Survival Tips for Pregnancy
Here are my Survival tips for pregnancy!
It’s my first time living out the beautiful dream of having a baby so I decided to change it up a bit with this blog post and share my experience. I realize that everyone’s journey is different but these are just a few things I did over the last nine months that helped me get by and remain happy, productive and stretch mark free.
I’ll start off by saying I’ve always wanted to know what it feels to carry a child and it’s been everything I hoped; magical, amazing and spiritual. That said, let me be blunt, pregnancy is challenging, I mean really, really challenging. I genuinely had no idea how exhausting it would be until I was actually going through it. The mood swings, the fatigue, the constant adjustments I need to make daily just to keep up with my own changing body, and all this happening while I’m trying to accomplish my work goals, follow through on commitments and live out my dreams as a creative. I can only hope that this experience is preparing me for the ultimate balancing act that is motherhood.
Keep sight of your non-pregnancy related goals :
First time pregnancy is a time filled with both uncertainty and anticipation. You’re in a constant state of flux trying to cope with what’s happening to your body while trying to learn as much as possible about what it means to become a mother. I found myself fixating on my little bump and obsessing over milestones like my first ultrasound or the baby’s first kick. This became frustrating pretty quick because honestly, a big part of being pregnant is just waiting, waiting and more waiting, and 9 months is a long time to wait. To make sure I didn’t let it completely take over my life I chose to deliberately focus on some of my other goals outside of my pregnancy.
I took the time to create a website and a blog for my business, then learned how to manage them. I also set the financial goal to upgrade my car before the arrival of the baby, which gave me lots of motivation to work extra hard. Setting my sights on these and other smaller goals helped keep me busy and the completion of them left me feeling really empowered in the realization that I could handle this big life change and still accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
Get a hobby or learn something new :
Before I got pregnant I loved having a good night out with my friends and really enjoyed a glass of wine (or seven) in the evenings, so understandably, I’ve had to make quite a few lifestyle adjustments over the course of the last year. Initially I really felt left out and a little depressed, I wondered if I would ever be able to “be myself” again and enjoy all the things I felt I’d left behind forever. To combat these negative emotions I decided I needed a hobby or a project to fill in that empty space and help keep me busy. I decided to take up crocheting, I know it sounds a little cliché but I found it rather exciting. Its something I never had the patience to master as a girl but since I had more time on my hands I went back to my mom and made her teach me. To the amusement of my husband I ended up really getting into it, I’ve crocheted a few baby blankets and simple cuddles. I also took up scrap booking and completed two 1000 piece puzzles. Sure it might sound a little boring but all of this kept my mind busy and stimulated. Learning new skills is very empowering when you feel everything else that’s going on with your body is out of control.
Staying fit and healthy is extremely important to me. Before I got pregnant I was working out 3 to 4 times a week. Exercise has always been a place of comfort for me. I’ve always felt that a good workout helps me clear my mind, relieves stress and has the additional benefit of making me feel good about my body and myself. This is why I made sure to keep working out during my pregnancy. I did however have to put my regular routines on hold and change pace and this meant finding routines that were suitable to my condition. Hello Youtube! I found some great videos on stretching, light cardio, strength training, pregnancy pilates and pregnancy yoga that became the foundation of my weekly routine. I also made sure to go on short walks around my neighborhood and I’m proud to say that I managed to work out 2-3 days a week straight through my pregnancy. Of course this all required self-motivation and willpower but it also required the willingness to listen to my body. Some days I felt like just walking down the street was impossible and I told myself “ hey, that’s ok” but on the days when I felt full of energy I made sure to take advantage of it. What’s most important is doing things at your own pace and finding out what works for you to stay healthy.
Comfort, pamper and treat yourself :
Self love is the key to a happy pregnancy. It might seem a bit extravagant to spend time and money pampering yourself when there’s a baby on the way but trust me, it’s important. Buy that expensive stretch mark lotion you want, make an appointment for a prenatal massage, and take that extra 10 minutes to get out of bed in the morning. Just be your own biggest ally and cheerleader during your pregnancy and pay no attention to your inner critic. I created a bedtime routine that made me feel really comfortable and relaxed. I started off with a long shower then took the time to apply my favorite oil to avoid those tricky stretchmark’s all while listening to classical music for mama and baby. I’d put lavender essential oil on my pillows, do a few night time stretches to relieve tension and have a cup of my favorite camomile tea. This routine helped me let go of the other things I found so comforting previously (like my evening glass of wine) I still felt like I had indulged and treated myself, only in a way that was healthy for me and my little one.
All these little shifts in mindset and my supportive hubby are what got me through this crazy, hormonal ride. Just remember, that even though so much is out of your control, you alone decide how you will ride the wave and what your story will be. Little positive affirmations whenever you can will help you create your reality. I feel confident and positive. I trust my body. I’m ready for what’s coming next.