10 Pro Tips for Pregnancy Self-CareSurround yourself with people who support, uplift and encourage you. Protect your mind and stay aware that you're in an extra sensitive time.via @ParentingJunkieTweet This
My 5th pregnancy took place during a worldwide pandemic… Needless to say, it came with some challenges and some profound blessings!
It was a hectic, crazy time being home with my kids and running my business. Even so, I prioritized self-care and it made the pregnancy so much more joyful for me.
I want to share those tips with you because I know how easily self-care can go out the window. When we’re raising young children, when we’re busy with work or running a home, we often take care of everyone except ourselves.
During the pregnancy, I recorded a series of videos that outlined the things that helped me – and might help you too if you are expecting or want to be. To kick things off, I’m sharing my top 10 self-care tips for pregnancy. Let’s get started:
- Get Ready for the Day
First, let’s talk about clothing, hair, makeup and shoes. Personally, I like to feel good about how I look – even when I’m huge and bloated from pregnancy. There’s enough going on with my body during that time that I really want my clothing to help me feel good in my own skin. The first thing I do each morning is get dressed into nice, clean clothes that fit me well – even the day after I have my baby! Then, I do my hair and makeup, and even put on some accessories, because it helps me to show up better to my day. I also highly recommend investing in good shoes or slippers when you’re pregnant, and you may want to consider buying underwear or bras that feel good to you. Underbelly support and SI belts can be incredibly helpful as well. Whatever it is, make a point to feel as comfortable and presentable as possible when you’re pregnant.
- Move your Body
Movement is crucial for self-care – no news flash there. Moving your body in some capacity is so important for regulating your mood and it also prepares you physically for the birth itself and postpartum recovery. During my latest pregnancy, I did yoga 3 times a week. (Even if you can’t get out to a studio, many yoga lessons are available for free on YouTube). Exercise doesn’t need to be intense – just a few minutes of yoga, stretching or walking can make a huge difference.
- Prioritize your Sleep
I recently released a video on how to prioritize sleep during pregnancy (even though it’s a major challenge – I know). Be sure to watch to hear my top tips for tired pregnant moms.
- Intermittent Fasting
For the past couple of years, I’ve been doing intermittent fasting, which basically means that I stop eating at 6 pm and start eating the next day around 11 am or so. This gives my body a long stretch of hours without food to allow my digestive system to rest. In my experience during this pregnancy, intermittent fasting has helped me feel so much better. I definitely feel less puffy and my digestive system is so much calmer. Something about it has been a game-changer particularly in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. I feel more energetic and in control. Even if intermittent fasting is not for you, I would highly recommend tuning into your hunger signals and eating mindfully.
- Eat Well and Take Supplements
I try to eat healthy and clean during pregnancy. I am mainly plant-based and take prenatal supplements. Trying to eat clean is extra important when you’re growing a human inside of you and to help prep your immune system for birth, breastfeeding, postpartum and beyond. Drinking raspberry leaf tea is said to be incredibly good for female and pelvic health, so I chug on that stuff all day.
- Address Fears and Past Trauma
I had a pretty traumatic 4th birth in that my son’s head came out but his shoulders were stuck. I was so nervous about this happening again, so I decided to tackle my pelvic health using the Paula Method. If you have any residue trauma lingering from previous births or if you have any fears about your upcoming birth, you want to address that at a deep level. Go into those places of fear, insecurity or trauma so that you can repair them. If you’re feeling in any way uncomfortable or fearful, I highly recommend trying out the Paula Method or any other modality that works for you – chiropractics, acupuncture, therapy, etc. Take care of your mind and body either on your own or with the help of a health care practitioner so that your body is fully ready for the birth and beyond.
- Take Care of your Mind
It’s equally important to deal with any past emotional traumas that may be lingering. You can do this through meditation, therapy or any modality that works best for you. Also carefully consider what’s coming into your mind. If you have news, social media or even relationships that are bringing negative energy into your life, take steps to limit your exposure. That might mean blocking or unfollowing certain people, or not answering certain phone calls. Don’t let people tell you scary birth stories. Don’t listen to the news if you don’t need to. Don’t listen to people who constantly complain. Think about the information sources you’re being exposed to so you can create a cocoon or bubble of positivity around you. I highly recommend downloading Brigitte Taylor’s Built to Birth meditations. Surround yourself with people who support, uplift and encourage you. Protect your mind and stay aware that you’re in an extra sensitive time.
- Declutter, Organize and Decorate
It’s a natural urge to nest and prepare your home for the arrival of your baby. I think it’s great to capitalize on that energy. Make your home beautiful and soothing for you – hang things up that you love, declutter, organize, etc. Make everything around you as sanctuary-like and pampering as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy new things. It’s more about organization – keeping surfaces clean and keeping your space orderly. Give yourself permission to treat your space well. In my opinion, this is a profound form of self-care, and being in a home that works well sets you up for success in the postpartum period.
- Make your Home Comfortable
Perhaps you need a pregnancy pillow to make yourself extra comfy at night. Maybe you need a yoga ball instead of an office chair. Or perhaps you need to change up your linen. Take this time to treat yourself well and make sure you feel as comfortable as possible in your home.
- Incorporate Nature
I think nature is an incredible source of self-care for us all. Try to get out in nature as often as possible and bring some plants inside your home. Nature is so soothing and it reminds us of what is beautiful and natural about giving birth. I find it to be very grounding and it really helps to offset the social media and consumerism that I engage in.
Well, that wraps up my 10 tips for taking great care of yourself during pregnancy. I believe self-care is so crucially important during pregnancy and beyond – not only for your own well-being but also to give you the energy to show up for your children in the best way possible.
If you enjoyed this episode, I’d love to hear which tip you loved most or if there are any I missed on this list. Leave a comment below or join me on Instagram @parentingjunkie!