Being pregnant can be one of the most exciting and reflective times in your life. While your first priority is likely the new addition to your family, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is also a way of supporting your baby.
At 8 Sheep Organics, we’ve looked through various mommy forums and blogs, and compiled the top 11 tips to help you focus on self-care while going through the wonderful journey of pregnancy.
Tip #1: Focus on a Healthy Diet
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will help fuel your body and improve your mood.
There’s no magic formula for a healthy pregnancy diet. However, the basic principles of heating eating includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Here are some important macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals you’ll want to focus on.
Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin that helps promote a healthy pregnancy. Aim to include great sources of folic acid, such as fortified cereals, leafy greens vegetables, dried beans, peas, and citrus fruits.
Both you and your baby need calcium to help build – and maintain – strong teeth and bones. Calcium helps your muscular, circulatory, and nervous systems run smoothly as well.
Dairy products are the best sources of calcium. But don’t forget to include kale, broccoli, fruit juices, and breakfast cereals that are fortified with calcium too.
Vitamin D also helps play a role in strong bones and teeth. Fatty fish, like salmon, is a great source of vitamin D. You can also include fortified milk and orange juice to meet your daily calcium requirements.
Protein is essential for not only your body but also your baby’s growth and development throughout pregnancy. To incorporate more protein into your diet, opt for lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
Our bodies use iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues. During your pregnancy, you will need twice the amount of iron than you normally would. Your body requires iron in order to produce more blood and supply oxygen to your baby.
Lean red meat, poultry, and fish are great sources of iron. However, you can also find iron in beans, vegetables like spinach, and iron-fortified cereals.
Finally, it is also important to understand which foods you’ll need to avoid during your pregnancy.
Tip #2: Keep Yourself Hydrated
Making sure you stay adequately hydrated is always essential, especially during pregnancy.
There are many benefits to staying hydrated, such as helping with digestion, softening your skin, and giving you an energy boost throughout the day.
We recommend drinking between eight to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water on a daily basis. A simple way to do that is to carry a water bottle with you and take sips throughout the day.
Tip #3: Get Some Rest
Sleep plays a major role in many aspects of your life. Up to 78% of pregnant women find themselves experiencing signs of stress and fatigue due to a lack of sleep.
However, we know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep with all the changes going on inside your body.
At 8 Sheep, we recommend developing a relaxing bedtime routine to help your body get into “sleep-mode.” Some methods to promote relaxation in your body are to practice yoga, avoid caffeine, and drink herbal tea to help promote deep sleep.
You can also spruce up your relaxation with a pillow mist, such as our Organic “Unwind” Pillow Mist.
Need a bit of help with your snooze? We recommend our Organic Sleepy Lotion that will help naturally calm your mind and body for a deeper, more restful sleep.
Tip #4: Meet With Your Healthcare Provider
One of the most essential pregnancy self-care tips we want to share is to listen to your prenatal care provider and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns you may have!
They will help guide you through all stages of pregnancy and offer recommendations on exercise, nutrition, and overall wellness.
Tip #5: Stay Active
Finding an exercise routine that supports your physical health during pregnancy is helpful. A recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week will help keep your physical health in check.
Getting physical exercise doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. You can simply go for a walk outside in the morning and afternoon. This will have the added bonus of spending more time outside, relaxing your mind, and lifting your spirits.
For a great workout, make sure you stay hydrated and cool, and properly stretch before and after. Also, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before starting any strenuous workout routines.
Tip #6: Give Yourself Time To Relax
You must get adequate rest and relaxation throughout the day, not just your regular nightly sleep. Different forms of relaxation include:
- Practicing deep breathing
- Tai chi
- Music and art therapy
If you have a hobby, take some time for yourself to focus on things you enjoy. If you don’t have a hobby, this may be the perfect time to look into activities that may have sparked your interest in the past!
Tip #7: Check-In With Your Partner
Finding a supportive community can make all the difference in a happy pregnancy. For many of us, we lean on our partners for support, but make sure to check in with them as well. Aim to communicate and share each other’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other.
That way, you and your partner can work together as a support system for one another – a strong habit that will serve you both well as you raise your newborn together.
Tip #8: Revamp Your Skincare Routine
During your pregnancy, bodily changes may occur, especially on your skin. These changes are related to the surge of female hormones – estrogen and progesterone – which may affect your skin pigments, blood vessels, and immune system.
Many women tend to have dry skin, hair loss, cracked lips, and develop stretch markers during their pregnancy. It is important to note that while these changes are normal, there are ways to help reduce the effects.
In addition to applying sunscreen with SPF 30+, don’t forget to exfoliate your skin at least two to three times a week to remove any dead skin calls and help maintain a natural glow. Also, stay hydrated and keep your skin moisturized with a nightly moisturizer.
Tip #9: Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is known to make you happier. In fact, studies show that negative emotions such as poor mental health, stress, and tension are reduced, while positive feelings such as happiness, relaxation, and focus increase while we are outdoors.
Sun exposure also gives you much needed vitamin D. You can check off exercise, relaxation, and spending time outdoors simply by going for a stroll.
Tip #10: Prepare for the Baby’s Arrival
Pregnant women have been known to start nesting, or preparing for the baby, in the final weeks of pregnancy.
If you are someone who enjoys organization and decor, preparing for the baby’s arrival can be a fun process for you and your family. This process can involve preparing a nursery (with ideas from Pinterest!), baby-proofing the home, or simply researching the essential products for your newborn.
We recommend creating a manageable list to reference as you prepare for your little one to enter this world.
Tip #11: Give Yourself an Occasional “Me” Day
We mentioned earlier about making sure you take time out to relax. Well, don’t be afraid to take an entire day off for yourself!
Pregnancy takes a toll on our body, so pampering yourself is one way to recenter and focus on yourself. Plan a babymoon with your partner, enjoy a pampering day at the spa, or simply ask your partner to help set up a bubble bath.
You can also plan a day trip with friends, get a manicure and pedicure, or take a trip to the salon.
Pregnancy can bring on a roller coaster of emotions, from extreme stress to overwhelming joy… all within a span of minutes. It isn’t easy, and it’s perfectly fine not to enjoy every moment of it. Just allow yourself to physically and mentally rest when you need it and enjoy the experiences along the way. It will all be worth it when baby is here!