Self-Care During Pregnancy
The Importance Of Self-Care During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a significant life event that can bring about many changes and challenges for the expecting mother. Self-care is essential during pregnancy to ensure the mother’s physical and mental health and the baby’s well-being. As a psychologist, I often support women to prioritise self-care during pregnancy, which involves taking care of oneself emotionally, mentally, and physically. Prioritising self-care during pregnancy can also be really helpful in preparation for motherhood, as creating healthy habits and learning to prioritise one’s needs can be particularly challenging in the postpartum period.
Emotional self-care involves being aware of and regulating one’s emotions. Pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions, including anxiety, excitement, and fear. It is helpful for expecting mothers to learn how to acknowledge their feelings and take steps to manage them, such as practicing mindfulness, journaling, or seeking support from loved ones or a therapist.
Mental self-care involves taking care of one’s cognitive well-being. This includes engaging in activities that promote relaxation and mental stimulation, such as reading, meditating, or having a meaningful hobby. It also involves seeking out social support and maintaining positive relationships with friends and family, as these activities will promote positive mental health and wellbeing. One of the biggest challenges that mothers can face is their inner critic, perfectionism and being hard on themselves, so practicing things such as self-compassion and learning how to unhook from unhelpful thoughts is something that many expecting and new mothers would benefit from.
Physical self-care during pregnancy involves taking care of one’s body. This includes getting enough rest, eating a healthy and balanced diet, staying active, and seeking medical care when needed. It is also important to note that pregnant women should avoid alcohol, smoking, and drug use, as these can harm the developing baby. Looking after your physical health during pregnancy can also have a positive impact on your experience of labour and birth.
Self-care during pregnancy is crucial for a healthy and happy pregnancy. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and help women prepare for childbirth and motherhood. By prioritising self-care, expecting mothers can feel more in control of their pregnancy and better equipped to handle its challenges, and set themselves up for a more positive transition into motherhood.
Given that one in 5 women experience perinatal anxiety and/or depression, learning how to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing through regular engagement in self-care activities is essential. If you need additional support from a perinatal mental health professional, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Mindful Birth Movement
, or make an appointment with your GP.