*Definition of self care: "The practice of taking an active role in protecting ones own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress."
Pregnancy can be a beautiful time in a women's life but along with that beauty may be fatigue, nausea, aches and pains and an overflow of various emotions, and STRESS. This is NORMAL. As new expectant moms we are advised to practice a measure of self care and take an active role in our well being which usually includes going to their prenatal appointments, taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding foods, and adding in some nutritious foods. This is all great and very important information to follow for her health but protecting moms happiness may not be practiced or mentioned enough.
When baby is born moms are busy! Feedings, diaper changes, pediatrician visits, lactation support visits etc. Yes, this time is exciting but it is exhausting! Once mom is in her postpartum period it can be more of a challenge to take out the time to include activities to keep her emotionally refreshed. If a mom starts practicing self care and sees the VALUE in it during pregnancy she is more likely to continue this vital skill throughout her postpartum period and beyond.
So what are some self care tips during pregnancy?
1. Start small. If a mom has never practiced self care before it can actually be a challenge to take time out of their busy day to dedicate time for herself.
2. Make two lists
List #1- Moms can Jot down daily things that can help bring happiness to their day. Example: taking a bath, reading a book in a quiet place, baking, going on a walk, sewing, painting, writing, going for a drive. Decide on a time for these activities. She may decide 20 minutes of reading a book may be what works for her.
List #2- She can Jot down things that can bring her happiness on a regular basis but she couldn't do daily. Example: getting a massage or pedicure, taking prenatal classes, visiting a friend or family member.
3. She can start by doing at least 2 activities a day from list #1 and at least 1-2 activities from list #2- 1-2 times a month.
4. After practicing self care a mom can Meditate on how she feels after completing each activity and also at the end of the day. Journaling may help with this! She may be surprised to notice a sense of calmness and peace.
5. Once she has accomplished a few days or so she can add in more daily/monthly activities if possible!
Many people voice concerns that self care feels selfish and takes up too much time but it is quite the opposite. Self care allows ones mind to be refreshed and can help increase focus and energy which allows them to potentially get more done throughout the day! Self care also alleviates stress so a mom can be more present with her family and new baby. Yes, self care may sound easy but can be a challenge in our busy lives. Taking out time for ourselves not only benefits us but everyone around us.
How do you practice self care during your pregnancy?
As our February calendar starts filling up with expectant Parents, a question that is often asked is when is the right time to hire a doula?
It is never too late to hire a doula, but to get the most benefits out of the process we suggest hiring a doula around the 30th week of pregnancy! This allows for us to get to know each other and to utilize the Evidence Based Birth Workshops that are provided in our packages! We also love getting to see our Moms progress throughout their pregnancy before the big day!