Pregnancy is a time of anticipation, learning, exploration, and growth on so many levels for women whether they are first time mothers or expecting a new addition. Preparing for motherhood, giving birth, and caring for a child postpartum is not easy. The newborn phase has even been referred to as the “fourth trimester.” Throw in the current circumstances of a worldwide pandemic? That is both physically and psychologically demanding on anyone.
In order to support expectant mothers, we’ve compiled a list of health and relaxation tips to help you stay grounded during this crazy and exciting time in your life.
Try prenatal yoga
Everyone can benefit from a yoga class, especially expectant mothers. From reducing stress to building up strength, prenatal yoga offers many benefits that can enhance your pregnancy journey. According to a New York-based yoga instructor, prenatal yoga classes are designed to strengthen and prepare a woman’s body for labor by focusing on holding poses for extended periods of time and practicing poses that build up the muscles around the pelvic core and hips. While attending an in-person yoga class during shelter in place orders may not be an option, there are many free online yoga classes available for you to do in the comfort of your own home. Try a class from Peloton, Prenatal Yoga Center, or Youtube.
As you begin to gain weight and your center of gravity shifts as your pregnancy progresses, your joints and muscles are more than likely to throb and ache. Instead of suppressing the pain, a great way to deal with those aches is with a prenatal massage. Improved blood flow, relaxation of muscles, reduction of swelling, and improved quality of sleep are just a few benefits of prenatal massages.
Mental health and pregnancy
Pregnancy can bring about a lot of emotional changes, due to societal pressures, financial adjustments, and hormones. While you will be experiencing physical and mental changes during this time, which can be both positive and negative, it’s important to do everything you can to stay healthy. Some ways to do that are by staying physically active, eating healthy, surrounding yourself with a support system, whether that’s your family or other expectant mothers, and allowing yourself to do whatever else you need to keep your mind and body at ease.
Things to avoid during pregnancy
In addition to these health and relaxation dos during pregnancy, there are some don’ts as well. According to the Baby Center, here are some things to avoid during pregnancy:
- Alcohol and smoking
- Hot environments
- Hot baths
- Sunbathing without sunscreen
- Contact sports and strenuous exercises
Make sure to check with your doctor if you have any questions about what to avoid during pregnancy.