Pregnancy bliss is all about making the best choices for your health and well-being during one of the most beautiful and challenging times of your life. The way we take care of ourselves during pregnancy is essential to the success of our unborn baby as well as our minds and bodies, post pregnancy. It is easy to let yourself go during pregnancy because many of us are quite sick during those first few months and lying in bed feels better than being active. Not only that, but now you want to eat any and everything in sight and you think it’s okay because you’re eating for two, right?! Unfortunately, that’s not the case because one of you is a teeny tiny baby. Sometimes it’s hard to notice your weight gain because all you see is a growing belly. There is nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite snacks and cravings but it’s important to realize that once your baby is here you might have a hard time getting rid of the excess weight. I’ve known women to develop a bit of depression due to the state of their “post-delivery” bodies. Although some issues are inevitable, most are controlled strictly by you.
Here are a few of my personal tips on how to feel beautiful during those 10 lovely months of housing your next offspring!
First, it is important to stay as active as possible. Even if you only walk a mile or two a few days a week, this will keep your joints moving and muscles loose. Walking on a treadmill at a slight incline will help you to tone and tighten your legs as well as cardio to get your body working. Another great idea during and even after pregnancy is to try a dance exercise class. I grew to love Zumba after the birth of my first child. Zumba is a high impact dance workout and it's a lot of fun. During my first pregnancy, one of my friends had recently become a Zumba instructor in Florida and I began working out with her a couple of times a week. It not only improved my balance after pregnancy but it also boosted my weight loss. Zumba can be an exciting class with the right instructor and it can also help with improving blood circulation and preventing cramping in your legs and hips.
It’s imperative to keep moving during pregnancy because your body will tend to ache and stiffen up. Staying active will help to alleviate some of these discomforts and it will also help to ease the traumatic labor pains. Lifting light hand weights can keep your arms and back strong which will help prepare you to lift and comfort your baby. Once you have your baby, most women won’t be able to do any sort of workout until 6 weeks or more after birth. So why not start now while you’re willing and able.
Next, a prenatal massage is an essential part of pregnancy. It can help with fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling. A prenatal massage is a healthy way to relieve stress and promote overall wellness. Lower back pain can be a serious side effect of being pregnant and a good massage encourages blood and lymph circulation which aids in better sleep. Just be sure that your masseuse is certified to massage pregnant women because there are certain pressure points that can cause you to go into pre-mature labor.
In addition to a body massage, a great foot massage and pedicure are always beneficial. My feet began to swell at five months of pregnancy and a foot massage along with pretty feet made me feel so much better. Since we are now in the Fall season, choosing the right nail color will keep you feeling stylish and in season. Try going for more earth tone colors such as deep reds, plum, and nudes.
Monthly beauty maintenance will always make you feel good about yourself. When you look good, you feel good, so try to schedule appointments at least once a month to uplift your spirit and pamper yourself. A trip to the hair salon, along with a nice manicure and pedicure goes a long way. Add a wax session to your routine and you’re in business because it’s so important to take care of yourself all over.
Pregnancy can drastically change your skin and it’s very important to go the extra mile when it comes to skincare. The hormones associated with pregnancy are known to cause acne and/or dark spot and a good way to handle this is to apply an extra cleansing to your face either with an at home clay mask or a facial at your local spa (make sure to read the reviews or try asking a friend for a referral). I personally like the St. Ives masks that are sold at Target. This brand is inexpensive but has amazing results. If you do decide to get a facial be sure you do your research and be sure to choose one that is safe for you during pregnancy. A facial with an exfoliating cleanse will leave your skin feeling fresh along with that pregnancy glow. Also, bath time isn’t only for your baby but can be a time to help you unwind and soak your aching body. Bath salts and sugar body scrubs will help your skin to stay hydrated and dispose of dead skin cells, resulting in super soft skin. Exfoliating twice a week will allow your skin to appear smoother and less blotchy. Always make sure to use a body cream or lotion afterwards to trap in the moisture. Try using an exfoliating glove or towel to lightly massage the body scrubs onto your skin but be careful if you have sensitive skin because this method can cause irritation, if used incorrectly.
Last, but certainly not least, maternity clothes. To be honest clothing manufacturers have definitely improved with the production and designing of maternity wear but I still find that maternity clothes are a bit pricey and technically we only desire them for a few months. My first priorities in shopping for maternity clothes are comfort and style. I have discovered that Target and ASOS have some pretty stylish maternity clothes. You should buy clothes in a size or two larger than you normally wear to make sure that you allow yourself plenty of room for your body to expand. The last thing you want is for your clothes to fit tight and cause pressure to your tummy. Maternity tights, sweaters, scarves, capes and hats are always in fashion for the Fall Season.
With some added confidence, a little makeup, and the right accessories, you can make any outfit look fabulous.
Overall, enjoy this special time. Take care of you. Look good and feel good because before you know it, it will all be over and all of your attention will be on your new bundle of joy!