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How to practice self-care during pregnancy

A good self-care routine will help reduce anxiety and give you a more positive experience (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pregnancy is a joyous and challenging time. You’re looking forward to meeting your little one while at the same time, anxious about your new life. 

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As you juggle your professional, family and personal life, it’s important to set aside some time to take care of yourself during your pregnancy.

Below are some ways you can practice self-care during pregnancy.

1. Exercise

It’s important to keep your body moving during pregnancy. Exercise releases endorphins which help to boost your mood. This helps keep anxiety at bay. It also helps to keep fit. Yoga, swimming and walks are great low-impact exercises. Consult your doctor on the best exercises to do.  

2. Eat well

Maintain a healthy diet by eating good, wholesome foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and instead of opting for highly processed, sugary snacks, turn to healthier options like nuts and fruits. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. A healthy diet will keep you feeling energetic and reduce chances of bloating and constipation.

Get some rest whenever you feel tired (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Get plenty of rest

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You’re bound to feel exhausted particularly during the first and last trimesters. It’s okay to rest whenever you feel tired. Take a nap during the day if you need to and if you can’t just lay down and allow your body to rest.

4. Surround yourself with positivity

One of the sources of anxiety is hearing horror stories about labour and delivery. It doesn’t hurt to ask for others’ experiences but sift these and instead of listening to every story, choose positive ones, ones that will encourage you and not add to your anxiety. 

5. Lower your expectations

It’s very easy to expect your pregnancy and delivery to go a certain way. With the numerous pregnancy and childbirth stories from family, friends and social media, you might assume that your experience will go in a similar way and when it doesn’t you feel inadequate or like you’ve fallen short. Don’t put such high expectations on yourself. Realize that part of the journey of motherhood includes feeling like you’ve lost your old identity, anxiety over the future, fear and feeling like you’ve failed when things don’t go as society says it should. There will be ups and downs. Don’t expect life to be perfect.?

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