Pregnancy can be overwhelming. It's difficult enough to care for your own body, but the pressure doubles when there is another human growing inside you. If self-care isn't your area of expertise, pregnancy can be even more difficult. You now have to be especially rigid about how you take care of yourself — from how you eat, to how much rest you get. It's all worth it though, and luckily, with a short list of things to do everyday to make your pregnancy easier (or at least more manageable,) carrying and growing a human will be more enjoyable and less exhausting.
Although you may not have time to add an extensive self-care regimen to your schedule, there are several lifestyle tweaks that any pregnant mama can (and should) make to optimize her energy, health, and happiness in the months before delivery.
After the birth of their babies, moms don't have nearly as much time to take care of themselves (although it's still important to make time) and learning to prioritize these things during pregnancy is a step in the right direction for taking care of yourself postpartum too.
Furthermore, during pregnancy, the things you do for yourself impact your baby in a very physical sense, making these seven ways to make your pregnancy easier even more important.
1. Eat Healthy, Nourishing Foods
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA) eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways you can care for yourself and your growing baby. The phrase "eating for two" isn't always true in the sense that you don't need to eat twice the amount of food as when you weren't pregnant. You do, however, need to make sure you're getting enough calcium, protein, iron, folic acid, Vitamin C, and water.
2. Exercise, Even If It's Just A Walk
The APA also noted that getting active for 20-30 minutes per day — even if its just a light walk or some yoga — is extremely beneficial for helping blood flow, improving your mood, and even making labor easier.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep isn't always easy when you're pregnant, but it is important. According to the National Sleep Foundation, poor sleep during pregnancy can affect your delivery — women who slept less than six hours per night during pregnancy had longer labors and an increased likelihood of C-section.)
4. Take Time To De-Stress
With all the changes happening during pregnancy, stress can be common. However, according to the March of Dimes, high levels of stress can have some negative consequences for both you and your baby. Whether it's meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking time to be alone, be sure that you're combating the stress in your life with de-stressing activities.
5. Read About Your Baby's Development
Besides being super fun, learning about your baby's development month by month or week by week is important for understanding what they (and you) need in each specific stage of pregnancy.
6. Take Your Prenatals
No matter how healthy you eat, it's still difficult to get every single nutrient needed for your baby everyday. Taking a prenatal vitamin is a super simple way to ensure that both you and your baby are as healthy as possible, according to Baby Center.
7. Do Something For You
Pregnancy isn't just about your baby. You also need to focus on yourself during these months of crazy change. Establishing a healthy self-care routine will be extremely helpful once your new baby arrives, as well as help you survive all of the change that pregnancy brings with it.