It’s a beautiful time while you prepare to bring a new life into the world, but this period can also be nerve-wracking. Navigating your health (mental, emotional, and physical) can be quite challenging, you’re eating for two, moving for two, but protecting and prioritising your health and well-being is important!
What Does Self-Care Mean?
So, what exactly is self-care? Self-care are the decisions and actions you implement to support your physical and mental health- doing the things that make you feel good! Some examples of self-care include: eating nutritious foods, sleeping, moving, and taking breaks. It’s about prioritising yourself to do things that make you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.
Why Is Self-Care Important for Expecting Parents?
Taking care of yourself while being pregnant is essential; by taking care of your own needs and wants you allow yourself to be in a better position to take care of others-physically and mentally. Caring for yourself allows you become more resilient and you learn how to manage stress without burning out. Unchecked stress levels have proven to weaken your immune system, change your appetite, increase headaches, irritability and you’re likely at a higher risk of depression.
How To Make Time for Self-Care
Carrying a baby means putting your child’s needs before your own so don’t feel guilty if you need to ask for support to get time for yourself; it’s helpful to give yourself alone time to recharge your energy levels.
Here are a few ways you can support your body while nurturing your growing baby, help you feel more like yourself, and a bit energised too!
Care For Your Body
Eat Nutritious Foods: Eat a balanced meal which includes healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. Always include breakfast and try to make a meal plan once a week to ensure you’re eating nutritious foods, have the correct ingredients at home, and decrease any food wastage.
Move: Engage in any movement that makes you feel good; it doesn’t have to be an intense or long workout! Aim for moderate activities such as water aerobics or even a brisk walk is excellent for your well-being.
Sleep: While this may be tough, try and aim for 6-8 hours of sleep to give your body time to rest and recover. Develop a night time routine that calms you and turn off all your screens an hour before you get into bed.
Care For Your Mind
Set Goals: Stretching yourself too thin is likely to result in stress. Check your list and be honest with yourself-can you simplify or delegate any of the points on your list? Remember to set boundaries that make you feel comfortable, and it’s okay to say no so you can prioritize your goals that are more important in that moment.
Manage Stress Levels: When you feel yourself getting stressed, pause for a moment and focus on your breath work. Deep breathing interrupts your body’s response to stress. A short walk or listening to music can help manage your stress levels.
Ask For Support: They say it takes a village so don’t feel embarrassed or disappointed if you need to ask for help. If your workload feels unbalanced ask your partner to help you or reach out to close family or friends.
Soon enough, you’ll be in full-time baby care mode. In the meantime, don’t underestimate the power of pregnancy self-care and enjoy this time with yourself and partner!