Caring for two: self care in pregnancy

All things considered, pregnancy is a pretty crazy time in a woman’s life. It’s not only demanding on your body, but also your emotional wellbeing. For most women, there will be people around to support and care for you throughout your pregnancy – your partner, family, friends and your medical carers. But there’s a certain level of care that only you can provide to yourself, through generosity, kindness and self-love. Here are a few strategies to help you be your own best friend, and to help you care for both your mind and body through pregnancy.

Arm yourself with information

Equipping yourself with reliable information from the right sources can be a great way for you to feel empowered and in control. But it’s important that you be selective about which information sources you choose, to avoid getting stuck in a Google spiral downwards. Ask your midwife about good sources of information such as websites or books, and ask whether they can recommend any antenatal education classes. Another good way to feel informed is to not be afraid to ask questions of your midwife or obstetrician – make sure you understand what is happening at each appointment, and what you can expect of the future.

Be selective about the ‘advice’ you choose to hear

It’s simple enough to sort the reliable and unreliable sources of written information out there, but things get trickier when it comes to the advice and stories offered by friends and family. Be firm with people when you say that you don’t want to hear their friend-of-a-friend or internet pregnancy ‘horror’ stories – even in good jest, nobody needs that. When it comes to positive stories or pieces of advice, thank them for sharing but take it all with a grain of salt. That’s not to say that their advice won’t be useful to you, but evaluate it for yourself. Pregnancy is a very personal experience, as unique as each mother, and different things will work for different women.

Be realistic

If you’re expecting pregnancy to only be sunshine and roses, you’re not going to react very well at the first sign of struggle. Pregnancy is a time of tremendous change and sometimes uncertainty; expect that there will be some times where you feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable. It’s during these times that self-care becomes particularly important, as will knowing when to reach out to your support network. It will also be hugely helpful for your emotional wellbeing if you try to be realistic with yourself when it comes to your diet and exercise regime. Yes, it is important to exercise regularly and eat well during pregnancy, but it’s also important for your sanity to remember that you can indulge once in a while in that sugar-laden pregnancy-craving food. All things in moderation!

Move your body, rest your mind

Exercise can be as useful for your mental wellbeing as it is your physical health. Whilst regular moderate exercise is great for your body during pregnancy, it can also be a great time for you to tune into your body and give your buzzing mind a rest. Exercises such as yoga, walking, swimming and gentle aerobics are great for pregnancy. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you sleep better, improve your mood, and prepare your body for childbirth. What more could you ask for?

For more advice on self care in pregnancy, Hatc’s midwives are always happy to recommend their favourite tips. If you are yet to meet with one of our midwives, you can book a free, no-obligation initial consultation today to see if Hatch may be right for you. Simply call us on 3332 1950, or request an appointment online.