If we're being honest with ourselves, there's a whole lot of things that pregnant mamas should be doing that we just aren't. Whether you have heartburn or swollen feet, the only thing on your mind may be lying in bed with a box of chocolate-covered pretzels.
But here's the deal: mamas with a babe on the way have a lot to do that doesn't involve sleeping. *sigh* Sometimes it's tough for us to remember that our bodies are the only thing that's helping to keep our little ones strong and healthy, when we are feeling less
than strong or healthy. But here is a list of things that you should probably be doing a little bit better no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Being active is so good for you and baby. I know it's the last thing that any pregnant mama wants to hear, but getting your body moving will help you and babe throughout your pregnancy. Early on, it can help keep the
morning all-day sickness at bay. During the second trimester, when you have more energy, being active will help you from gaining excess weight, boost your mental health, and keep those muscles strong for delivery. Later on in your pregnancy, you're definitely going to start feeling pain all over, so work on doing light stretches, kegels, and any light activity like swimming or walking. You may dread the thought of going to the gym or heading out for a walk, but your body will thank you for it once it comes to labor and recovery.
Sticking to a good diet during pregnancy can be one of the hardest things to stick to, but is arguably the most important thing you can do for baby. From someone who has had cravings ranging from root beer to grilled brats to chocolate chip muffins while pregnant, I am well aware that what we think we need to get through the day is not what our bodies actually need. If you try your best to eat a decent amount of whole grains, dark greens, fruit and protein, you'll find that you're not as hungry for the things that aren't so great for babe.
Thinking about delivery can be scary, but one mistake a lot of pregnancy mamas make is to just assume everything will work perfectly during labor/delivery. I have a lot of faith in doctors. In almost every case, things will work out just fine, mama. But you need to prepare yourself for delivery by doing your research on things like epidurals, medicine and methods for being induced, and c-section surgery/recovery if it becomes necessary. Hot tip--stay away from the horror story mama blogs, and stick to the medical information that's available. Ask your doctor about the process, take a tour of your maternity ward, and keep an open mind.
Taking care of the outside of your body is just as important as the inside when it comes to mama's mental health and overall wellness. Most days I am so beyond exhausted that I cannot fathom the idea of putting lotion on my entire body, or flossing my teeth. Yeah, good one. But the little things make a big difference. Investing in a moisturizing lotion for your tummy and body will help keep the stretch marks to a minimum (or at least try), and can keep you from feeling itchy. Showering can also feel like an olympic event, and don't even get me started on shaving my legs, but you should try and make it a priority to get those relaxing and cleansing moments in when you can. Little things like flossing your teeth (bleeding gums can be an issue during pregnancy), and proper hair care (try and minimize the chances of alopecia post-delivery) will not only make you feel better, but should help you feel better long-term.
Keeping your relationship with your man is a must during pregnancy. We know that your ideal date night is hiring a nanny to clean the house, or taking an extra long nap on a weekday, but it's important to keep the spark alive with your spouse during your pregnancy. Now that your family is growing, and your adding another member to your team, you need to make sure that your bond is still strong. Doing simple dinner dates to your favorite pizza place, going for a short walk around the neighborhood in the evening, or even taking a special trip before babe arrives will help to reinforce the love and strength in your relationship.
When you are turning food into a baby, it's understandable to feel like you have zero energy for anything else. But as pregnant mamas, we need to get used to the idea that there are some things that we need to do that may not be on the top of our bucket lists. Just do your best mama and try to take care of yourself!