One thing of the things I did a lot during my first pregnancy, and try to do as much as I can during this pregnancy, is nap, rest, sleep whenever there was and is a spare moment. Another sound piece of advice I got was to “nap when baby naps, if you can.” I did. I see a lot of moms out there who are over whelmed and over tired. Listen, we have all been there, but what I am getting at here is how crucial it is that we take care of ourselves, love and nurture, refuel or else we run on empty all the time and that serves no one at all. During your pregnancy take the time to nurture your self so that you carry that self-care over into parenthood.
1. Light some candles, turn on some relaxing tunes and slip into a warm bath. Relax, take a moment and be grateful for this time and breathe. Okay, so later your baths may lack the candles and soft music but still take some time to be alone in your bathroom in the tub and yes, breathe.
2. Dare I say this again? Sleep, rest, catch some zzz’s, a little shut-eye. Do this now during pregnancy when the hormones exhaust you, get in the habit and carry it over into post-partum for as long as you can. My four-year-old just stopped napping but when I can slip away for even five minutes and close my eyes I do.
3. Get a prenatal massage at least once during your pregnancy. Find a way. And then later, get the kids to rub your feet. There is nothing like the sweet tiny hands of your young child lovingly stroking the back of your neck. Even give yourself a foot massage with some nice smelling lotion. Sometimes, late at night when everyone’s asleep, I wash my feet and rub sweet coconut cream into the souls of my feet. A perfect example of self-care.
4. Get some fresh air and walk around the block. Do this every evening after dinner to help prevent acid reflux. Let the day unwind beneath your swelling feet. Reflect and let it all go. Later, throw the baby into a carrier and take longer walks or hand them off to dad or whoever is around and take five-ten minutes outside of the house for you…just you.
5. Meditate. Okay, this may be a long shot for many. Meditating need not be complicated. Just close your eyes, slow down your breathing, and focus on it for just a few minutes. The good news: you can do it just about anywhere.
These are just some ideas. Create your own mini ritual; find a few ways to nurture yourself, ways to recharge during your pregnancy and after. No one can take that away from you.