When you get pregnant, it’s safe to say that you undergo a LOT of changes, mentally and physically. One thing that shouldn’t change, however, is that you dedicate time each day and each week to take care of you. Although your routine may look radically different and revolve less around intense workouts and buddha bowl meal prep (hello, food aversions), self-care has never been as important as it is when you’re y’know, growing a human inside you.
Here’s how to tweak your self-care routine to make it perfect for preggo’s!
Manage your expectations
Guys, we might be preaching to the choir, but if you’re pregnant your body is growing a freakin’ human. This is all-consuming; in terms of both your physical capacity to do things and your mental capacity to continue juggling all of the balls you think that you need to juggle.
One of the biggest ways that you can show yourself some serious love when you’re pregnant is to simply go easy on yourself. Know that it’s fine if you need to call in sick to work, or skip a gym session, or eat food that you wouldn’t normally eat. Particularly in the first trimester when your body and hormones are adjusting to the wild ride that is pregnancy—it’s so important to manage your expectations of yourself.
None of us can predict, prior to getting pregnant, how on earth it’s going to affect us. Sure, we can all boldly state intentions of practising yoga three times a week, meditating for 20 minutes a day and including a daily green smoothie into our diets, but when you’re hit with full-blown morning sickness which, despite the title, lasts all day and makes you feel as though you’ve got a permanent hangover, you’ve got to know that that is okay. There is no one-size-fits-all way of being pregnant, so having grace with the situation you’re in and being kind to yourself is vital.
Rest when you need to
That means sleeping in, taking a nap during the day, and going to bed at 8pm if you need to. Listen to your body and what it’s telling you, and don’t expect yourself to be able to do all the things you did before you were pregnant. According to EvyBaby, “establishing a good sleep pattern during pregnancy is highly effective, not only physically but also psychologically. A good sleep pattern plays an important role in the preparation for birth and protects the baby from the psychological stresses and strains of pregnancy”—which means it’s hella important for you and for bub.
Pregnancy has frequently been described as the “ultimate surrender”, which means that you have to relinquish control and just go with the flow that is Mother Nature. Now is not the time to be denying yourself things that you truly want because you feel as though you haven’t “earned” them. Get a pedicure, or a blow-dry, or the impractical dress that makes you feel a million dollars. Your body and mind are undertaking the single biggest journey of your life; so treat yourself as such.
Move your body
It doesn’t have to be hour-long sweaty gym sessions (although that’s great too if you’re feeling up to it), but getting out of the house for a walk, or attending a light pre-natal yoga session for a healthy dose of exercise will work wonders for your body and mind. Breathe in the fresh air and start to try and prepare yourself for what is to come!
As always, consult your healthcare professional before making any lifestyle changes.