Pregnancy can be a wonderful, magical experience. It can also be hellish. Sometimes, it’s both – at the same time. Like when I’m on hour 24 of heartburn, but then the baby starts dancing in my belly, aww.
On top of how you are feeling, there are all the outside opinions of what you should and DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT be doing, should and should not look like, should and should not feel like…etc., etc., etc. I could fund baby #2’s college education with one dollar from every person who has asked me if I’m having twins. Spoiler alert: No. And PSA: this is a SUPER RUDE question.
Plus, I’ve noticed…pregnant women in the wild are rare. I can go weeks and weeks without seeing another pregnant lady. Except when we went to Sesame Street Live recently – there were giant bellies everywhere! It was AMAZING. But it did make me realize how isolating the experience can be. Sometimes you feel like you’re the first person to ever go through this – even though you know that’s literally impossible.
And this all assumes you have a normal, healthy pregnancy – because if you don’t, all this stuff is small potatoes and you have a lot more stress in your life.
Physically, mentally, emotionally – pregnancy is intense. So, you need to figure out a way to take care of yourself. First of all, the baby, blah blah blah. But also – YOU have earned it. I mean, you’re growing a human life! So here are a few suggestions for how to do that:
- Rest! Sleeping is probably not going great but get as much as you can. And park it on the couch sometimes – this is okay! It’s also okay to go home in the afternoon, leaving your toddler at daycare for a couple of extra hours, and lie in bed to binge-watch your favorite show. Speaking from experience here.
- Indulge! Book that prenatal massage, hit up the dry bar, get those toes pampered. A little goes a long way when you are constantly hungry, but also nauseous, and can’t find anything to eat that doesn’t make you want to heave.
- Shop! This being my second pregnancy, I didn’t need much new maternity clothing – but some new pieces helped lift my mood. Proper fitting clothing is always a confidence booster, but that’s especially true in pregnancy when your body is changing rapidly.
- Move! I don’t want to preach about exercise during pregnancy here. Get as much or as little exercise as you want or need – and listen to your body. That said, I do believe that keeping up with my regular workouts helped me adjust more quickly to my growing size.
- Ignore! People, in general, have no idea what you are “supposed” to look like at any stage of your pregnancy (remember, how rare we are in the wild?!). So try to smile politely and let their comments go (or, you know, ask them when THEY are due while giving them the death stare). And there’s so much conflicting advice out there, so ignore most of it and then consult with your doctor (and if you don’t like her opinion or advice, change doctors). I also like the blog Pregnant Chicken and the book Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know, both of which do a good job of informing but leaving the choice up to you.
Any other self-care tips for moms-to-be?