Most mums know the importance of care during pregnancy, like regularly visiting your healthcare provider and taking your prescribed supplements. In this article, however, we look at 5 additional ways to help you feel comfortable and happy (and sane) during your pregnancy.
Exercise during pregnancy.
Light exercise during your pregnancy, even just a few times a week, can benefit you in the following ways:
- May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes.
- Help reduce constipation, bloating, swelling and backache, some of the common nasty symptoms of pregnancy!
- Increase energy levels.
- Improves your mood.
- Improves your posture.
- Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance.
- Helps you sleep better.
- Regular activity also helps you keep fit during your pregnancy & may improve your ability to cope with labour.
In most cases, exercise is safe during labour, even recommended! Always, however, check with your healthcare provider first.
Massage During Pregnancy
Besides the simple fact that massage is awesome, studies indicate that massage performed during pregnancy can be beneficial to both Mum and baby. Here’s how:
- Reduces anxiety.
- Decreases symptoms of depression.
- Relieves muscle ache and joint pain.
- May improve the outcomes of labour and newborn health.
- Better sleep.
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles.
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches.
- Reduced oedema.
- Improved circulation.
- Overall feeling of relaxation.
Always consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new therapeutic practice. It is also recommended to seek care from a certified prenatal massage therapist, as these massage therapists have undergone extra training, and therefore know how to address specific pregnancy and massage needs.
Learn To Trust Your Body
Learn to trust your body’s ability to grow and give birth o your baby. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, our bodies are designed to grow, give birth to, and sustain these tiny humans.
Learn to listen and recognize the signs that your body (and baby) is giving you, and respond accordingly. Tired? Rest. Hungry? Eat something! Start making a conscious effort to think positively about your body, using tools like mindfulness and affirmations which help you positively remind yourself of your capabilities.
If you feel concerned about anything, contact your healthcare provider or your Doula, regardless of how trivial you think it might be. If nothing else, this will put your mind at ease.
Keeping A Pregnancy Journal
Whether you are creative or not, keeping a pregnancy journal has many benefits, besides being fun!
- Reduces Stress: by having a place to express your thoughts during pregnancy, without the fear of criticism and judgement, you can find solutions to your fears & manage your anxiety that comes from negative thoughts. It is a great way to access your emotions and rid yourself of stress.
- Organize Yourself: it is no easy task getting everything prepared for your baby, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as managing your regular schedule. Use your journal to help coordinate your duties, manage your time more efficiently, and make you a more productive mum-to-be.
- Goal Setting: by writing your goals down on paper, you have a simple way to organize them and hold yourself accountable. It gives you the chance to tick off your goals as they have been achieved, and makes achieving them seem more realistic.
- Track Your Progress: keeping a pregnancy journal can be a confidence booster. Use your journal to write down your achievements and successes during your pregnancy. It will be fun and inspiring to read through this journal in years to come.
- Happy Moments: describe all the positive emotions that you experience during your pregnancy. When you are feeling down, read through these happy moments to help brighten your day.
Pregnancy can be overwhelming with all the preparation and change taking place, and while calmness and positivity are more important than ever, it is often difficult to find balance between serenity and chaos!
Practicing meditation will help you cope with the demands on your body & and your mind, and can benefit your baby in a number of ways:
- Calms pregnancy stress.
- Reduces risk of depression.
- Improves sleep.
- Bonding time with your baby while in the womb.
So Mums, remember, looking after yourself and your needs. You are the vessel from which new life is born.