Pregnancy can be one of the most incredible, exciting, and stressful moments of your life. You are dealing with significant changes to your body and lifestyle in addition to all the other stressors you were already dealing with when you weren't pregnant, such as your job, finances, household duties, and other things. This is in addition to all the unknowns you are facing about parenthood and meeting your baby. From the positive test to labor and delivery, here are five methods to stay calm and healthy.
Prenatal massages provide you the chance to unwind, close your eyes, and spend an hour away from your troubles, but it's also important to think about the physical and physiological advantages. Not bad for an hour of pampering, according to the American Pregnancy Association, prenatal massage can "lower anxiety, diminish symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve birth outcomes and baby health."
Making time each day for walking, stretching, light weightlifting, or low-impact activities like swimming offers benefits that include lowering your risk of gestational diabetes, preventing excessive weight gain, and even increasing the likelihood that your baby will be born at a healthier weight. As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice that your endurance, energy, and enthusiasm for your usual exercise routine are waning. To ensure that your chosen regimen is safe for you and the baby, consult your doctor as you would with yoga.
Sleep should be expected, right? Not really. A full night's sleep is becoming increasingly difficult to come by due to your changing body shape, late-night leg cramps, constant trips to the bathroom, and your husband's snoring (which never used to keep you up!). This is true even though your friends and family are constantly telling you to "stock up on sleep" before the midnight feedings begin (as if that's even possible). Establishing a regular, relaxing pre-bedtime routine will help you sleep better throughout pregnancy. You should also take advantage of any opportunities to snooze to feel more refreshed during the day.
Prenatal yoga may be one of the best things you can do for both you and your unborn child because it keeps your muscles strong and toned, can help your body get ready for delivery, and allows you to use breathing and relaxation techniques to calm your mind. Find a class at your neighborhood gym or yoga studio, or see if you can enroll in a regular yoga class with an instructor who can make adjustments as needed. To practice at home, you can also browse for DVDs or online videos; just make sure your doctor gives the go-ahead.