You’re pregnant, congratulations! You’re excited or scared (or both) by the knowledge that you now share your body with another human being. Over the next nine months, both you and your baby will be going through a lot of changes. While your baby is growing and developing in order to prepare for the world, you body is preparing for deliver. You will go through hormone changes, become more sensitive to tastes and smells, develop cravings and become moodier than you’ve ever been in your life. On top of that, you’ll be suffering from water retention, swelling, and the weight gain that comes with that big belly. All in all it’s a pretty stressful deal, so here are some tips on how to beat that stress.
Soak Your Feet: If you work on your feet all day, this should help a bit with the swelling. Invest in a small, square tub that can fit both of your feet comfortably (a dish-washing tub works well for this). Floral scented bath salts are a good purchase too. When you get home from work, kick off your shoes and socks and start filling your foot soaking tub with warm water. If you decided to get bath salts, add them in while the water is still running. This will help the salt dissolve faster. Once the tub is full (at least enough to cover your feet) take it to a comfortable seat, sit down, and proceed to soak those aching, swollen tootsies. Have a towel already at your chosen seat so that you can dry your feet off once you’re done. If you want, you can also lotion up your feet after the soak to help keep them soft.
If you are prone to calluses or start getting them once your feet swell and want to get rid of them, try this: When you buy your foot soaking tub and bath salt, get a salt scrub, pumice stone, foot lotion and a pair of soft, fuzzy socks. When you’re filling the tub with water, make it as hot as you can stand it. Soak your feet until the skin is softer, then pull one of your feet up and use the pumice stone to start scrubbing at the callous that you want to be rid of. Rinse the dead skin off your feet and use the salt scrub on them. Scrub your whole foot, rinse again, dry them off and apply the lotion. After your feet are nice and moisturized, put your new socks on and resign yourself to relax for a bit with your feet propped up. Repeat this as often as you need to until those callouses are gone.
Get Help With the Chores: Now that you’re pregnant, there are some household chores and cleaners that you should try to avoid. If you have cats, you’re going to have to have someone else clean the litter box for you. Cat feces carries a virus that doesn’t bother adults, but can be very harmful to your unborn child. Avoid using cleaning products that use heavy amounts of bleach or ammonia as well. As for the rest of the chores, try to avoid anything that has to do with heavy lifting or anything else that might cause your body too much stress and strain.
With the rest of the household chores, try to get them divided up between yourself and other members of the household. Even if everyone is only doing a little bit it will still add up and help out a lot. The smaller work load for everyone will keep them from getting too stressed out about keeping the house clean and procrastinating.
Take a Bath: A full body soak is just as much of a good idea as a foot soak. It relaxes both you and the baby and helps to relieve the strain on your muscles.
Exercies: One of the most beneficial forms of stress relief in exercise. There are many exercises designed specifically for pregnant women. The most highly recommended exercises for pregnant women are low impact exercises. Most prenatal exercise is designed to strengthen the pelvic floor in order to aid with labor. Low-impact exercises include using an elliptical trainer, practicing yoga, or just going for a nice walk. The reason why low-impact exercises are suggested for women who are expecting is vecause they have less chances of injury and tend to reduce muscle strain.
An elliptical trainer is great indoor exercise and can be found at just about any gym or recreation center. It is essentially a low-impact treadmill-like device that has two platforms (one for each foot) that you torate with your own leg strength. You can also choose to cycle the elliptical backwards in order to work more muscles in your legs.
There are actually yoga videos made specifically for pregnant women. Prenatal yoga is meant to help reduce the body strain caused by pregnancy as well as to help ready the body for labor and potentially ease the pain of contractions. You can find many videos either in your local superstore or online.
Exercise benefits the body by giving you an energy boost and flooding your body with feel good endorphins. However, most forms of exercise present some risk of injury. Be sure to check with your doctor about your restrictions before starting a prenatal exercise regimen. If possible, try to get a personal trainer that has experience in training pregnant women.
Get A Massage: If you have problems with swelling or tightness in your muscles, get a massage. Massaging any area that’s retaining water to the point of being swollen helps to move the liquids around and slightly relieves the pressure. Have the person that’s giving you a massage use cocoa butter lotion. This helps their hands to glide over your skin without too much friction (and might help reduce stretchmarks). Make sure that your masseuse is gentle – especially if you have swelling – because the skin around the swollen area is pulled so tightly it tends to be more sensitive and receptive to pain. See a professional or have your significant other help you with this.
Get Prepared, Get Informed: Books, websites, forums and classes. There are plenty of sources out there to help you prepare for the impending birth. There are classes that you can take that will help prepare you for labor, and others that you can take pre- and postnatal to learn how to breastfeed properly (if you choose to breastfeed). There are books and websites that will give you tips on how best to prepare for your baby, as well as lists of must-have items for the nursery, bathing, travel, and the hospital visit. Forums allow you to connect with other soon-to-be or experienced mothers. You can get tips, advice, and support from these people as well as offer your own.
It’s also best to try and prepare the rest of your family for the oncoming baby. Have your spouse/significant other read baby books and go to the birthing classes with you. If you have older kids, try to make sure that they understand that the baby is going to need a lot of attention so that you can try to eliminate problems with jealousy. The more prepared everyone is, the less stressed out they’re likely to be when the baby comes home.
Have Sex: Sex is actually a fantastic way to relieve stress for both you and your significant other. You can actually continue to have sex up until you go into labor. You can most likely find positions online or in books meant for more comfort for yourself with just as much enjoyment pre-belly.
That’s about it for the tips that this article has to offer. Remember that you can always ask someone for help if things get too overwhelming for you. Again, congratulations on your newest addition to the family!