Congratulations, you’re pregnant!
Pregnancy is a whirlwind blessing and a rollercoaster of emotions. You’re eating for two, growing for two, thinking for two, and have the hormones for about one thousand and two. Your body is going through remarkable changes as it prepares to welcome a special little one (or two … or more) into this world.
As you navigate the joys and pains of pregnancy, I wanted to come along side you and offer you some encouragement. These next few months and the years to follow are some of the most challenging, refining, beautiful, and all together wonderful you will ever experience.
It’s so easy, in pregnancy, to get caught up in all things baby. There are showers, announcements, shopping, painting, and all the planning that goes into those last few weeks where you impatiently await the arrival of your blessed baby. Sometimes, we get so focused on what is coming we forget the right now, the importance of caring for you, momma.
I’m not talking about pampering massages and spa treatments, although those are great. What I am talking about is taking the time now, before your little one arrives, to build in practices of self-care that will serve you well into motherhood because, Lord knows, taking time to care for ourselves as mothers only gets harder when the children arrive.
Here are my favourite ways to care for yourself during pregnancy (and in your motherhood journey).
Now, I am not advocating for a restrictive “best practices” diet. If you’re not on one prior to your pregnancy, you’ve got plenty of other things to worry about in the coming nine months that adding on some “diet” should not be one of them.
BUT, you do need to feed yourself, and be mindful of what you’re eating. If you’re not a fan of all the veggies, now is the time to dive into them. Research suggests, and I tend to agree, the more variety you eat while you’re pregnant (and nursing for that matter) the broader that pallet will be of your little one.
“Eat the rainbow” as they say, and no, I’m not talking about Skittles. Load your plate with fruits, veggies, meats, and grains that span the rainbow and build that strong appetite of your future bestie.
Move Your Body
Girl, I know that there are going to be days, weeks, hopefully not months but it isn’t unheard of, that you are not going to want to do anything but lay on the couch. I won’t judge. But, I will encourage you to stay active and get into a routine of daily movement.
Bonus points if you can make a practice of doing it outside because we all know that Vitamin D is vital to your health and happiness.
Evaluate Your Beauty Routine
Pregnancy brings about it a glow… and a few spots. It’s just about guaranteed. With the amount of hormones surging through your ever expanding body, it comes as no surprise that your skin will go through a myriad of changes.
Now is a great time to evaluate, and clean up, your skin care routine.
I’m not saying you have to go crunchy granola, not that there is anything wrong with that, but you may want to start label reading. I caution you, once you start reading labels for your skin and you realize what is in some of our daily use products, you may be spurred into reading the labels on your baby products and … let’s just say, you may want to sit down for those.
But, I digress.
There are times, let’s be honest, where the “glow” of pregnancy is really just the sweat glistening on your forehead after a day of Braxton hicks and a flight of stairs, and your skin needs tender loving care to help it stay healthy, and glowing for all the right reasons.
Consider switching to more natural brands for you, and for baby. After all, your skin IS your biggest organ.
Give Yourself Permission to Pause
I’m going to say this again and again, it is ok to take it easy. In pregnancy, in motherhood, in life. There truly is no race because there is no finish line (or at least not one that we want to race toward).
This time, being pregnant, it goes by so fast. I know it doesn’t seem like it as your ankles swell, as your feet disappear in the eclipse of your stomach, and as your lack of sleep rivals that of ancient torture tactics, but truly - it flies by. And even if you do this half a dozen times, there will come a point where you no longer have the flutter of tiny feet in your stomach, or the ever so slight blip if your baby’s first hiccups.
Pause, enjoy the moment.
Slow down long enough to catch your breath and be grateful for the miracle that is growing inside of you.
Say no to the things that utterly drain you, and just be present in this moment. Learning this, I’m telling you, is a skill that will serve you for life. There are not enough hours in a day, days in a year, or moments in your life that should be spent on things that absolutely drain you. Now, I am not saying you can skip the diapers, because they won’t change themselves, but the activities, the external expectations that will not serve you and your family, just say no.
You’ve got a miracle going on here and you’re going to be present, intentional, and appreciative of it (even the stretch marks) because this too, shall pass.
You don’t need to rush it, baby will be here soon enough.
Before you know it, you’ll be in the thick of motherhood and these self-care practices will, hopefully, continue to serve you well into your journey.