Self Care in Pregnancy

Creating a self-care plan in pregnancy is key to taking care of yourself postpartum.  You must take care of yourself before you can truly take care of your baby.  So what does a self-care plan look like? 

The Tipping Point

There’s usually a point in each trimester when a mom looks up and realizes she needs to slow down.  During the first trimester moms tend to feel fatigue and nausea.  The second trimester brings some relief.  Then, moms starting doing too much and overdo it.  Third trimester heavy with baby commonly feel pelvic pain, low back pain, swelling, and physically exhausted.  While those 40+weeks of pregnancy can seem at times like an eternity, the body goes through a rapid transformation.  This can sneak up on us.  Powering through our daily grind can be quite difficult when feeling nauseous, tired, acid reflux, and emotional.  Between career, chores, and caring for your loved ones –especially if you have other children- life can be overwhelming.  To top it off, due to the transitional nature of adding in a baby, I often I hear women are buying a new house and moving!  Many are looking for a new job that has better benefits or hours more suitable to parenting.  There comes a tipping point pregnancy demands we pay attention and slow down, but actually doing that can be quite hard when there’s so much to do. And if you didn’t have much of a self-care practice before pregnancy, the harder you it is to hear your body calls for change.  Often this is when an injury occurs, or a breakdown of some kind.  It’s the breakdown before the breakthrough.  In labor, this stage is called “Transition.” Self-doubt creeps in, panic with thoughts that labor will never end, giving up becomes the best option.  And then there’s a shift, contractions ease back in preparation for the finally stage –pushing!  The end is in sight.  In pregnancy, the breakthrough comes when a mom realizes a change needs to happen.  Self-care is vital to move forward.  Here’s some ways to create a sustainable self-care plan through out pregnancy:

Be Gentle with Yourself

Set realistic expectations about what you can do while being pregnant.  Practice saying no.  Try not to judge yourself based off what you could do before pregnancy.  Remember that pregnancy is a special time to give yourself extra love.

Nurture Yourself

Mother yourself before you become a mother!  Eat healthy foods.  Go to a prenatal Listen to music. Take warm baths.  Try journaling.  Spend time outdoors.  Read a book.  Be intentional about your activities.  Watching a reality TV show after a long day at work might seem like a good choice to veg-out, but you can do better.  Recharge your batteries with activities that love you back! 

Ask for Help

Sometimes, you might need to ask someone to lift something for you.  Or pick something up for you.  You might consider asking someone to help you find resources you will need for your baby.  Or even asking someone to set up a meal train for you before the baby comes!  Pregnancy can be a lesson in learning to ask for help. 

Stay Connected to Friends

There is a temptation to stay at home and hang, and sometimes that is fine.  But, remember to stay connected with your friends –even the ones who aren’t pregnant or already mothers.  Don't isolate yourself.  Your friends can feed your well when you are dry.  Your friends knew you before being a mother, or soon-to-be mother.  Bring them into your motherhood journey.  You need their support. 

Reach out to your resources

Schedule a private prenatal yoga practice.  Hire a doula!  Go see a chiropractor to finally help you with that hip pain!  Get a glorious prenatal massage.  Find someone to clean your house for a few weeks, so you can get a break.  Use Amazon prime food delivery, or order food to be sent to your house from a local grocery store.  There are even reasonability priced personal chefs to cook meals at home for you.  Our local market is full of services to help you through this process. 

Below are a few local resources to help you whether you are pregnant or postpartum. 

1)   Home Cleaner -  Ana Felicano (571-253-0294)–great priced, very kind, easy to talk to.  *Having her help me cleaning really made a difference in my happiness.

2)   Prenatal massage:  Luisa Giraldo (703) 606-7498luisalight@gmail.com

  or    Kari Smith(571) 435-6555 at NOVA Birth Center   www.novabirthcenter.com

3) Lactation Home Consultation: Laura McCarthy  http://www.premierlactationservices.com/

4)    Personal Chefs in-home cooking: https://www.hireachef.com/

Take care of yourselves, Mommas.  You are worth it!