When you’re pregnant, it’s only natural that your waking moments (and maybe your dreams, too!) are consumed by thoughts of your baby. In fact, one might wager that from the moment you knew, or even suspected, that you were pregnant, you have thought of little else besides your baby!
Sometimes, when you get so caught up in nurturing this new life, you may forget to take care of yourself. With all the feelings of excitement, anxiety, and nervousness about prenatal tests and the birth itself, it is no wonder that you may have become your own lowest priority.
The following tips come recommended by mothers who wish they had remembered to always put themselves, if not first, then a close second.
- Soak in a warm, soothing bath. A bath can help wash away the stress of the day. Try a bubble bath or choose essential oils such as sandalwood, lavender, and ylang ylang, which are safe to use during pregnancy and will help ease stress. Consult your healthcare practitioner for additional information concerning which aromatherapy oils are approved for use during your pregnancy.
- Try meditation. Practice meditation, or just take a short break for yourself. Turn on your favorite music, put up your feet, and then sit back and enjoy.
- Indulge in your favorite hobby or pastime. Spend time doing things you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, writing letters, journaling in a pregnancy diary, or simply doing nothing—a foreign concept in these busy days!
Get out of the House
- Go to the movies. You may not be going to the theater for quite awhile once baby arrives, so treat yourself to a date night with your husband or a fun girls’ night out and see a film.
- Plan a picnic. A wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful day and spend time with your friends and family, a picnic is an especially good idea if you have other children, as it will keep them entertained and allow them to expend their natural energy! You’ll all benefit from the fresh air and enjoy the break in your usual routine.
- Catch up with friends. Pregnancy is a great time for getting together, since some moms simply don’t feel like entertaining for some time after baby is born. When your every moment of sleep is precious, having a house full of people may be beyond you. Likewise, you may not even feel up to being entertained yourself.
- Have a good laugh. Laughing is good for you as it stimulates the release of endorphins (happy hormones) into your bloodstream and helps you feel relaxed.
Have Fun with Retail Therapy
- Shop! Many pregnant women put off buying maternity clothes until they are literally forced to shop for something to cover their growing bellies. But buying maternity wear need not be a depressing outing where you are presented only with elasticized waists and unappealing underwear, as many designers are now bringing out chic, fun lines of maternity clothes.
- Buy your nursing bra. Now is also the perfect time to get fitted for a nursing bra, which will not only support you and keep you comfortable during pregnancy but will also serve you well once your baby arrives. This is one chore you don’t want to put off—after all, who wants to be trying on bras with a crying baby for company and leaking breasts?
- Accessorize. Another hot tip is to buy the minimum of maternity clothes (which will be redundant once you have your baby) and concentrate on accessories that you can use indefinitely.
Visit Your Hairdresser
Your changing hormones, both during and after pregnancy, will affect your hair. If you are one of the fortunate ones, your hair will look and feel great during your pregnancy, but don’t be alarmed if your once crowning glory becomes thin and brittle. To keep your hair looking beautiful, visit your hairdresser and have a deep conditioning treatment or just try out a new low-maintenance style that requires the minimum of fuss once your time becomes a premium.
Have a Manicure/Pedicure
- Pamper your hands. Most women find their nails grow faster and are stronger during pregnancy. Your hands are constantly on show, and it is a mental boost for you if they look great.
- Focus on your feet. There will also come a time when you will barely be able to see your feet, let alone give them the attention they deserve! A pedicure will keep your tootsies in top shape and might be just what your feet need after supporting you and your growing baby all day.
- Try reflexology. Reflexology is also very popular during pregnancy as it promotes a relaxed sense of well-being while it addresses specific pregnancy-related complaints such as morning sickness and insomnia.
Enjoy a Massage
Prenatal massage will reduce tiredness and relieve pregnancy aches, particularly backache and shoulder tension. A licensed therapist specializing in maternal massage can help relieve these conditions, allowing you to relax and enjoy your pregnancy.
Have a Hot Date or Romantic Vacation
At a time when your other half may be feeling a little left out (after all, this pregnancy is inside you!) it is imperative to recapture the romance and let him know you couldn’t do this without him. Any special moments you create now will make things easier in the months to come when your life is thrown upside down and you’re focused on caring for your newborn.
Take Care of Business
Sort out boring paperwork such as tax forms or even renewing your passport or driver’s license. While these jobs don’t sound fun (unless you’re seriously nesting, perhaps!), keep in mind that even relatively easy tasks can be challenging when you have a new/crying baby in tow, especially if you need to visit any bureaucratic agencies where there is no such thing as a short trip.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Sleep late on the weekends and take naps during the day if you can, because once your baby arrives you may wonder when you will ever get a good night’s sleep again!