busy growing and planning for it all that we may not notice the subtle neglect in caring for ourselves throughout this huge physical, mental and emotional transition. And spoiler alert: the level of sacrifice, selflessness and exhaustion don’t end here! So let’s begin to mindfully hold space for ourselves and cling to what makes us feel happy, whole and comforted. As they say, you can’t fill from an empty cup, so how can you refill even when your mind and body are consumed in caring for your little one(s)?

Self care can look different for many.

Some of my clients need to make checklists to feel like everything is coming together. If that’s the case, write out some lists and feel that accomplishment with each mark off!

Example lists:

  • Baby names
  • Birth plan (love this template as it’s an easy to read visual!)
  • Baby registry
  • Nursery room shopping list
  • Newborn basics shopping list
  • Postpartum recovery shopping list
  • Work leave plans
  • What to pack for the hospital
  • Logistics while you are in the hospital
  • Postpartum planning (include meal plans!)

All preggos need calm. Take time to step away and filter from the outside chaos going on in the world and tune inward to find your silence. Deep breathing, warm baths, meditation, journaling are all great methods of centering yourself. Try downloading a pregnancy/meditation/hypnobirthing app to support this necessity.

Pregnancy exercise

Exercise is an amazing tool regardless of how much or little you worked out prior to getting pregnant. Don’t get down on yourself if you feel the need to slow down from your usual flow as the weeks tick by, but do try to modify wherever possible to make sure you don’t become completely idle. Try implementing daily walks or daily stretching at the same time each day to quiet the mind and get the body warmed up and moving. Swimming is another great exercise that’s much easier on the joints. All this movement will also help you have an easier, smoother pregnancy and birth!

Here are some daily exercises that I recommend my clients do daily throughout pregnancy.

Stay hydrated and eat well. Despite whatever food cravings or food aversions you may be experiencing, aim for eating whole versus processed foods. You only need on average 300 extra calories per day during second trimester, but make sure to focus on nourishing rather than counting calories. And don’t forget your prenatal vitamins!

Relaxation. Sleeping can get tricky as your body starts shifting in size and weight. Here are a couple ideas to help you stay as comfortable as possible:

  • Pregnancy pillow
  • Sound machine
  • Birth ball (amazing for the hips and pelvis to sit and rock on)
  • 8 sheep organics lotion makes an excellent magnesium lotion that helps with those late night leg cramps and is a wonderful supplement to the magnesium you might already be taking orally in your prenatal vitamin. Interesting fact: Magnesium helps with pregnancy insomnia too!
Lastly, spoil yourself! You have come so far and this job ain’t easy! Indulge in a prenatal massage, a pedicure for your sore feet, or a new gift for yourself. Here are some great options if you wish to pamper yourself and your changing body:

 

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Meet Allison Petrides!ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allison (“Aly”) Petrides is a married mother of three currently living in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She is a certified birth and postpartum doula who also works as a paralegal when not running to a birth! After experiencing three births within a five-year time span, Aly couldn’t help but recognize how overwhelming and difficult pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period can be. Once she discovered doula work, she dove in head-first and is extremely passionate about empowering, educating, and assisting families. When she isn’t busy with doula clients or spending time with her husband and children, she can be found snuggling with a pet on her lap reading a true crime novel, taking a nature walk, or doing pilates.

 Visit Aly’s Website


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