Pregnancy is physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful on your body. From the moment you find out you are expecting, you have to make many decisions. Should you find out the baby’s gender right away or make it a surprise? Will you have a home birth or a hospital delivery? How do you start preparing for your child’s future today?
Amid all these stress questions, self-care allows you to focus on yourself and take better control over your health and comfort in the moment. The following essential self-care tips for pregnancy will help to ensure you are taking care of yourself and your growing baby.
Get Plenty of Rest
During pregnancy, getting quality rest will give you extra energy to get through the day. It may also help prevent serious health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.
The amount of sleep you need may change depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, a woman in her first trimester needs approximately an extra hour of sleep per night.
Engage in Light Exercise
Exercise is essential. It is an excellent way to stay in shape during pregnancy, but it is also a form of self-care. Exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. It can also make labor easier by improving stamina and muscle control.
If you were physically active before becoming pregnant, you could continue with most of your routine under the guidance of a doctor or midwife. Be sure not to overdo it, though, because being pregnant puts additional strain on your body. Walking and swimming are safe habits to pick up during your pregnancy.
Eat Healthy Foods
You and your baby need specific vitamins and minerals to grow and develop, so eating a balanced diet is crucial. If you start experiencing morning sickness, try eating smaller meals more frequently during the day and before bedtime. Once your morning sickness subsides, you can resume eating three meals a day. Listen to your body, and don’t hesitate to give in to your cravings now and then!
Drink Plenty of Water
There is even more pressure to stay properly hydrated as you create an additional human. If you’re not staying hydrated during pregnancy, it’s easy to get headaches and feel fatigued and dizzy. On top of this, dehydration can lead to preterm contractions or even early labor in severe cases. Drinking plenty of water will help keep both mom and baby healthy throughout pregnancy.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
You can develop a positive attitude through practice, making pregnancy much more manageable. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive ones like, “I am ready to become a mom,” or “My body knows what to do.”
Take a deep breath, make time for yourself, and ask for help! Following these essential self-care tips for pregnancy will help you have a safer and healthier pregnancy, birth experience, and postpartum recovery.