By Lauren Wellbank
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, mama!
As Valentine’s Day approaches many of us will work overtime to make sure the people in our
lives know how much they are loved. But, so often we forget to shower ourselves with that
same care and concern. While it’s important to practice self-care and self-love all year long,
it’s especially important for expectant mothers. Here are nine things you can do this month
to make sure you’re showing yourself the love.
There’s a reason why people always say “you are what you eat.” And in pregnancy, when
you’re eating for two, that sentiment can be especially important. A good way to practice
self-care is to make sure that you’re getting all of the nutrients you need to keep your body
strong and healthy during pregnancy. That may mean anything from increasing your greens
to cutting back on your sodium.
Sometimes a quick walk around the block can be just what the doctor ordered. Not only is it
a great way to get your blood pumping, but taking in the sights of nature and clearing your
head are both great ways to recenter yourself. Stepping outside and away from screens is
also good for your mental health.
Ditch the Tech
Speaking of screens… with a world of information at our fingertips, it’s easy to get
overwhelmed by spending too much time keeping up with the news (or researching the best
bassinets). Try disconnecting for a few hours before bed, or even a full day once a week, to
get the most from your digital downtime.
Get Enough Sleep
For many expectant parents, the tossing and turning that comes along with pregnancy
aches and pains is nothing compared to those early sleepless nights with a newborn.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can skimp on catching your z’s. Studies have shown
that women who don’t get enough sleep in pregnancy have an increased risk of developing
everything from preeclampsia to gestational diabetes. Plus, you just don’t feel your best
when you’re not getting enough rest.
Making sure you drink enough water every day will not only help you to avoid overindulging
in other snacks, but it will make you feel better. It may sound counterintuitive, but staying
hydrated can help reduce water retention and keep swelling down as well as reducing your
risk for other pregnancy related conditions like high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Pregnancy is the perfect excuse for kicking off your shoes and putting your feet up and
relaxing. Unfortunately, many expectant parents feel like they only have a short window of
time to get things done before welcoming their sweet new bundle of joy into the world, so
they try and squeeze everything from readying the nursery to taking a babymoon into those
few feel-good months in the second trimester. Remember to build in some downtime with
your growing bump so that you don’t get burnt out or run down.
Keep a Journal
While pregnancy may feel like the longest 40-ish weeks of your life while you wait to meet
your baby for the first time, it’s really the shortest portion of your parenting journey. It’s
easy to forget how you felt or sweet moments you’ll want to remember forever — like the
first time you felt those gentle fluttery kicks — which is why keeping a journal of positive
memories from your pregnancy can be a good idea. Even if you’re struggling with some
aspects of being pregnant, finding a few good things to document each day is a good way to
celebrate and reinforce the good moments.
Take a Babymoon
You may not think you have time to sneak away with your partner before your baby comes,
but finding some time to squeeze a few nights in together somewhere is a great way to slow
down and appreciate one another. You don’t need to do anything fancy (even an overnight
stay at a local motel will do), as long as you’re together.
Pregnancy is one of the best times to take care of yourself. Not only are you relaxing for
two, but you’re about to enter a whole new chapter of your life where taking off for a mani-pedi or going out for a massage will become less of a priority. And even if those things
remain at the top of your to-do list, it will be harder to find the time to squeeze them in.
Show yourself some love by doing something just for you this month. Trust us, you’ll feel
better if you do!