As an expectant mom, getting ready for the birth of your child is all about managing the details, from baby clothes to baby showers, baby toys; not to mention the doctor visits, and the congratulatory cards and letters to keep up with. Being pregnant can be every bit as hectic as any other full time job. So it begs the question, what should you, as a mother-to-be, focus on in order to really prepare for the “blessed event?” According to top doctors, expectant mothers should prepare by paying attention to number one – yes, that's you!
“It's so common to see young expectant mothers get totally stressed out over having their babies,” says one top New York obstetrician. “It's as though they take personal responsibility for every aspect of the nine month journey: the correspondence, baby clothes, and baby furniture. Someone needs to remind them that it's enough to just be pregnant and that their primary job is to take care of themselves first and foremost.
Here are some suggestions for “babying” yourself during pregnancy:
Adapt your daily schedule to what your body is telling you. Give yourself breaks whenever you feel the need. Don't stubbornly stick to a work or social schedule or try to “tough it out” when you feel tired. Remember, that you're not in this alone – your bundle of joy is counting on you to provide nourishment and comfort in a stress-free environment. When you get tired, take a nap or spend some stress-free quality time with yourself by reading a book, journaling about your pregnancy, or socializing with close friends. The only clock you should pay attention to is your own body clock – allow it to guide you through the day.
Don't forget to pamper yourself. Bubble baths, foot massages, and makeovers can all go a long way towards easing the aches and pains that often come as a byproduct of “living for two.” Consider setting aside time every day for something “special.” There's nothing wrong with feeling good every single day of your pregnancy.
Another important thing to remember is to keep exercising. Yoga, Tai Chi, or any gentle, movement-based activity will not only reduce stress, which is always a good thing, but will also help expectant
mothers stay fit throughout their pregnancy and afterward. Shedding the additional weight that often comes with having a child will occur more naturally if you can keep to an exercise regime. It is not necessary, or even desirable, to go overboard with exercise, but research now suggests that even small periods of exercise daily, as little as five minutes, can help keep expectant mothers healthy and fit.