If ever there’s a time to make sure you’re looking after your mind and body – pregnancy is it.
Why? Because as well as all the incredible changes that are happening, you’ll have a lot on your plate: the health of you and your growing little person; the future; finances; labour and childbirth and your relationship with your partner (to name just a few!).
Still, small things can make a big difference. And by making sure you’re being kind to yourself (in every way) you’ll be better able to enjoy these 40 weeks of amazing transformation.
Here, MummyPages offers five simple ways to ensure you’re as relaxed and healthy as possible.
1) Make sure to eat well
The old adage that you’re eating for two has largely been dismissed now. In fact, it’s important to keep your weight manageable throughout your pregnancy. That means eating food that is wholesome and nutritious.
Many mums find eating small meals regularly throughout the day is best – and it’s a policy that can keep morning sickness at bay too.
If you’re overweight when you conceive, you won’t need to gain as many pounds over the 40 weeks – so use this time as an opportunity to improve your diet.
Make sure you’re taking a folic acid supplement and ask your doctor about further vitamin or mineral supplements if you feel you need them (if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, for example).
And while advice has been mixed in the past, health authorities now agree that mums-to-be should shun all alcohol for the duration of their pregnancy.
2) Take unsolicited advice with a pinch of salt
This is your pregnancy – your body; your mind. Avoid listening to the labour horror stories that some women will try and describe in detail to you (a polite but firm “I’d rather not know,” ought to do it), and focus on welcoming your new baby into the world.
Even from medical professionals, you might hear conflicting advice. So make sure to ask plenty of questions and do your own research if you feel that’s beneficial. Don’t be afraid to seek out a second opinion too.
Your default assumption should be that your pregnancy and subsequent delivery will be a healthy and happy one with minimum complications; try to ignore anything that contradicts that stance.
3) Add two weeks on to your due-date
Especially if this is a first baby – it’s no harm to tell friends, family, and colleagues that you’re due a little later than the slot you’ve been given by your doctor.
A ‘normal’ pregnancy is anything from 38 to 42 weeks and even dating scans are far from an exact science.
The last thing you need is a barrage of ‘so, any baby yet?’ messages when you hit the 40-week mark. Certainly, it’s something that will only try your patience further while you’re waiting for your baby to make an appearance.
In short, being in your own space and seeing out the final days of pregnancy in your own time will be A LOT calmer when you’re not being hassled.
4) Ask plenty of questions
Even if you’re on baby number two or three (and beyond!) every pregnancy is different. So don’t be afraid to ask loads of questions; take your time during your medical appointments and don’t be rushed out the door.
Doctors and nurses are very busy and have lots of patients to see, but they’re more than happy to address your concerns or uncertainties if you ask.
You should do classes too: antenatal, birthing, breastfeeding and parenting. Whatever is on offer – take the opportunity to learn something new.
All the information you gather over the 40 weeks will prove beneficial at some stage during your pregnancy, labour, childbirth and in the first few weeks of parenting a newborn.
5) Rest and relax
Give yourself a break – and with the aid of classes, online resources or a book, practise mindfulness and meditation.
A load of mums-to-be swear by antenatal yoga, something that looks after your mind as well as your body. It’s best to go to a class so a professional can keep you injury-free, but you can then repeat what you learn at home right up to your due-date.
Gentle exercise (you should check with your doctor first) is great for keeping muscles supple and keeping your mind clear of worries. As you and your baby grow, exercise will help you sleep better at night too. Simple things such as a soak in the tub are invaluable.
Right now, you are living in a world of anticipation as you patiently wait for the arrival of your new baby and looking after you is incredibly important too. If you are starting your research on products for your baby, make sure you stop by JOHNSON’S® to learn more about their JOHNSON'S® TOP-TO-TOE® range, which is specially developed for newborn skin.