Are you pregnant and maybe not always feeling the Joy of being an expectant Mom? You’re certainly not alone, here are 5 simple tips you can incorporate in your daily routine to help keep you from being robbed of the joys of expecting. After all, you should be cherishing every moment of these miraculous 9 months!
By Faith Whittier M.D.
Your Pregnant? Congratulations! Those three words probably go hand in hand for you these days. A constant reminder I’m sure of just how happy you should be feeling. The expectation by many and especially yourself is that this is a time in your life probably like no other that you should be overjoyed and over the moon. I’m sure at times you probably are and that’s great! But if you are completely honest there are probably times you don’t feel that way at all.
Rather, you may be feeling scared, alone, isolated, wide-eyed and frankly overwhelmed. Emotions catching you off guard with crying spells that seem to come out of know where being bothered and hurt by things you normally could care less about. A real emotion for many pregnant women but still unexpected by most. As an Obstetrician, I have helped many expecting Mom’s work through some of these feelings by simply sitting down and having an honest conversation about…Realistic Expectations!
The reality is this is a time that your body is, after all, creating another human being and it’s probably ok not to expect it to do a whole lot more. If you’re like most pregnant women I see on a daily basis, myself included during my pregnancy. Your emotions are all over the place, the slightest thing may have you overreacting and in tears at the drop of a hat. You’re dealing with a body that takes on changes by the week and at times by the day. You wake up in the morning having tossed and turned all night trying to find that one comfortable position, you know that one spot with 3 pillows wedged on your sides and between your legs the only position you can manage to catch a few zzz’s. Only invariably and without fail needing to break the coveted spot for yet another bathroom run. Sleep deprivation is pretty much the norm now and “happy” isn’t always your friend these days. I urge you to stop for a moment remember you are doing some pretty important things every second and every beautiful minute of these nine months. So please, give yourself permission to feel and accept the vast array of emotions that come with creating life. Allowing your self to be and to create an unencumbered free spirit! There is also some great research that supports how important it is to stay as stress-free during these nine months as you possibly can Effects of prenatal stress on pregnancy and human development: mechanisms and pathways
Here are 5 tips that may make easing into the joys of expecting a whole lot easier
1. Share your feelings – Women often feel embarrassed and can feel isolated and alone in what their feeling. Remember your Physician is there for the physical and mental wellbeing of you and your unborn baby and will be able to help you through these stages and also make sure there are not more serious issues that need to be discussed and appropriately addressed, remember they won’t know unless you share so please open up!
2. Singing to your baby – When you stop and think about what your body does to create life it is nothing short of miracoulous. Take time every day to focus on just the two of you. Do simple but profound life-changing things like reading, listening to music and singing with your sweet voice to your baby. Studies show auditory function begins early in gestation around 23 to 24 weeks so yes your baby can hear that beautiful lullaby. And if thats not convincing enough to dust off your vocals there are also studies indicating the benefits of music in reducing stress in pregnant women, Effects of Music therapy on psychological health of women during pregnancy. So feel free to read, sing and listen to lots of music with your unborn to benefit the both of you.
3. Simple Healthy daily food intake – You can’t expect your body to perform miracles without giving it the proper nutrition it needs. So make sure you’re making healthy choices. Here are a few tips on what to eat and how much. You essentially only need an extra 300calories to support your baby’s growth make sure that daily list includes
A. Fruits 2 cups per day
B. Grains 6-7 ounces/day
C. Dairy 3 cup/day
D. Protein 5-6 ozs/day
E Vegtables2-3 cups/day
4. Sleep – getting a good night’s sleep when pregnant is one of the most important things you’ll do while pregnant. It’s probably no accident when most women find out they are pregnant they can’ t seem to stop sleeping. Almost like a strong signal from the body that sleeping is something you need to get used to and embrace. Most Pregnant women will feel intense urges to sleep in the first trimester, getting a burst of energy in the second trimester, and then crashing and feeling tired once more in the last trimester when lots of rest and sleep are needed to prepare for your new bundle of joy. So don’t guilt yourself about sleeping in and not getting all of those little things done that you did before you got pregnant, most of it can probably wait, afterall.
5. Stress Reduction – Pregnancy is a time when your body is under stress and your immune system is weaker than it normally is when you are not pregnant. For this reason, it is especially important that your proactive and make an action plan for reducing stress and your exposure to germs that can cause disease that your body could be more susceptible to while pregnant. Hand washing and having hand sanitizer can go a long way in keeping you and your baby safe from unnecessary exposures. Make sure incorporating things that keep the stress levels at minimum swimming, walking, meditation and breathing excercises for relxation are great ways of getting started
Pregnancy is an amazing life changing journey a time when life is creating life. Embrace and cherish the moments along the way allow yourself to savor those precious moments and to feel the excitment and joys that come with expecting!
Here are a few more reasons why keeping the stress at bay maybe one of the most loving decisions you make for you and your baby!:
Photos courtesy Unsplash: Jernej-Graj Chayene-Rafael, Jonathan Borha Heike-Mintel