From the start, most of us (including myself) tend to focus on baby, purchasing items for the baby, etc.
While this is extremely important and FUN, it is so critical that we, as moms, focus on ourselves. It is a perfect time to slow down a bit and harness the significance of self care and self love because we have a lot that we are giving physically and emotionally. During pregnancy, our body will be providing a lot of essential nutrients to baby, therefore, if we do not have enough in reserves or consume enough daily, we can quickly deplete ourselves. When we can’t keep up from a nutrient perspective, that can directly impact our own personal health (which at times may show up during pregnancy or could show up after baby is born) along with our emotional well being. We require even more healthy proteins, healthy fats and antioxidants for our hormones, brain, and overall body to work efficiently and effectively during pregnancy. SO…just as Flight Attendants tell us, ” put on your oxygen mask first before helping others;” we also need to do this every single day as mothers. Trust me, I understand how hard this can be…but self care even if just for 20-30 minutes a day can really help you maintain your feeling of self and allow you to be healthier.
Pregnancy can be joyful, stressful, exciting and overwhelming all at the same time! So many emotions come forth in preparation for birth and becoming a parent (or at least I experienced those feelings in my pregnancies). Building in a practice of calmness, connection to self and a stronger sense of balance is extremely important to our physical and emotional well-being.
I have included a few simple steps that you can take to start to creating and/or building a foundation of self care..because when we take care of ourselves and feel well; we can better manage our responsibilities and care for our family.
Simple Self Care Ideas to Get Started:
- Daily Meditation – I love this article on all the benefits mom and baby can experience during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Check it out!
- Deep Breathing Exercises – If you are hesitant or a bit uncomfortable with meditation initially, deep breathing, can be a great introduction or alternative. There are so many positive benefits; including lowering blood pressure, feeling more of sense of calm, reducing/alleviating pain, promoting increased blood flow and more. A simple deep breathing exercise is to breathe in for a slow count of 4, hold breath for a count of 4, exhale for a slow count of 4, hold breath and repeat the sequence 4-6 times.
- Ensure Household Responsibilities feel Balanced – While there are always times where we all manage different amounts of household responsibilities, communicating on where things are now and anticipating how things may shift after baby is born is an important part of self care. Find solutions and a new routine if necessary.
- Incorporating Whole Food Smoothies into daily diet – I have found that smoothies can be a simple and effective way to get in a wide variety of foods into a delicious drink that supports our body and baby. I really enjoy this Recipe:
- Chocolate Banana Bliss 2 T raw cacao, 2 T peanut butter or almond butter, 1 frozen banana, honey (to taste preference), handful of spinach, ice and a non-dairy milk such as Almond Milk (to thickness preference)
Melanie Schmidt is a Certified Health Coach (from IIN and AAP) and mom of 3 small children that is passionate about supporting and empowering women in achieving a healthy lifestyle that fosters joy, presence, energy and optimal physical and emotional health. Melanie believes that incorporating more whole foods, physical activity, practicing simple mindfulness techniques and doing what gives us joy can be foundational to our health and wellbeing. As a mom of 3 small children, Melanie understands the demands of family life, career, making regular healthy meals, weaving in self care, along with the daily challenge to create life balance. These reasons and challenges are why Melanie is passionate about supporting and partnering with women at any life stage to support them in meeting personal and family wellness lifestyle goals.
Food 4 Thought does not intend to dispense medical advice and should not be considered medical advice or counsel. If you have a question about your health or the health of your child please consult your physician. The stories and information here are anecdotal and of personal opinion only and should not be used as a substitute for medical help.