Take it slow, mama.
There’s time. So much time.
You don’t have to be everything to everyone right now.
You don’t have to do all of those things in the magazine.
Take care of yourself.
That’s how you take care of your baby, and everyone else.
There is so much information out there these days. You can find an answer to just about anything with a few clicks of the keyboard. This is great! And terrible. Too many things we should be doing. Too many ways to interpret information. Too many opportunities to do what seemed to be fantastic for someone else, but didn’t work for us. This is why it’s important to receive individualised support when you can. In the absence of seeing a great healthcare practitioner, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you are not feeling overwhelmed by all the ‘shoulds’ and endless to-do list. Remember, your mental health and sense of wellbeing is vastly important and will contribute to the wellbeing of your child.
Take it slow, mama.
5 tips to slow it down during pregnancy while maintaining your best health
- Walk away from the computer (aka put that phone down).
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use the resources available out there to look up information, but there is a limit. When you start to become stressed, overwhelmed, feel bad about yourself, or that everyone else is doing things better than you, than it is no longer helpful. Turn off Google and all the social media. Instead, read an empowering book, talk to a friend, or see your health professional who can shut down all the nonsense that is out there. There is no need for you to be doing all the research by yourself.
- Rest and recharge.
This is an important part of my prescriptive advice to my pregnant patients. Find time in your day to make sure that you are having at least a few minutes to come back to yourself. Meditation and breath work are phenomenally effective for this. There are so many apps and programs out there now that will guide you along. I even joined a 5 minute meditation someone was doing on Periscope the other day, which was great! And I needed it to slow down for just those few minutes. This allowed me to relax, and then get back to work with additional vigour afterwards. Simple deep, long, slow breathing will do the same thing. Acupuncture, massage therapy, and pregnancy yoga are also wonderfully relaxing. I would also recommend Pranayama breathing (Google it!).
- Get some professional support.
This may come in the form of a healthcare practitioner that specialises in pregnancy and birth (like me!). Sometimes all you need is to check in with someone who knows and understands. This can do wonders for your confidence and allow you to relax. Even for myself as a practitioner, it is far too stressful for me to manage my own case all the time! I make sure I see a few different health professionals at relevant times to help manage my ‘case’ so that I don’t have the carry the full burden. Being guided gently on the right path and to receive affirmation that you are doing some great things is wonderfully relieving and relaxing, and lessens that load of responsibility on your shoulders.
- Join a supportive group.
Now even though I’ve suggested you take time away from the computer, I would advise that there is a time and place for everything. There are many wonderfully supportive groups online, such as several I’ve seen on Facebook. You can find groups that particularly cater to you – for example, there are groups specifically for mums who live in certain locations, natural parenting, home birthing, those having hospital or caesarean section births…you just need to find them! They can be an invaluable resource and support and connect you to a like-minded community.
- Slowly get prepared and keep it minimal.
Nothing needs to be done ‘yesterday’. You don’t need to have all the ‘stuff’. If you have a partner or supportive family and friends, let them help you prepare your home, your family, and your mind for your impending arrival. Take your time. I know of many women who had almost nothing prepared before birth, and they were all just fine! It’ll work out. You don’t need every gadget and piece of equipment going on the market – no matter what everyone else seems to have. Babies don’t need much! You can keep it very simple and stress-free. If people are buying you gifts, perhaps suggest a few things that might be useful to you after the birth (rather than items you may not need), such as a prepaid cleaner or postpartum doula or midwife, healthy meal delivery or produce delivery box, some beautiful books (like their own favourite from childhood) or a few wooden toys, a newborn or family photography voucher, or organic clothing.
Just take it easy.
Slow it down.
It’ll all come together. It’ll all work out.
Take care of yourself and allow yourself to look forward to this wonderful change in your life.
- Manage Your Health While Pregnant Without Feeling Overwhelmed - 21 February, 2016
- 5 Ways to Love Your Body NOW - 24 October, 2015