Pregnancy has its perks, especially as people shower you with praises, like “You’re glowing!” or “That baby bump is beautiful!”. But sometimes, carrying a baby can be exhausting and discouraging. Why not ditch the stress, find ways to relax, and embrace the excitement because, in nine months or less, your little one will soon arrive! Here are 6 small ways to support your mental and physical well-being during pregnancy.
“Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others.” – Dr. Kristen Neff
Whether you’re a night owl or a morning person, getting plenty of sleep is essential for your body and mind. And while it’s easy for us to overlook the importance (maybe we have a busy household, have sleep issues, or experiencing pregnancy discomfort), sleep is essential to our overall health. Sleep is a bit like a “repair and restore” process. While creating a sleep routine with limited positions may seem challenging, but stick with it. Try new ways to alleviate the discomfort before sleeping. Yoga is a great way to relax and release muscle tension before going to bed. It’s essential to slow down and give yourself grace. Ask your family to take part of creating a sleep routine.
Tip: Stretch your body slowly before going to bed.
Although many of us prefer to indulge in soft or sugary beverages rather than water. Water is medically proven to provide better results to our health than any other beverage. Proper hydration helps our bodies to function, disperse nutrients, engage digestive function, promote energy, and encourage healthy skin. Using filtered water is recommended, but my husband and I purchase Poland Springs. Research what will work for you and your body. Developing this new habit requires having things in sight to make it much easier to grab.
Tip: As a suggestion, keep a reusable water bottle on the go or have a glass of water nearby throughout the day.
Listen to your body, remove those false theories: “You’re eating for two” or “You can eat whatever you want.” These statements encourage a false relationship with food. Pregnancy cravings don’t give us an excuse to eat everything. The cravings indicate that your body communicates the need for nutrients (protein, fiber, or fat). The focus is on eating natural, fresh, and whole foods. Limit your choices of processed foods and try cooking from scratch as much as possible. This will ensure you get the proper nutrition by knowing what ingredients you’re consuming.
I may sound like a broken record, but I am a huge advocate of preparing weekly meals. Try different types of simple and easy recipes. Over 4 years ago, I began my health journey by reading cookbooks, searching online, and watching videos. The more colors on your plate, the better the intake of proper nutrients. If you don’t know, explore and research ways to simply prepare meals.
Tip: Have a cooking party where your family gather together to make meals to store in the freezer for future use.
Our bodies are designed to move, especially while you’re pregnant. Not only does it make us feel good mentally, but it will also improve circulation, reduce stress, promote better sleep, & support muscle, bone, and heart health. You may feel like you don’t need (or want) to work out, but it greatly benefits the health of your baby and you throughout pregnancy. Remember to listen to your body and move at a slow pace. You don’t want to cause physical stress and feel discouragement from pushing too hard. No one likes intense workouts that feel forced and pointless.
Tip: Find an activity that you enjoy. My favorites are:
- Take short walks
- Dancing at home or shower
- Simple movements on the birth ball
Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before doing any exercise and share any concerns about specific movements or discomforts.
5. MENTAL HEALTH
Our mental health is as essential as our physical health. They are both connected and essential to our self-care. It’s important to consider your mindset and internal dialogue. Our thoughts will impact our emotions which will affect our actions. Prioritize your mental health by spending time with yourself, set healthy boundaries (learn how to say ‘no’ sometimes and accept your limits), or do activities you enjoy. Try to feed your mind with positive messages. Reading the Bible and prayer has help to channel my thoughts on God. Faith has been my refuge and strength. Find a healthy outlet to dump those negative thought.
Tip: Speak to a trusted friend or licensed counselor about what’s on your mind and heart. Talking to someone was the best decision I ever made.
Prioritize the people in your life, especially the ones who love you. The people we spend the most time with shape our thoughts, beliefs, and choices. Be open to letting go of friendships or relationships that are unhealthy for you. Forming new friendships and nurturing relationships is not always easy as an adult. Reach out to those who will provide support and guidance. Be mindful of the people that surround you. They can negatively or positively influence your life and health more than you may realize.
Tip: Choose people who are willing to listen and offer healthy guidance. My husband is one of my biggest supporter and prayer partner.
It’s never too late in your pregnancy to start living well. Developing a prenatal care routine can support a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Recognize the purpose of good habits contributing to your mental and physical wellbeing. Taking good care of yourself during pregnancy can help improve you and your baby’s overall health. Focus on the joys of pregnancy by establishing healthy habits.
I’d love to hear from you, which of these tips will you try first? Comment Below!
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Resources to help nurture your relationship with God.