Pregnancy is undoubtedly an emotional roller coaster for all mothers, bringing numerous changes ranging from value shifts to body transformations. Statista data estimates that the UK’s fertility rate was 1.63 births per woman as of 2019. Many expectant mothers often focus on the minor inconveniences and worries of pregnancy, but there are numerous ways to enjoy this wonderful time in your life. If you wish to learn more about making the most out of your pregnancy period, please consider the following points to help you enjoy your pregnancy.
Look Your Best
Many expectant mothers are often concerned about their looks due to the many changes their bodies undergo during this period. Consequently, looking your best is an excellent way to get through this period without sacrificing your confidence, fashion sense, and beauty.
As such, it is essential to invest in clothing that is comfortable to wear and fits your changing body. Therefore, consider buying some quality maternity wear like maxi dresses designed to make you look and feel your best during pregnancy.
Also, you can even consult friends who have already been pregnant to see if you can borrow any of their maternity clothes. When searching for clothes, it is always an excellent idea to consider staples that you can re-wear.
Therefore, fashion pieces like plain dresses, tunics, gowns, and sweatshirts from reputable brands like THE ICONIC should be top of your maternity clothing shopping list for optimum comfort and confidence.
Take Parenting Classes
Being anxious about bringing a child into the world is common for many parents, especially first-timers. A significant part of this anxiety boils down to uncertainty regarding what to expect and being an excellent parent after childbirth.
However, you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself since you can join numerous parenting prep classes to prepare yourself for parenthood.
These classes discuss topics like the labour and delivery process, pain medications, and postpartum recovery. Also, they teach parents the basics of caring for their newborns, including bathing, breastfeeding, and soothing their babies.
Parenting prep classes enable you to prepare for your upcoming role as a parent, reducing anxiety regarding parenthood.
Moreover, you can gain access to the latest research and insights on parenting methods from these cases. As such, you can start honing your parenting skills even before your child is born to avoid making common parental errors.
Finally, these classes can also support you and your spouse since you will undoubtedly meet parents just like you. These days, you can attend all your parenting classes online in the comfort of your home and at favourable times, so find and enrol in a great online parenting prep course that suits your unique schedule.
Sign Up For Prenatal Massage Therapy
Many mothers will undoubtedly agree that spa days can be genuine treats during pregnancies, so it is always a good idea to sign up for prenatal massage therapy to enjoy your pregnancy.
Prenatal massages have several genuine benefits that make them worth considering. For starters, a massage can regulate your hormones during this period, improving your mood and boosting cardiovascular health.
A study conducted revealed that expectant mothers who received bi-weekly massages for just five weeks experienced reduced norepinephrine, cortisol, and other stress hormones.
Also, these would-be mothers had higher levels of dopamine and serotonin, two popular “feel-good hormones.” Furthermore, a prenatal massage can help with joint swelling. It stimulates soft tissues to limit fluid collection in swollen joints and boosts waste tissue removal from your body’s lymph system.
In addition, prenatal massages can help with nerve pain by releasing tension in your upper and lower leg muscles. However, seek care from a qualified prenatal massage therapist who knows the ins and outs of pregnancy and massage needs for health and safety reasons.
Pregnancy hormones, sleep disturbances, and life changes conspire to leave many expectant mothers stressed and anxious during their pregnancy period. Consequently, consider meditation as a practical way to stay on top of the emotional whirlwind that you might get caught in during pregnancy. Meditating during pregnancy can help with pregnancy symptoms like irregular sleep, mood swings, and fatigue. Also, meditation can lower the stress that accompanies pregnancy and its significant changes. Furthermore, many studies show that meditation and other mindfulness-based practices during pregnancy can reduce depression and anxiety.
In addition, meditating can prepare you for labour adequately and help you feel more positive after your birth experiences, reducing your likelihood of postpartum depression. Thankfully, you can try numerous kinds of meditation while pregnant, including mindfulness, transcendental, mantra, movement, focused, and spiritual meditation. Meditation is widely considered safe for would-be mothers, but ensure that you are seated comfortably during your sessions. Also, note that you might need to readjust your positions by including blankets and pillows significantly as your body transforms.
