Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey for every woman, yet it could be a nightmare when complications happen. Many factors may cause expecting women stress and could trigger unwanted complications if not attended early on. The uncertainties and challenges in this pandemic situation might be overwhelming for many of us, even more for an expecting Mom. Rest assured that this is a very normal response. It is however important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. Check out our sharing below for more ideas to help you stay fit, happy and positive!
#1. Stay active
Besides reducing the risks of having gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and helping ease back pain and constipation, exercising during pregnancy is not only good for your physical and mental health but also for your baby. Exercises like brisk walking or slow jogging, swimming, stationary cycling, yoga, aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises are recommended for expecting Moms.
While most healthy women having a normal pregnancy can continue to be physically active even during this pandemic, it is crucial to know your limits and to practice caution to avoid exposure to COVID-19 or any other threatening diseases.
Exercise does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery, but certain medical conditions such as having certain types of heart and lung disease, preeclampsia, severe anemia, or history of preterm labour can make exercising during pregnancy unsafe. Therefore it is best for you to consult your doctor about your limitations and which exercise is best for you.
#2. Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness simply means ‘living the moment’. It helps you to be aware of the present, where you are and what you are doing. Practising mindfulness has been proven to help people cope with everyday life and deal with tough times especially by reducing stress and anxiety, boosting concentration, relax and be more productive.
You can practise mindfulness by performing solah (prayers for Muslims), meditating, or try doing your daily activities in a mindful way. This can be done by focusing on one small task at a moment, creating the right environment and eliminating distractions.
#3. Listen to your body
Listening to your body indicates that you are paying attention to signs and symptoms that you might be exerting yourself, especially your core and pelvic floor. Though exercising during pregnancy is good, be wary of either peeing, or leaking of anything else during your exercise; subtle or sharp pain in your pelvic floor or elsewhere (tailbone, lower back, etc); feeling pressure through your pelvic floor; peaking, doming or coning through your abdominal midline.
Depending on your state of pregnancy, you would need to adapt your workouts as your bump gets bigger, your tummy heavier and your centre of gravity has changed. Always stop if something hurts, even if you’re used to being active. Avoid overheating and make sure that you are adequately hydrated.
Take it easy on yourself and remember that by just doing a small amount of movement can really improve your mood so when you are feeling a little low perhaps try to go for a walk, do a little workout in your house or simply play with your little ones or your pets. It does not have to be long but it will help.
#4. Talk to someone you trust
Being female social beings, you would need other humans to interact with to maintain your sanity and keep you positive. Though at the moment physical meet ups or dining in with your friends have to be put on hold, you can try staying in touch with other people that you trust via text, video calls and even a good classic phone call! Ask them how they are feeling and share your own experience if you feel safe to do so. You could even start a group chat where each person shares one good thing that happened in their day, exchanging recipes and tips or even lending your ears to listen to others would create the best social support among yourselves.
#5. Make a home made meal
Besides laughter, a tasty, nutritious homemade meal enjoyed together would be the best pick-me-up during stressful times – especially if you made it yourself and enjoyed together with the people living together with you. There are plenty of easy recipes and kitchen hacks that you can try or even create your own recipes!
#6. Declutter & Take a break
Marie Kondo with her KonMari Method and the minimalist concept of creating living spaces have taken place in today’s modern living. ‘Decluttering’ or getting rid of unimportant stuffs can become an important way to practice self care as it helps you take control of your home, your life and your “stuffs” to improve your overall well-being.
Decluttering helps you create a home that fills you up rather than depletes you, giving you the time, space, energy and clarity. Decluttering does not only involve detoxing your physical stuffs, it is also applicable to your social media followers, the kind of news or unsolicited advice that you want or need to know, and which would cause your anxiety and making you feel down.
Having a lot more time at home, such as during a lockdown, can help to have an environment that feels good for you. Instead of trying to overhaul your whole space in a day, try decluttering for five minutes a day. Pick a shelf to start with, or pick up five things and find a home for them. Remember, a little goes a long way!
#7. Pamper yourself
Mama, your pregnant body is working hard growing a person in you! This is the time to pamper yourself before your delivery. Getting a pregnancy massage or having your spouse to massage you could be one of your pampering routine. You could also make yourself feel more beautiful by – indulging in a manicure and pedicure.
Go to bed early and get some extra shut eyes, especially on a weekend. Though it could be hard to resist the temptation to stay up past your bedtime to tackle your to-do list, especially if you have other kids at home. With the pregnancy, however, try to take a more kind approach to what your body needs. Tucking yourself early every night would feel a bit like pampering.
Go online shopping and get yourself a pretty and comfortable maternity nightgown. Search for something adjustable that can take you into those late-night feeding sessions, too.
Well, Mamas.. a little TLC for yourself goes a long way. Sometimes things can get overwhelming, even if you have been practising self care. As most people will be physically distancing or self-isolating, technology would be a great option for you to reach out. Download the Mama Net App and get in touch with our online team so that you know that you are not alone in this motherhood journey.