I believe that taking care of your baby begins with taking care of yourself.
I love the “oxygen mask” example where you can only be helpful to others, once you’ve put on your oxygen mask and you’re breathing first.
I know that as women, and as mothers, we so often get consumed with the needs of all those around us before we even check to see that we’re breathing first. Maybe you, yourself, are feeling over-worked, over-stressed or stuck in bad habits that you can’t seem to break?
Take heart, it’s never too late to get into a routine of healthy self-care.
No matter where you’re at, I encourage you to start getting into a routine of self-care during your pregnancy so that those routines will ground you throughout motherhood, especially when things get crazy and unpredictable.
What does self-care look like to me?
For me, it’s looking after my body with nourishing foods. It’s taken me years to learn it, but I know I know I feel my best when I’m eating well and looking after my body in that way. I like to indulge in a treat every now and then, but choosing healthier options most of the time, makes me feel better and happier too.
To achieve this, I know it means taking the time to buy real, fresh food and preparing healthy meals that will nourish my body. I try to meal prep as best as I can, so I have simple meals ready to go when I’m tired or busy. I know I can’t have junk food in the house because it’s too tempting for me, especially when I’m tired or bored.
When I used to work in an office, I learnt that I couldn’t keep chocolate or chips in my office drawer. It would be too tempting to me, and I’d always choose junk over a healthier option because it was just there!
Nowadays, when I do feel like something indulgent, I have to make a healthier version of it myself. Or I have healthier options like my trail mix ready to eat when I feel like a sweet treat.
Self-care also means being intentional on what I feed my mind with. For me, it means unfollowing the social media accounts that don’t make me feel good about myself or the life that I live. Maybe you can relate?
When I was pregnant, this was extremely important. I went through a time when I was convinced that my husband would no longer find me attractive because I was pregnant. Even though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, I had to be intentional about what I fed my mind, not just my body, during my pregnancy.
I focused on filling my mind with positive affirmations about pregnancy, the power of motherhood and the beauty of bringing life into this world. I found that, just like our bodies, our minds respond to what we feed them...
What does self-care look like to you?
It honestly could look like anything that’s going to look after your mind or your body.
Maybe it’s time spent doing something what you love to do but you don’t get to do often, like a relaxing bath, a foot massage or a night to "unplug" and just Netflix and chill?
Perhaps, it’s breaking not-so-healthy eating habits, like replacing soda with unsweetened seltzer water or switching out white bread for whole-wheat?
What’s one thing that you can start doing during your pregnancy to look after you?
I encourage you to start getting into a routine of healthy self-care. It may seem unnatural at first but if you start by doing one kind thing for yourself today, and then another tomorrow and another the next day… before you know it, it will be second nature and both you and everyone around you will be breathing just fine ;)