“It will be your second birth”, my mother used to tell me while I was nearing my due date to deliver my baby. It confused me. But like all things in my life, Maa was right. Bringing a life to life is by far the most life changing event in a person’s life. It brings its share of challenges - physical, mental and emotional which need tender care to be dealt with. Whether it is weight gain, morning sickness, or unwanted skin concerns, your routine takes a whole new turn.
This is where pregnancy self-care comes into the picture. Let me share with you a few practical and holistic suggestions to self-care methods to manoeuver through pregnancy and early motherhood. It can help you stay joyful, relaxed, and healthy during pregnancy.
Ensure the Right Nutrition
While you are pregnant, you keep hearing this phrase multiple times – you are eating for two. It means you and your baby both need the primary nutrients, which support the baby’s development and keep you nourished. At the same time, keeping a check on your weight is crucial. Also, your choices, sizes, and frequency of meals keep changing, specifically if you are experiencing morning sickness. In such a scenario, you can:
- Opt for smaller meals during the day instead of three large meals. It ensures the intake of crucial nutrients and does not make you feel stuffed.
- Follow a diet chart that includes nutritional powerhouses like avocado, salmon, berries, spinach, almonds.
- Set a goal each day to eat specific fruits and vegetables. It prevents your food regimen from getting monotonous.
- Talk to your gynaecologist about the foods that you must avoid.
You may not find exercising pleasing as your body starts feeling heavier. However, do not overlook the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy. It not only helps in weight management but serves as a sleep enhancer.
There is a wide range of feasible exercises, such as:
- Prenatal yoga
- Water aerobics
- Indoor stationary biking
Discuss with your gynaecologist the safest forms of exercise. Do not stress yourself or indulge in high-intensity workouts. Thus, exercise can be a part of your regime unless your doctor advises you to discontinue it.
Take Sufficient Rest
The key is to listen to your body and oblige. While exercise is vital, you must not tire yourself out during pregnancy. It is crucial to set boundaries during pregnancy because your body needs an ample amount of rest to prevent any complications. You may find it challenging to get continuous sleep at night. Try to compensate for it by taking quick naps during the daytime. It helps to recharge your batteries. You may also try meditation.
Pamper your Skin
During pregnancy, your body undergoes many hormonal changes. It can result in increased oil secretion or sensitivity or excessive dryness. Assess your skincare regimen and include products free from parabens, phthalates, and other chemicals. You can also try products from Ayurvedic wisdom.
Some skin-related woes can be:
- Hormonal acne: Do not use your usual anti-acne treatment creams, which may contain clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide. These are an excellent cure for acne otherwise but, during pregnancy, you must use milder topical creams. Vilasa’s Purifying Face Cleanser is SLS, Paraben, Sulphate free and is an excellent companion for the 1st step of your skincare regime
- Stretch marks: It is a common skin problem during pregnancy. The earlier you start using a good lotion or moisturizer, the better. May we suggest Vilasa’s Apricot Oil or Vilasa’s Kashmir Body Butter?
- Pigmentation: Make sunscreen your best friend because your skin becomes sensitive to sun exposure. Be careful with your selection, opt for sunscreens with no nasty chemicals. Natural coconut oil also works as a UV protector
- Hair loss: Regular head massage with warm oil can be a preventive measure to control hair fall during this period. Vilasa’s Walnut Oil helps regenerate damaged cells & can aid hair growth. However, the Vilasa Virgin Coconut Oil is an all time favourite for that much needed champi!
Itchy skin: Your skin can feel extremely itchy and can cause redness, hence:
- Avoid wearing tight clothes that may irritate your skin.
- Apply ice on the affected area.
- Use lukewarm water for baths. An oatmeal bath once or twice a week may help soothe your itchiness. Use shower gels that are SLS, Paraben & Sulfate free. You can choose to also try Vilasa’s Gush Body Wash.
Feeling stressed is a natural phenomenon while you are on this uncharted journey. Panic, irritation, anxiety, frustration may occur because of psychological turbulence. You must find a few stress busters to keep you relaxed and happy.
You may embrace these steps:
- Pamper yourself with a head massage or a gentle body massage at Tattva Spa
- Sip on peppermint tea
- Keep yourself engaged in preparations for the arrival of the baby.
- Watch your favourite movies.
- Create a journal to record your emotions
- Indulge in some aromatherapy with a nice fragrant candle. We suggest Vilasa’s Balance - 100% Soy Wax Candle
- Discuss your concerns with a friend, family member, or a therapist
Ease the Back Pain
At any stage of your pregnancy, you may experience back pain resulting from increased body weight, changes in your posture, or hormonal changes. Instead of taking medication, embrace the traditional way of Ayurveda. There are several therapeutic oils for back pain, which are safe and can effectively soothe the pain.
The Bottom Line
While it can be a roller-coaster ride after the baby arrives, the pre-delivery phase can be highly demanding physically and emotionally. Incorporating these practices into your regime can ensure your comfort to a great extent.
Pamper and rejuvenate yourself with these self-care tips so that you are all set to welcome your baby. Think about pregnancy as a pause before you enter this landmark phase of your life.