You sink into your favorite chair, sighing deeply. You feel like you can’t take another day of feeling swollen and achy. Your due date is still 2 ½ weeks away, but you are so over it. You are ready to have your baby in your arms, and to love on them. In the meantime, what are you doing to love on yourself? Self-care during pregnancy is paramount, especially during the last few weeks.
Why is self-care during pregnancy important?
During pregnancy, you are undergoing the amazing but strenuous process of growing an entire human being. You are so hyper-conscious of being safe and careful about everything you do. Your activities, your food choices, and your personal routines are built around your pregnancy. Then, once you deliver, this tiny new life will enrapture your heart and mind. You will be willing to sacrifice everything for your sweet baby. They are your world. For this reason, prioritizing self-care during pregnancy (and parenthood!) is important. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so making sure your physical and emotional needs are met is key.
What are some ways I can practice self-care at home?
I get it- you are very, very pregnant, and the thought of leaving your home for self-care makes you cringe a bit. Don’t worry- I’ve got 5 ways for you to practice self-care from the comfort of your own home.
1. Take a Nap.
I’m so serious! One of my favorite ways to spoil myself when I was pregnant was a nice, long, uninterrupted nap. Goodness knows that sleeping can be nearly impossible at night, so allowing yourself the time and mental space to rest during the day can be just what your batteries need to recharge.
2. Bring in a Masseuse.
This option may or may not be in your comfort zone. Many massage therapists travel and provide in-home appointments. A professional prenatal massage without having to leave my home??? Yes please, sign me up!
3. Bring in your favorite type of delivery, put on your pajamas, and watch a favorite movie or TV show.
This is one of my favorite methods of self-care, pregnant or not. I get to eat some of my favorite foods without having to cook, I get to watch my favorite entertainment, and I get to be comfortable while I do it. It’s winning all around!
4. Take a relaxing bath with no interruptions.
This option will work best if you have a tub you are comfortable getting in and out of. Get your favorite Epsom salts or a bath bomb, a glass of water and a snack, and relax. For added relaxation, dim the lights, play your favorite music, and maybe light some candles.
5. Have a ‘pamper’ session.
You can paint your nails (or have your partner do it), use a favorite face mask, deep condition your hair… give yourself a full DIY spa treatment at home. You deserve it!
I’m feeling brave, and am ok venturing out for some self-care.
Rock on, superstar! I’ve got some out-of-the-house ways for you to love yourself during late pregnancy too.
1. Go to a place that calms your mind and heart.
This might be the beach, or a mountain lake, or maybe it’s your Tuesday yoga class. Go to a place where your mind and heart can be still, and you can just open yourself up and breathe deeply.
2. Hit the spa for a little professional pampering.
A professional Mani-Pedi or massage appointment? A facial? Maybe a little bit of everything? Whatever makes you feel fabulous, go for it!
3. A nice dinner out with your partner or close friends.
Sometimes, it’s nice to reconnect with those who love us. It’s normal to thrive on fellowship. A meal is often a great way to meet that need.
4. Attend a live performance.
Jazz music in the park, a theatre production, a concert… if there is an event near you that you’ve been interested in seeing, do it! There’s nothing quite like allowing yourself to enjoy an evening out, soaking up the arts.
But wait, there’s more!
There are a few simple, everyday things that are self-care related as well. If you make these things a part of your daily routine, you’ll be achieving self-care during pregnancy without even realizing it!
1. Stay hydrated.
Hydration is important during pregnancy, especially in the year-round South Florida heat. Feeling dehydrated is never fun, but when you are 9 months pregnant, it takes on a whole new level of unpleasant.
2. Prioritize sleep.
I know, sleeping while pregnant can be nearly impossible, and very uncomfortable. But setting a reasonable bedtime for yourself and focusing on rest and rejuvenation can do wonders.
3. Try to steer clear of junk food.
Yeah, junk food can taste amazing, especially with those pregnancy cravings. But I pinkie promise you that eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, various vitamins, and fiber will help you feel much more on top of your game.
4. Try to be active for at least an hour a day.
This doesn’t mean you’ve gotta be baby bumpin’ it up at the gym. It may look like 3 20-minute walks throughout the day. Maybe you do half an hour of yoga in the mornings, then go swimming in the afternoon. Do something to get yourself moving and your heart rate slightly elevated… though sometimes, by the end of pregnancy, walking up stairs can have that effect!
5. Don’t isolate yourself.
Reach out to family, friends, or co-workers. Human contact and communication is important for good mental health. Even if it just means a text to a friend to connect, or a quick phone call with a family member, staying connected to your circle of people can keep you grounded.
6. If you have a concern, ask your doctor.
Attending your prenatal checkups can be a pain, especially at the end of pregnancy. But going to the doctor and making sure all is well is an important part of late pregnancy. Your doctor is there to help guide you, and to make sure you and baby are as healthy as possible. They are there to answer any and all questions you may have.
At Concierge Doulas, we recognize that each pregnancy is vastly different. Therefore, your methods of self-care during pregnancy will be diverse, in order to best meet your personal needs. If you have a method of self-care in mind, but aren’t sure it is pregnancy compatible, consult your healthcare provider. Whether self-care for you looks like lounging poolside or enjoying a music festival, we encourage you to do the things that give your mind and heart a sense of joy and peace. Love yourself, because you deserve it.