Pregnancy Self-Care Tips from Experienced Moms
Our Nanobébé community shared the best tips and advice that helped them on their pregnancy journey. Read them below!
You recently learned you are expecting a baby; feelings of nerves and excitement are running rampant. The thought of bringing a little one into this world can be overwhelming, emotional, exciting, and so many other feelings you can’t even describe.
Luckily, you are not alone. We asked the mamas of our Nanobébé community to share the best tips and advice that helped them on their pregnancy journey.
1. Practice and Maintain Self-Care
"Practice self-care any chance you can including getting the massages, taking maternity pictures, eating nutritious foods… do everything to make you and baby bump happy and healthy; mind, body and spirit," @jax_santiago.
It's hard to overstate the importance of self-care during pregnancy. Self-care can include everything from asking for help, listening to your body, and taking time for yourself. But did you know Healthywomen.org reports that 78% of new and expecting moms put off self care? You are bringing a new life into this world. That is no small feat, and should be taken with the utmost importance.
Your body is going through a huge transitional period, and should be put first now more than ever. Whether your self care begins at your diet, relaxation, or even bump pictures to capture these very special months, nothing is too small.
Self care looks different for everyone and ultimately, it is important to find what is best for you. For a lot of new mothers, and for anyone embarking on a parenthood journey, it will take some trial and error. You may come to find that one thing works for some may not work for you. Try to find moments that spark joy during your journey and incorporate them as much as you can.
The US Library of Medicine conducted a compelling study that surveyed expecting moms and what they felt were the key components to becoming a mother. Before mentioning anything else, they found "Self-care to be one of the primary importances" in your journey as a new mom.
Some of the activities they mention are “exercise, having their partner watch the child, and going out to more restaurants.” So call up that restaurant you have been dying to try, take a yoga class, or just close the door to your room so you can watch your favorite TV show in peace.
It starts with you, and you should put you and your baby first during your pregnancy.
2. Your Feelings are Valid
"Listen to your own heart. You know your body and your baby best. Don't let others' opinions make you change what you know and feel to be right" @dayrod7
A lot of times we can get caught up in the opinions of others and what we feel we "should" be doing during pregnancy. Not only is it "ok to feel unhappy and overwhelmed" says @ash.olsenn, but you should also only take in advice you feel works for you and your baby.
The best thing you should do in these moments is filter out the white noise. Everyone will have an opinion: some may resonate with you, and others may be the last thing you want to hear. Some may be fact-based opinions from experts, and others may be highly questionable tips from well-intentioned acquaintances. In these moments it is important to pause and remind yourself to stay true to your intuition and surround yourself with people who make you feel supported.
It is okay to have honest conversations with the people around you to help them understand how you are feeling and where you are coming from. You can ask people to stop giving you "advice," even if they're honestly trying to help. One way to soften this request is to say, "I appreciate your help. I'm getting a lot of conflicting advice from different people and it's overwhelming, so I'm trying to limit it to just what my doctor (or lactation consultant, doula, etc.) tells me." A reminder to all our mamas out there: you are doing great and we see you.
To see some of the bad advice new parents have been given, see this post where parents shared some of the most ridiculous and unhelpful "tips" they've been given: Nanobébé on Instagram: "What ridiculous comments have been made to you as a parent?".
3. Ask for Help!
"Don't be afraid to accept help!" @spiffany419.
Women are superheroes. They carry the weight of the world and always show up to get the job done. Now, add having a child to that list. More than ever, it is ok to ask for help and to accept help from those who offer it.
It can be especially daunting for those who tend to be more independent and are used to taking care of things on their own. Remember that family, friends, and the parent community is strong and we are all here to support you.
We often feel like asking for help from others is a sign of weakness and that we are a burden. It is probably one of the reasons why new and expecting moms don't ask for help. After a changing body and sleepless nights, another set of hands and a fresh, new perspective can be the magic recipe you need to succeed.
As a new or expecting parent, your goal is to give your baby the best care possible, and to do that, you have to care for yourself. If you find it hard to self-advocate (as many people do), it might feel easier to ask for help on behalf of the baby that is dependent on your mental and physical wellbeing.
With a new baby, a good meal, or an hour of peace and quiet, can be life changing. It is not a sign of weakness to vocalize needing help - as the saying goes, "it takes a village."
4. Give Your Body Grace
"Love and embrace your beautiful, changing body." @kels.neal
Your body is creating a human and that concept can be a lot to process. For that reason alone, your body should be honored. Definitely easier said than done, but during a time of incredible change and growth for your body, give yourself love and grace.
Society has made women question their bodies for centuries and placed unfair expectations on women as a whole. Pregnancy adds a whole new layer to this challenge.
When you start your pregnancy journey, you are then fed the message that you should love your body and accept all of the crazy changes that it is going through. This conflicting message is rightfully confusing.
Every mom experiences changes in their body that they have never experienced before and did not expect. It is okay to feel uncomfortable, irritated, uncertain, or stressed about the effect your pregnancy is having on your body.
During this time, no matter how you are feeling, try to remember just how much your body is doing. You are making adorable little toes, fingers, and a bundle of cuteness right now, and that is amazing! Your body is undertaking a massive, overwhelming task and doing the absolute best it can.
5. Embrace These Moments!
"Be present in every moment because it goes by way too fast." @amanda_trame
For some, pregnancy only occurs once in a lifetime; for others, it happens many times.
One of the most memorable and special times in a woman's life is her pregnancy. This period of time will fly for some and it is crucial to reflect on these moments while you are still in them.
Even if you are really struggling one day, it is always important to remember how "the days are long but the years are short, enjoy them to the fullest!" from @sincerelyunnati. Your pregnancy journey will soon be a memory of the past. Embrace every moment of it.
Above all else, remember: you've got this! Pretty soon, you'll be the experienced mom sharing her hard-earned wisdom with other parents-to-be. Until then, take time for yourself, ask for help, and enjoy the journey.
Looking for tips on how to care for yourself after giving birth? Check out our blog on postpartum self-care!
*Nanobébé is thrilled to welcome guest bloggers. The views and opinions represented in these blog posts belong solely to the guest blogger and are not the legal responsibility of the company. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by the guest blogger and will not be held liable for any errors or omissions of information nor for the availability of this information.