Pregnancy is such a crazy exciting time in life; after all, a sweet baby is on the way. Transforming your life to prepare for such an arrival can be a whirlwind. Exciting as it may be, pregnancy isn’t always the easiest time for moms. It’s incredible that our bodies are able to perform the miracle of creating a human, but along the way most women experience a lot of negative symptoms of pregnancy. Here are a few of the ways that you can help mitigate these symptoms, and if you’re lucky, even thrive during this time.
Woah, you have big changes coming your way. So, set aside time each day to take extra good care of yourself, in whatever ways that means for you. Reducing stress in this time is beneficial, and good practice for reducing those stress hormones once you have a baby in your belly.
Changing your eating habits from unhealthy to healthy is a feat for anyone at any point in their life. However, during pregnancy it can feel like an uphill battle with added emotions and cravings. Practice eating well and changing those habits ahead of time, so that when it matters most you are prepared. Whole30 is a fantastic whole foods eating program that is only 30 days, and they even have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby program. If you feel overwhelmed about where to start, Whole30 is a great place.
If you are someone who has never really exercised, or you have, but inconsistently, I encourage you to find a new normal for yourself that includes movement. Anything really is better than nothing in this case! Try walking daily, a yoga class or going for a bike ride. If you are someone who has always consistently exercised, then keep up the good work. Exercise is so good for your mental and physical state. Some great things to focus on at this time are the strength of your glutes and core. So much of the pain that comes later in pregnancy can be related to weakness of these areas.
KEEP BREATHING, EATING WELL AND MOVING
There’s a good reason all of these things are listed above, as they become increasingly important when you’re carrying and feeding a tiny human inside you.
Stress hormones can affect you and your baby, so keeping your body and mind rested and peaceful is amazing for the both of you. The nutrients in the food you eat are the nutrients that nourish your baby while their brain and organs are being formed. Eating well during this time also helps with your energy levels and mental state. Morning sickness is very real, so be gentle with yourself and do the best you can. Exercise during pregnancy is often surrounded by fear. A general rule of thumb is to maintain your “normal” and just be careful exceeding it. Be careful of engaging your core in late stages of pregnancy, and spending more than a few minutes directly on your back. Maintain the level of exercise you had before you were pregnant, and your body will thank you!
Pain during pregnancy is so common that it has become normal. Low back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain, swelling, breast pain, are all often excused as just a result of being pregnant. In reality, these things can be managed and sometimes eliminated with treatment. Seek a trusted massage therapist or chiropractor and see them regularly during this time!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOU
As a new mom, life is crazy. Your body has just gone through the biggest transformation at all. Be gentle with yourself as you heal. Keeping up all the good habits listed above help ensure you’ll be the best mom you can be!
Author: Darcy Magner, RMT
Toronto Registered Massage Therapist | Acupuncture Provider