Exercise is generally considered safe during pregnancy, and many doctors even recommend it. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is acceptable for many pregnant women on most or all days of the week. Therefore, you can try walking as a great beginner exercise since it offers minimal joint stress and moderate aerobic conditioning.
Swimming, cycling on a stationary bike, leg lifts, pile squats, and low-weight strength training are other great exercises you can try out during this period.
However, consult your health provider if you are unsure of a particular activity’s appropriateness during pregnancy to prevent putting yourself at risk.
Also, avoid any contact sports like basketball and volleyball and activities with a high risk of falling like horseback riding and downhill skiing.
In addition, avoid exercising at high altitudes, hot yoga or pilates, and any activities that may cause you to experience direct abdominal trauma, like kickboxing.
Get Enough Sleep
Research estimates that sleep is elusive for at least 50% of pregnant women due to frequent night time urination, leg cramps, nausea, high body temperature, increased heart rate, and other factors.
However, sleep remains a crucial aspect of prenatal care, so it is always best to develop great sleeping habits during this period.
For example, sleeping on your left side with your legs slightly curled is widely considered the best sleeping position for pregnant women.
This position stimulates blood flow to the kidneys, heart, and uterus, improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to your foetus. Also, you can use a few extra pillows to provide more comfort when sleeping on your side, mainly if you aren’t accustomed to sleeping this way.
Furthermore, you can try various excellent sleep hygiene practices to reduce your insomnia and boost overall sleep quality.
For instance, always ensure that your bedroom is calm, dark, and quiet, limiting your bed to sleeping and sex only. In addition, you can develop and stick to a consistent bedtime and schedule all naps, so they don’t interfere with night time sleep.
Finally, indulge in calming activities like reading a book and turn off screens at least an hour before bed to boost your chances of enjoying deep and quality shut-eye.
Healthy eating is undoubtedly essential to enjoying your pregnancy period for various reasons ranging from controlling your weight to boosting immunity. Therefore, you can include various fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, protein, and whole grains in your pregnancy diet.
Also, choose drinks and foods with less salt, added sugars, and saturated fats, limiting refined starches and grains. Additionally, avoid foods like raw fish, soft cheeses, and unpasteurised milk and juices since these may contain bacteria that can harm your child.
Finally, the CDC advises that there is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Consequently, avoid alcohol consumption since your child can suffer long-lasting effects like learning disabilities and hyperactive behaviour if you take in alcohol during pregnancy.
Keeping a Pregnancy Journal
Pregnancy is a special time so why not try keeping a pregnancy diary or journal? This is an excellent way to document all of those milestones that happen during the different stages of pregnancy such as first kick, various appointments at doctor’s office, thoughts on labor process etc. You can also look back after she’s born and read what it was like being pregnant before her birth date arrives which will be so special!
Use Pregnancy Yoga
Pregnancy Yoga is a great way to stay fit and relax, it can also help you have a healthy pregnancy. There are many pregnancy specific yoga programs that you can take part in, or simply incorporate into your own routine which will help with back pain relief as well! The best thing about this type of exercise is that it doesn’t involve heavy lifting.
Set Aside Some Time for Yourself Every Day
This might seem counterintuitive but when we’re pregnant, sometimes it’s hard to find time for ourselves let alone self-care such as taking a bath with Epsom salts after all the aches and pains from our day sets in. Taking some time for ourselves can help with our mental health and keep us sane!
Give Yourself a Break from Cooking
You might be cooking for two but sometimes the simplest dish has too many ingredients that you need to find. That’s why it is so important to take some time every now and then to give yourself an evening break while someone else cooks dinner for you or order in your favourite Thai food and get stuck into that ice cream!
Have Fun With Baby Showers And Gender Reveals
It’s never too early to start planning baby showers and gender reveals, plus these types of events are such fun celebrations that will bring family members together. You can also plan a ‘belly cast’ party where guests paint designs on a pregnancy belly before they disappear.
Take It Slow
When we’re pregnant, it can be hard to remember that life will go on after our little one is born and just because you need time to recover doesn’t mean there’s no more time for fun things too! So don’t forget about your hobbies or favourite activities; take this pregnancy as an opportunity to slow down a bit so that when baby arrives, you’ll have plenty of energy left over for her.