If you’re a mommy-to-be, a lot is going on for you. On top of the physical changes that come from growing a tiny human, you’re probably experiencing some stress, anxiety, depression from all the baby preparations you’re making.
It can be easy to overlook just how important it is for you to look after yourself during this time of your life. After all, how healthy you are will significantly support you in helping the growth of your baby-to-be.
Here are a few tips for self–care during pregnancy.
The last few weeks and days leading up to the birth of your baby are exciting. It can also be stressful. You have permission to be protective of your time. These are my go-to recommendations from new parents:
Assign your spouse/partner as the primary source of communication:
Create the template a couple of weeks out, whether you want to set up a text thread or use a different form of communication such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Parler. This will assist in having fewer messages throughout the day so that carrying the baby is your only duty during this time. Fielding messages doesn’t have to be one of them.
Has the baby arrived yet?
For family members and friends, we are soooo excited to find out if your little has arrived that we often forget that continuously reaching out can be stressful to the expectant parents. Let them know that your spouse/partner will send out a message and ask them not to ask if you have delivered or have signs of labor. We see moms come in during these last few days extremely stressed out because they are constantly being reminded that their baby hasn’t arrived – yet. Babies will ‘do’ what they are ready to do and don’t necessarily follow ‘due’ dates. You are allowed to protect your birth space and make announcements about your labor when YOU are ready.
Have a conversation with your spouse/partner regarding when you want to announce that the baby has arrived. You can decide to do it instantly or take a couple of hours or days to announce. You can also send an announcement to your close family/friends on your communication thread (at the pre-determined time) and then a more public one later. You have waited nine months for this moment; allow yourself to bond, process, and experience this bundle of amazingness amongst yourselves before you share the news with everyone else. However – YOU get to decide all this. It’s also okay to not plan at all and be spontaneous.
It’s okay to be selfish
Another conversation to have early on is when you want to introduce others to your infant. Usually, after a baby is born, families want to rush to the hospital or homes to meet the new baby. One of the positive things I saw from Covid is that families were allowed to bond with the little ones for more extended periods before introducing them to others. What would you like to do? Figure that out for yourself. Are you someone that would like to immediately have your family around – then do that. However, if you know in advance that you want/need to have time to yourself – that is absolutely okay. Don’t be hard on yourself or allow others to do so.
In closing, remember that this is YOUR time, and you can plan ahead, play it by ear, and change your mind at any time. My goal with this post was to give YOU, the parents, permission to start having the conversation about what you want these last few days and weeks to look like. Who do you want around you? Don’t allow others to make those decisions for you, protect your time, protect your sacred space. This is your pregnancy journey.