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Self-care Tips During Pregnancy

  • 4 minute read

There is often a perception that self-care needs to be well planned and this big thing. But in fact, it doesn’t at all. Self-care is about doing something for you, something that brings a bit of joy into your day. I am a big believer in self-care not only because of my personal journey with mental health, but also seeing others around me not putting themselves first. I’ve battled depression twice in my life, the first time as a young adult, and second was postnatal depression after my son was born. I learnt the hard way the result of not looking after myself.


Pregnancy can be challenging in itself, body changes, the planning for baby’s arrival, adjustments at home, and the financial side of things. All of which can create stress and anxiety to the process. Add to that, soon you will have a newborn in your arms, less sleep and a different kind of pressure you have not experienced before. Self-care doesn’t need to be extravagant, expensive or take hours and hours. It can be a simple thing that brings you joy, a smile to your face, something that ‘fills your cup’. By doing self-care regularly you will feel mentally stronger in the lead up to baby’s arrival, and lack of sleep!


This is my 2nd pregnancy, so the following suggestions for selfcare are great for both first time, and consecutive pregnancies with kids already in the home. Here are some things I do to practice self-care:


  1. A relaxing bath with epsom salts. Remember to keep the temperature safe for you and bubs so your blood pressure doesn’t drop too much, but make it nice and warm to soothe your soul. Light a candle, grab a book, or just enjoy the silence! Epsom salts are great for supporting muscle relaxation and releasing toxins from your body naturally. You can also use them for foot spas for swollen feet/ankles! I like to enjoy a foot spa in the evenings after my son has gone to bed.
2. Baking! I love baking. I'm not good at it, but I love doing it. Cooking is a well known self-care practice for many people. I like to bake things that are treats so it feels extra special. This is one self-care thing I love to do with my son. Something that is ‘ours’ and we have a good laugh making a mess together. Also gives me a chance to have quality 1 on 1 with him before his baby sister arrives.
3. Movie night. Who doesn’t love a good movie night?! Grab the popcorn, blanket and treat yourself to some non-alcoholic bubbles. Curl up on the couch and enjoy a good movie - bliss!
4. At home pampering. Yes that's right, pampering! We all deserve a little pamper, and it can be done without breaking the bank. I like to paint my nails, put on a face mask and watch some tv. This is something I try to do every 1 - 2 weeks, I plan it for ‘Self-care Sundays’. Grab some sheet masks, or even make your own mask from items in your pantry. This is definitely one to enjoy without the kids around!

    5. Date night. Now this is an important one, especially for first time parents. I regret not going on more dates with hubby before our son arrived. My aunt told me ‘This is the last time it will be just the two of you. Enjoy this time, you will never get it back’. And boy, was she right! Schedule regular date nights with your partner, it could be to celebrate reaching each month of pregnancy, or every few weeks. Do something just the two of you that isn’t baby related - picnic in the park, cinema, dinner, brunch, couples massage, or a nice walk along the beach. Again, it can be simple, but doing something that is not baby related is so important when your life at the moment is all about the baby.


    I hope the above suggestions are helpful and give you some inspiration to give it a go yourself. Remember, looking after you is just as important as looking after baby when they arrive x


    Written by Natalie Robinson


    Natalie lives in Auckland with her husband Chris, son Archer and their two dogs. Plus can’t forget baby girl who is on the way! As a mental and disability advocate, Natalie loves to share what Mum life is really like, and is an open book on her account @mrsrobinsonnz over on Instagram.