In collaboration with Aptaclub.
Being pregnant, whether it’s your first, second or many more along is an exciting time for everyone involved. Welcoming a new baby into your family is a big deal and the journey to get there can be a stressful and tiring one. Looking after yourself during your pregnancy and preparing yourself for birth both physically and just as importantly, mentally, can feel overwhelming. There is so much to think about, it can be difficult to know which way to turn, which can make some stages of your pregnancy feel like a struggle.
Now that I’m in my third trimester with my second baby (I know, it’s gone so fast!) despite the common symptoms of nausea, tiredness, and heartburn that I’ve been experiencing so far I’ve really been enjoying this pregnancy. It’s been totally different from my first with Aiden and I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way, especially on what makes me thrive during pregnancy and what doesn’t work for me. There have been some key aspects of this pregnancy that have really helped it be a positive and happy time for me and us a family so far that I thought I would share them with you all.
Have Faith in Your Body
I can remember, before I got pregnant with Aiden, being so fearful about labour and what’s involved. However, the more I educated myself on the subject with books, classes and speaking to family and friends the less scared I became and the more I began to trust my body to see me through. Obviously, I wasn’t the first woman to ever give birth, which put things massively into perspective for me, billions of women have given birth before and got through it. Our bodies are geared up and equipped for this massive event, it’s in our DNA to give birth and acknowledging this really helped.
So rather than feeling scared about going into labour I actually felt empowered knowing that my body knows exactly what it’s doing, which helped me to relax into it more and I think this definitely helped get me through to the end.
Don’t Feel That You Have To Have The Perfect Pregnancy
Firstly, perfect doesn’t exist so there is no point chasing it. I’ll be the first to say that I have had a “perfect” pregnancy, both times around. There is so much out there that I wanted to try because I felt that it’s what I should be doing to have the ideal pregnancy. However, there just isn’t the time to do it all and I’m still here and my baby is still thriving without doing everything I thought would make it perfect.
Try to Stay Active
Since I sit at a desk all day and work by myself at home, staying active is a priority for me to support my mental health, the physical side effects are just a bonus. Keeping up my fitness routine in some capacity was important to me during my first pregnancy and now during my second. I felt that it really helped prepare and strengthen my body for labour the first time around and I’m definitely feeling the benefits during this pregnancy too. Obviously, it’s important to talk to your midwife or doctor to ensure that your routine is safe for you and your baby, but if you’re given the all clear then you’re good to go!
Exercising during pregnancy can be a controversial topic for some and many have said that they were met with a chorus of disapproval when exercising, with 40% mentioning pressure being the main cause behind stopping any fitness. Also, nearly a third (29%) described themselves or their pregnant friends as feeling ‘ashamed or guilty’ as well as being fearful that they might hurt their unborn child. Due to this, Aptaclub created Active For 2, a campaign to educate pregnant women about the benefits of exercise and show them how to stay active safely during their pregnancy.
This free resource has a wealth of information, including video fitness guides that have been created by expert coaches, showing pregnant women what types of exercises they can do during each trimester. The exercises focus on running, yoga, swimming and strength training, so there is something for everyone.
Surround Yourself With A Village
One thing that I regret not doing during my first pregnancy is making the effort to make new friends. Our family and friends at the time were too far to simply pop round for a cup of tea or help take care of the baby, so like many in the same situation, we were pretty much alone.
Once I started going to baby classes, this is when I really felt the value of having a supportive group around me and I made a lovely group of mummy friends who I still see to this day. My friends really got me through that feeling of isolation that having a baby can bring and saved my sanity. We went out for coffee dates, shopping, walks in the park, playgroups, classes and even took a postnatal exercise class together – it was the best time!
It’s true what they say, it really does take a village to raise a baby and having a network of people around you that you can laugh and cry with is a total godsend.
Follow Your Bodies Hunger Cues & Cravings
If you’ve been following my Instagram, you will know that I’ve been constantly eating during my second pregnancy, seemingly more so than my first. I’ve been honouring any hunger cues, which notably helped soothe my nausea and sometimes meant eating smaller meals 6 or 7 times a day, especially in my first and second trimester. If this is what my body needed to do to grow a healthy and happy baby then so be it. I think it’s important not to feel guilty or over-pressurised about your food choices; it’s all about moderation and allowing yourself to honour your cravings to help support you and your baby through pregnancy.
Do What Feels Right For You
You can read all the books in the world and follow them to the letter, but we’re all different and some of the advice in said books may not suit our needs. This doesn’t mean that we’re a failure or we’ve done something wrong. It means that we’re humans who are a diverse bunch, which should be celebrated. For me, it’s really important to always nourish your body authentically and be true to yourself.
Make Some Time To Relax
Things are about to get really crazy with a new baby, and I’m expecting that life with two is going to be chaotic. When I can I’ve scheduled in some “me time” where I can relax and focus on myself before the baby arrives. It doesn’t have to be long, but when I take some time for myself I feel so much better and I’m making the most of it while I still can. I went for a lovely pregnancy massage the other week that was amazing, however, sitting reading a book can have the same calming effects.
Here are some ways that you can practice some self care in under 10 minutes if time isn’t your friend.
Have you had a happy and positive pregnancy? Why? Also, do you trust that your body knows what is best for you?
*Advertorial brought to you in association with Aptaclub, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to do what I love, bringing you wellness content and recipes to help you find your version of balance.