As parents to be, we often concentrate on the health of our growing baby, rather than our own. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s still vital to practice self-care and nurture your changing body over the coming months. Pampering is great, but it’s not all about bubble baths and foot massages. Instead, think about nourishment, giving yourself time to relax, and continuing with gentle exercise when possible. Here are a few ideas for having a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Enjoy low-impact activities
Gentle exercise such as a stroll in the park, swimming, and yoga are good ways to boost your emotional and physical health. You won’t place too much strain on your muscles and joints, but you’ll get your heart pumping and feel energized. An active day can help you sleep better at night, and it will also build stamina, leaving you ready for the rigors of labor. At any stage of life, exercise is a great mood-booster. It causes the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins, taking our mind away from day-to-day worries. This can minimize feelings of stress that can build up during pregnancy and make it easier for you to relax.
Caring for your skin
Red marks on your tummy and thighs are usually stretch marks. They will fade over time, but you can use hydrating creams and lotions to avoid dryness and itching. Finding that you have developed areas of dark skin while pregnant can be just as concerning, but it’s a common condition. Often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’, melasma is one of the key causes of dark spots. Many women never experience noticeable changes to the skin on their face or body while pregnant, but others will have quite prominent marks. Experts believe that the problem can be put down to hormones. In the first three months of being pregnant, our hormones can go into overdrive and are often blamed for a whole raft of unpleasant side effects, including mood swings and morning sickness.
Try a topical cream to calm the problem
You may be concerned because many products aren’t recommended during pregnancy and feel unsure of what the long-term effects of specialist creams could be. However, rest assured that there are safe ways of treating a breakout and minimizing the appearance of any dark patches that appear. Relief Seeker has been providing online advice on health care products and treatments since 2019. It has collected a list of dark spot remover creams for you to consider, as well as information on melasma and other skin conditions.
Don’t push yourself too hard
When you’re used to keeping busy and active, it can be difficult to let other people take over for a while. During pregnancy, be sure to accept any help that’s offered by friends and family so that you can put your feet up for a while. This not only gives you the chance to rest but also helps you avoid problems such as swollen ankles and varicose veins that can occur in the legs or feet. When you are going out alone to visit the store or catch up with friends, factor in a rest stop so that you can get some refreshments and recharge your batteries. To avoid getting a back injury, ask an assistant for help if you have to buy something heavy or awkward.
Follow a healthy diet, but enjoy occasional treats
Cravings are part of life for many pregnant women and, assuming that you’re enjoying them as part of a generally healthy diet, it’s fine to give in. Nourishing a baby is hard work for your body, partly because the nutrients required are drawn straight from what the mother eats. This means that you’ll need to up your intake of protein, calcium, and iron-rich foods to give the growing baby the best possible start. Dairy products, leafy vegetables, lean meats, and legumes such as peanuts and chickpeas are all great choices.
Get answers to your questions
Women become pregnant and give birth every day, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have questions about the changes you’re experiencing. If you’re unsure about why you need to have a certain test or have worries about becoming a mother, always consult your midwife or another health professional. Their explanations can provide reassurance and empower you to feel more confident in your pregnancy. With all the information you need from the experts, you can settle more confidently into planning for the birth, bringing the baby home, and your future together.