After the initial excitement of your pregnancy announcement, it is not uncommon to begin feeling anxious about your pending arrival.
It is important to remind ourselves that pregnancy is natural and it is what nature intended. Although we all have different experiences there are some general rules to live by to help keep you calm and relaxed through this time.
- Love your body
A lot of women get too caught up with their body image. Whilst it is good to look after you and maintain a healthy weight, it is important to understand that moderate weight gain is going to happen during pregnancy, particularly around the belly, hips, thighs and breast areas.
Learn to love your newfound curves and appreciate the process. Appreciate the changes your body is experiencing as it grows and develops your child.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
Try not to fall into the trap of comparing your own experiences with others. Every woman’s journey is different! Focus on your own pregnancy to help avoid feelings of inadequacy, which can lead to feelings of depression and stress.
- Eat well
Eating well throughout your entire pregnancy is one of the keys to a healthy pregnancy.
A healthy well balanced diet will not only give you longer lasting energy to get through your day, but will also help to aid in assisting healthy growth and development in your unborn child.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, Low GI Carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid food high in sugar and artificial flavours and colorings.
- Drink plenty of water
Carry water with you always and drink regularly to help ensure your remain hydrated.
Avoid too many sugary drinks, coffees and cups of tea.
Moisturizing will help to keep your skin subtle and soft. Moisturizing will help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and will help to eliminate itchy irritable skin.
- Get plenty of rest
Pregnancy can take a lot out of you. Take time out in your day to lie down and rest when you can. Taking the weight off your legs and closing your eyes will help to alleviate stress and encourage calm.
Exercise is critical for maintaining a healthy strong body. A strong body will not only feel better but will also cope with the birthing process easier.
Exercise you should consider includes: walking, yoga, palates, modified gym routines and swimming.
For those women who are currently not active, it is always advisable to discuss this first with your health care provider before embarking on any form of exercise.
For those women who are active, some forms of exercise may need to be modified so do let your PT or instructor know that you are pregnant.
- Say ‘no’
Understanding your limitations and learning to say no is important. You are unlikely to have the same energy levels as you did pre pregnancy. Saying no and prioritising is essential to looking after you.
- Be prepared
Discuss birthing options with your health care provider. Write your birth plan and pack your hospital bag early, to help avoid stress and anxiety.
We have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. With knowledge comes power! Having a good understanding of what to expect helps to ease anxiety and prepares us for what is to come.
- Trust your gut
We know our bodies best and can usually tell when something is not right.
Should you feel unwell or uneasy about something, contact your healthcare provider immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Regular healthcare check ups
Attend regular healthcare check ups to help ensure that you are well and that your baby is progressing nicely.
This is also a great time to ask any burning questions you might have.
- Get supported
Wearing a good supportive maternity bra is essential for good breast health.
Maternity bras are designed to help lift and nurture your breasts, whilst providing maximum comfort levels.
It is advisable to go get fitted by a professional bra fitter to ensure you are wearing the correct sized bra.
- Get comfortable
Invest in some key pieces of maternity clothing i.e. Tights, maternity jeans, tank tops, and a wrap dress.
Ensure that the clothing feels comfortable on and that it is not restrictive in any way. Avoid synthetic fabrics, as they can be hot and irritable on the skin.
- Keep cool
Keep rooms well ventilated and cool to help prevent overheating.
Avoid hot baths, saunas and spas as they can make you feel unwell.
- Ask for help
A lot of women are fiercely independent and like to do everything by themselves. Learn to ask for help once in a while and share the load.
- Be kind
During pregnancy our bodies are raging with hormones that can sometimes turn us into a crazy blithering mess.
Be mindful of your mood and be gentle on those around you. Warn them when you are feeling on edge and learn to apologize if you over step the mark.
- ‘Me time’
Take time out in your day for you. Spend time doing the things you love and reconnecting with yourself.
It is very easy to loose sight of your own needs when we are mothers.
- ‘Couple time’
Keep date nights going! It is easy to get caught up in motherhood and to forget about your own & your partner’s needs.
Relationships take work! Take time out to spend time with the one you love and reconnect to help ensure a long loving relationship.
Keep communicating with your family and friends. Discuss any problems and frustrations you might be faced with and resolve them.
Avoid holding in your emotions, this will only make you unhappy.
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://au.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity