What do we want? Self-care! When do we want it? Now!
Self-care is something all pregnant women need. Not taking care of yourself is not only bad for you, but also your baby. Stress is not a good thing normally. Add on a baby and it intensifies. After all, a stressed mama equals a stressed baby. There are all sorts of things going on while you are carrying your little one, and while not all of them are in your control, many things are.
We here at Adoption Choices of Nevada put together a handy guide to self-care during your unplanned pregnancy and all the different options you have.
Rest is at the top of this list because your amazing body is working to grow another human being! How cool is that? This means your body is doing more work than normal, so remember that rest is important. If it is possible, catch a few naps during the day or just close your eyes. Put your feet up for 20 minutes. Don’t feel bad about taking these naps either. We know not everyone can take naps, which is understandable; but, it’s helpful to slip these in if you aren’t able to get the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night.
As a bonus tip with rest: sleep on your left side. It has been shown to help reduce nausea.
If you have seen the movie Madagascar then you would know the iconic line, “We like to move it! Move it!” Moving is a good thing when you are pregnant. Gets your blood flow circulating while the exercise keeps you fit! Exercise will differ from your non-pregnant workout routine, though — especially after your first trimester.
Some things to take up are: water aerobics, prenatal yoga (tons of moms-to-be swear by this being the best), swimming, walking and some light cardio. Nothing too intense! But talk to your healthcare provider before starting any workout routine just to be safe.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Yes, there are plenty of books, Instagram moms and mommy blogs available that speak about the “perfect” pregnancy. Here is the truth, though. There is no such thing as the perfect pregnancy. Nor is there some magic wand you can wave to make it such. Don’t stress out about the Instagram moms with their $1,000 crib and nursery that looks like it was pulled out from Pinterest. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. Each one with her own personal experience. Now it’s your turn. You will have your own birth story. It may not be all rainbows and butterflies, but it will be your perfect story. Just remember to de-stress and disconnect from social media and the baby books. Take some time for yourself and relax as best as you can.
4. Pamper Time
You are expecting a baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some pamper time. It doesn’t have to be something big like going to the spa. It can be as simple as enjoying your favorite facemask or lying in the tub with your favorite bath bomb. If you can convince someone, go get a pedicure together! This could even mean, if you are able, outsourcing some of that cleaning you need to do. There is nothing that says pampering can’t mean sitting on the couch watching your favorite movie or reading your favorite book while the robotic vacuum does the hard work.
3. Snuggle Up
Put on those comfy clothes and snuggle up with someone you love or your four-legged best friend. Hugging someone you love increases your oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones in your body. In short, it makes your body and mind happy when you do this. While it isn’t scientifically proven, having a hug quota is pretty important for your overall health. No one said the hug had to come from a human, though, which is where your pets come in. What is proven is that animals decrease stress levels in humans due to the animal-human bond. Hugging your four-legged friend is about equal to hugging your spouse or another human. So get those hug quotas in, ladies! It boosts mood and who doesn’t love hugs?
2. Remember Your Mental Health
Your mental health is something you do have to remember. With hormones shifting, there are bound to be some changes. However, anxiety and depression are not just things you get over. If you feel like you are not in a good headspace or are having extreme anxiety, you should talk to either your spouse about finding a mental health care provider or go to your mental healthcare provider. They are professionals who will help you with your journey to stay healthy. Anxiety and depression are common during pregnancy, which means that if you are feeling it, you are not alone. It is okay to feel this way, but make sure you have someone to talk to about it. There is no guilt, shame in asking for professional help. Don’t let anyone try and tell you otherwise, or that it’s a sign or weakness. It’s not..
1. Outside Help
Some women find that getting a midwife or a doula helps them. Not everyone woman is going to want one, but it is always an option to look into. These women are trained in pregnancy and will help you stay healthy and help you create a birth plan. There is no pressure to go this route, if it doesn’t feel right to you. These women offer an additional option to research as you are seeking ways to make your pregnancy less stressful.
Another thing to consider is allowing your friends and family to pitch in when needed. Because you are already doing so much, knowing you have a strong support system can decrease your stress levels as well. It’s a great comfort knowing your loved ones are willing and able to take care of you and the baby. You don’t have to do it all alone.
Self-Care during Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Self-care doesn’t always mean it has to be expensive spa days or going out to the best restaurants. It is all about what you can do for yourself that makes you feel good. Be that a hug, relaxing to your favorite show, or sitting on a beach with your best friends watching the waves roll in. Just so long as it provides you with self-care and ensures that you and baby stay healthy and safe throughout the pregnancy. Growing another human is tough, but you are going to rock it! Just remember, you matter too, so don’t forget yourself during your pregnancy!
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
McCulloch, Sam. “Pregnancy Self-Care: 8 Ways to Look after Yourself While Pregnant.” The House of Wellness, 16 Apr. 2018, www.houseofwellness.com.au/health/tips/8-ways-to-look-after-yourself-during-pregnancy.
Petitjean-Barkulis, Charlene. “How to Focus on Self-Care during Pregnancy.” Motherly, Motherly, 9 Feb. 2019, www.mother.ly/lifestyle/focus-self-care-pregnancy.
“Self-Care During Pregnancy.” Baby Co., 29 Nov. 2016, www.babyandcompany.com/self-care-during-pregnancy/.