5 Things You Can Do to Feel Great During Your Pregnancy
Posted by Jillian Rieckmann
For expecting moms, pregnancy brings a multitude of new physical and emotional feelings. Excitement and joy, but also nervousness, insecurities, and of course the discomforts that come along with a changing body and hormonal fluctuations.
In our society, the “Super Mom” mentality encourages woman to just “deal” with these changes, as they are viewed as normal. Although these symptoms of pregnancy ARE very common, you don’t have to suffer with them. You can administer self-care and assisted care through health care professionals to reduce the occurrence of symptoms and prevent symptoms from getting worse. Usually the biggest excuse I hear is that women just don’t have time to take care of themselves. But as a mother, a wife, an employee and a friend you need to first and foremost take care of yourself, because if you don’t have your health and wellbeing, then you will be no good to those around you.
As a mother and a Registered Massage therapist I have experienced first-hand or treated it ALL. From back pain, leg cramps, and sciatica, severe varicose veins, to anxiety, post-partum depression, mastitis or a limited milk supply etc. But, I have also witnessed the improvements and/or eliminations of these issues through massage and other bodywork modalities and healthy personal lifestyle adjustments. I know the benefits of recognizing a problem and taking care of it. Pregnancy is such a beautiful gift to mothers and families and can be fully enjoyed if you take the steps to creating a calm, healthy lifestyle during those ten amazing months and beyond.
Here is a list of 5 things you can do right away to feel great during and following your pregnancy…
DRINK 8-12 EIGHT OZ. GLASSES OF WATER EVERYDAY
Without adequate water consumption, our bodies are unable to function properly. During pregnancy and lactation, our need for water increases substantially. This is because the fetus requires a rich supply of fluids to grow and develop in the mothers’ womb. Water is also very important in ridding the body of fluid retention that can lead to swelling and it reduces the occurrence of those awful leg cramps and headaches.
EAT 5-6 SMALL MEALS EVERYDAY
The best way to know how many meals you should be eating is by dividing the amount of hours you are awake in the day by 3. The result is the number of small meals (approximately 300-400cals/meal) you should be eating each day. Each meal should consist of a protein and a complex carbohydrate. Example: Whole grain toast, and apple and cottage cheese or 2 eggs, half a multigrain bagel and a glass of orange juice etc. Eating this way will keep insulin levels steady throughout the day, give you higher levels of energy, and provide you and the fetus with a steady supply of nutrients for both you and your fetus/baby (if nursing).
Sleep is essential to allow your body to function at its best. Increased energy, cognitive abilities and positive emotions are all related to adequate amounts of sleep (at least 7-8 hours each night and take naps when you feel tired).
MODERATE EXERCISE AND REGULAR STRETCHING
Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, which will help your body cope with any pregnancy induced aches and pains, increase circulation, as well as increase endurance and stamina as you prepare your body for labor. Stretches ease muscle tension and calm your nervous system for a general state of wellbeing. Always talk to a physician or fitness professional before starting a new fitness regime.
REGULAR MASSAGE AND ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS
Acupuncture and massage offer women a drug-free alternative to managing their health and well-being during pregnancy. Both modalities help women to relieve morning sickness, sinus congestion, breast tenderness, leg cramps, edema/swelling, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, sciatica, varicose veins, abdominal pressure, anemia, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome/thoracic outlet syndrome and numbness. Massage and acupuncture can be offered throughout the entire gestational period. Prior to any treatments make sure that your practitioner is register and certified to perform any pre or postnatal care.