Pregnancy can be a wild and crazy journey filled with a wide range of emotions – sometimes even on the same day.
I believe that all women need to have an active pregnancy self-care routine in place to stay grounded and nourished from within.
Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, but there is one very important consideration that all expecting women should heed. Create a sustainable pregnancy self-care routine and stick to it daily.
Before diving into how to take care of yourself during pregnancy, let’s cover what self-care is.
Self-care is any action intended to preserve or improve your health.
It’s a common misconception that self-care revolves around bubble baths, manicures, and cupcakes – but that’s not the case. In fact, I believe there are three main types of self-care:
- Physical self-care including the way you care for your body, the food you eat, and more
- Emotional self-care which focuses on expressing your thoughts, worries, and needs as well as setting boundaries and saying No
- Spritual self-care and the connection you have to your higher self and spiritual values
Read next: Setting Boundaries During Pregnancy
Self-care ideas while pregnant
Check out the below pregnancy self-care tips and ideas to fuel yourself in a way that feels best for you. I’ve broken the suggested self-care practices into physical, emotional, and spiritual to help you pull one or two from each category.
Physical self-care ideas
1. Go for a walk outside
In addition to a surge of endorphins, taking a walk outside can help to increase blood flow (and ease those pesky headaches) and provide a boost of energy. Aim for at least ten minutes a day if you’re feeling up to it.
2. Make your bedroom sleep friendly
Sleep can quickly fall by the wayside during pregnancy, so it’s important to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary to encourage as much sleep as possible.
- Remove electronics like laptops, TVs, phones, etc.
- Keep the temperature between 60-67°F for optimal snoozing
- Take a magesium supplement before bed (I love this brand) to encourage sleep, decrease muscle tension, and promote regular bowel activity
- Invest in a pregnancy pillow (this is the one I use) to support your changing shape
Read next: 21 Realistic Tips for Better Sleep
3. Nourish yourself with healthy food (but don’t restrict!)
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, but don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself from the food you love.
In fact, indulging in your cravings in moderation is key to maintaining a positive relationship with food. This act will help to ensure you don’t binge in a few hours, weeks, or months when you finally “give in” to your cravings.
Emotional self-care ideas
1. Work on your boundaries
As you’ve probably noticed, everyone has an opinion about your pregnancy and, sometimes, what they have to say isn’t what you want to hear.
Work on setting healthy boundaries during pregnancy to protect your happiness and keep your anxiety levels in check.
2. Use your loving ‘NO’
This small word carries so much power, but it can often feel uncomfortable to use.
My best pregnancy advice? Tap into your No and get as comfortable as possible using it as needed. You’ll feel empowered to take back your precious time and energy and clear your calendar for what matters most to you.
3. Communicate your needs
Learning to communicate your needs isn’t a simple feat, but it’s completely worth it.
With pregnancy, your needs will change moment-by-moment often before you even realize what’s happening. Get in touch with what you’re feeling and why to help others support you in the best way they can.
Remember, no one is a mind reader. It’s up to you to express what you’re requiring in each moment!
Spiritual self-care ideas
1. Start a meditation practice
Meditation doesn’t have to be intimidating, but often people are too scared to start for fear of being “bad”. Here’s the thing: it’s called a practice for a reason.
A regular meditation practice can encourage you to feel more grounded, connected to yourself (and your baby!), and encourage you to feel more relaxed and at ease.
2. Get in touch with your values
There’s nothing like pregnancy to make you begin to question everything.
It’s in these moments that it’s imperative to get back in touch with who you are and what you value. This insight will help to support you throughout pregnancy, while constructing your birth plan, and how you want to raise your little one.
3. Find like-minded support
Whether this is from a local mom’s group, a trusted friend, or a doula – finding like-minded support that has your back without pushing their opinions is critical for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Now’s the time to reach out, be vulnerable, and ask for a helping hand.
Final tips for pregnancy self-care
While there’s really no right or wrong way to self-care, what’s important is that the actions you choose to focus on during pregnancy should empower you and lift you up to be a happier, healthier version of yourself.
Get creative, experiment, and figure out what works best for you and your growing baby, all while sticking to what’s realistic and feels good.
You got this, mama!