As far as health goes, I feel like I learned a lot during my first pregnancy, that I’ve been able to put into practice this round. There are so many reasons to really focus on your health while you’re pregnant. Number one, healthy mom equals healthy baby! Number two, you’ll feel better and I truly believe it’ll impact the labor and delivery, and postpartum period for the better. Whether it’s eating, exercise, or rest, I’ve already seen the benefits of some of the changes I’ve made.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE INTO EVERY CRAVING
With my first pregnancy, I ate anything and everything I wanted. I remember purchasing foods I had never bought before, like oreos, poptarts, and salt and vinegar chips. I was craving a lot of foods I ate in my childhood. This time, I’ve craved very similar foods, but I’ve learned when to hit the brakes. I will certainly indulge at time, but I know it doesn’t have to be with every craving ;). It’ll make getting back on track after the baby comes much easier as well, I’m sure.
DO PRENATAL YOGA
Yoga is actually easier in some ways while you’re pregnant because your body makes a hormone called relaxin, which loosens your joints and makes it easier to stretch. Now, as your belly grows the moving around gets much more difficult, but I always feel better after a prenatal yoga class. I feel like it’s helped to keep my body more fit and help me stay in tune with what I’m feeling and what my body needs.
KEEP SNACKS ON HAND
When hunger strikes, a total split personality can emerge from a pregnant woman. It’s amazing, really. My husband tells me all the time I’m much more pleasant after I’ve eaten, ha. If I don’t have healthy food on hand, I will make a really poor decision. Because I know I’ll be tempted to grab anything that is available, I try to make sure those options are healthy ones. I’ll keep RX bars or larabars in my purse, and stock the fridge and pantry with cheese sticks, nuts, trail mix, and fruit.
I’ve heard that the more active you are, the smoother labor and delivery will go. I was actually more active when I was pregnant with Piper, but I’ve been trying hard to be active this pregnancy as well. I’ve had to get a little more creative, with the cold winter months and having another little one, but it’s worth it because I always feel better after. My favorite way to exercise when I’m pregnant is walking, yoga, and squats. If I can at least get squats in sometime during the day, I’m happy.
This is one I often forget to do, but rest is so important. You’re literally growing a human and your body is working ALL THE TIME. I’ve had to learn to have grace with myself, and that I won’t always be able to accomplish everything on my to do list (especially towards the end of pregnancy!).
Pregnancy can be challenging, both mentally and physically. I’ve found that taking time to do things for myself, like get a pedicure, manicure, prenatal massage, or take a bath at the end of the day have drastically affected my mood and how I feel about myself. When I care for myself in these ways, I find I’m more likely to follow through and care for myself in all the other ways I’ve listed as well.
TALK TO SOMEONE REGULARLY
Don’t forget about your mental health! Talking with someone regularly can be a spouse, friend, mom, or even professional, but having someone to talk through the challenges, fears, and excitement you are experiencing is huge. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and it tends to rear it’s ugly head when I’m pregnant. Sometimes I’ll journal, but mostly I’ll be sure to check in with Scofield to talk through what I’m worried about, and what is making me anxious. Sometimes just talking through it makes whatever was worrying me completely disappear.
What has helped you stay healthy during pregnancy!?
photos by jessi nichols photography