When pregnancy is confirmed, many women are usually overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility of nurturing the growing foetus. They may feel the pressure to avoid engaging in activities they usually find fun such as exercising, going out for drinks such as coffee, wine or beer. You don’t have to give up everything in totality, but just simply modify. Here a few tips to consider…
Weight gain is a reality in pregnancy so maximise on healthy alternatives. Instead of eating a carrot or chocolate cake, try peanut butter and whole wheat bread or apple slices in peanut butter dip. If you are missing your favourite mojito, settle for the next best thing – the ‘nojito’: Mix some lime juice, mint leaves, crushed ice cubes, and soda water for a zesty drink. For something more low key, mix some ginger ale, strawberries and basil leaves. You can also try smoothies using different herbs and fruits.
Hit the Spa!
Carrying a little human inside you can be a hard and tiring job and those kinks can definitely get in there. Some women also feel a sense of insecurity due to the change in their body. What better time to get pampered than when your body feels weird adjusting to all the highs and lows of pregnancy? Treat yourself to some relaxing ‘me-time’ at the spa every once in a while. Indulge yourself in some facials, pedicures and manicures. However, be careful when it comes to massage.
Momcations are also a great idea for relaxation and you can tag along other moms too!
Most experts recommend that one should consider a massage in the second trimester. Even then, it is good to consult a doctor before you indulge. Ensure you get an expert masseuse, who knows how far to push it depending on how far along your pregnancy is. Massages have been known to induce labour. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, it is probably best to sit this one out. Note that if your bump is not yet showing it is key to inform those serving you that you are pregnant so that they can adjust their services and products accordingly. Some aromatherapy oils are not recommended in pregnancy.
Balance work and play
You may have to give up or compromise on some hobbies once you get pregnant. It is not recommended to do heavy lifting or vigorous activities in any semester, unless a doctor gives you a go ahead. So if you are a gym rat or an outdoorsy person who enjoys hitch hiking or rope climbing, you have to adjust your lifestyle. You could start a gentler or slower-paced exercise regimen such as a leisurely walk. You could also consider other options like aqua aerobics or swimming.
You could also use this time to pick up a new hobby. Is there a recipe you’ve always wanted to try, a class you’ve always wanted to take, or a book you’ve been meaning to get to? This may be the only opening you have to do it. Once the baby checks in, time becomes a luxury. You could also use this time to start decorating your baby’s nursery. That should be a lot of fun.
They don’t call it therapy for nothing. Shopping for maternity clothes or baby clothes depending on your trimester has several benefits to both you and the baby. It helps you to get psychologically prepared for the baby’s coming while looking glam, staying active and getting prepared!
Have a ‘babymoon’
Well it may not be as recognised as a honeymoon but some time away may do you some good due to change of pace and environment. Take time off your daily routines and just take a weekend off to marvel at the miracle of motherhood. You can also rope in your partner and just make it an intimate experience, free of distractions, plus the alone time before the baby comes may do you some good.
First published in May 2017