The Mindful Mum-to-Be: Practising Self-Care and Reducing Stress During Pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant can be an exciting time, however, for many women it can also be a stressful time. Along with the many doctor and hospital appointments, o remember your body is also undergoing many changes which can be stressful, especially for a first-time mother.

This is why it is essential when you are pregnant to prioritise taking care of yourself. By making time for yourself you will have the best chance of a healthy and happy pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips for relaxing and reducing stress while you are pregnant.

Prioritise rest and relaxation

It is important while you are pregnant to prioritise rest as much as possible. Each stage of pregnancy has its challenges and it can be both physically and emotionally draining so it is important to take care of yourself.

Choose an activity you enjoy, this could be reading a book, taking a bath, or gardening. Try spending time on your hobbies such as painting or baking or just simply curl up and watch a few episodes of your favourite show. This downtime will be beneficial for your body and mind. If you prefer company, arrange to have coffee with a friend or set aside time to spend with your partner while you still have some alone time.

Reducing stress during pregnancy: Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness practices are great at helping you to de-stress and involve learning techniques to stay present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. There are many free mindfulness exercises available online on YouTube or through subscription meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm.

Taking time each day to commit to mindfulness such as focusing on your breathing or taking a mindful walk outside in nature can help you to de-stress. Mindfulness can also help you make a mind-body connection and connect with your growing baby and create a deeper bond.

Self Care During Pregnancy: Stay active

Staying active during pregnancy through gentle exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. If you can exercise during your pregnancy it can help boost your mood, increase energy levels, and improve sleep quality.

Check with your doctor or healthcare provider before engaging in any new exercise routines and choose low-impact activities. Prenatal yoga or swimming are all great ways to stay active without pushing your body too hard during pregnancy.

If you find exercise difficult there are many low-impact video tutorials you can follow at home online or you can simply take a long walk around your hometown.

Self Care During Pregnancy: Take time to connect with others

Taking time to connect with friends or family can be beneficial for you during pregnancy. Talking to people about your worries can greatly help to reduce stress and it can help to hear from others who have already had children.

You can also look for local mums-to-be groups or join a prenatal support group to meet other parents who are expecting their babies around the same time as you. Connecting with other mums will be a great way to get out and about once your baby arrives and you will be able to bond over shared experiences.

Practice self-compassion

When you are pregnant it can be easy to overthink and worry about yourself as a future parent or be critical of your changing body shape. Take time to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Be patient and recognise that your body is doing an incredible job and is busy creating a safe home for your baby while they grow.

Although your body is changing and growing with your baby, it is only temporary and there are many ways you can return to your pre-baby body shape once your baby is born, if you wish to do so.

Eat healthily during pregnacy

Ensure that you are feeding yourself all the nutrients your body needs and eat a healthy diet. Check with your doctor or midwife team what vitamins you should be taking and choose healthy whole food options.

Of course, you are entitled to treat yourself to your favourite foods too, however, make sure your diet is balanced and you are fueling your body with the food it needs to keep your body healthy.

By eating healthily you will feel more energetic and eating well can also help your mind to feel more at ease.

Create a positive environment

Creating a positive environment at home and work can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Surround yourself with items that bring you joy and lift your mood such as bright flowers, uplifting music, or soothing aromatherapy.

Choose some positive affirmations that bring you joy and take the time before your baby arrives to clear any clutter in your house.

Clearing space at home will help your mind feel clearer and you may feel calmer and more relaxed knowing you are taking steps to prepare for your baby’s arrival.

Self Care During Pregnancy: Final thoughts

Taking care of your mental and emotional health during pregnancy is equally as important as your physical health.

By incorporating the above self-care practices into your daily routine, you can reduce your stress, begin to feel calmer, and improve your overall well-being. Engaging in physical activity and incorporating mindfulness practices can significantly aid in decreasing stress levels. Additionally, it is crucial to prioritise healthy eating habits and foster a positive atmosphere within your home.
Try to approach your pregnancy journey with a mindful and compassionate mindset. By doing so, you can create a positive environment for yourself and your baby, and enjoy this special time in your life to the fullest.

Setting aside time for yourself is important during pregnancy, as very soon you will have another little person to care for. It is important to remember to prioritise your needs, specifically seeking support and help if needed.

If you find that your stress levels are becoming unmanageable speak to your doctor or midwife who will be able to help you or refer you for additional help if needed.