Self Care During Pregnancy: Baby #4
Hey friend! First off, a big THANK YOU to all the love you shared on our pregnancy announcement. We appreciate you all and send that love right back to you.
This pregnancy is flying by. Like, it feels like we just found out to whoa, there's the belly! I am truly doing my best to soak up every moment of this pregnancy. I consciously take time out of my busy day to just sit and commune with the sweet baby growing inside of me. Taking time to revel at the miracle of carrying life has been my go to for being mindful, grateful, and happy during this exciting time in my family's life.
Every week, my belly feels like it's getting so much bigger. I wonder, how big will I be at full term?! But then I remind myself this isn't my first go-round. This is my fourth baby. My uterus "already knows what to do" so to speak, and for that reason, grew bigger to accommodate growing baby sooner. (There's medical research on this, research it if you don't believe me).
I realized this week that I have quite a few expecting moms in my online fitness community, and it inspired me to share more here, and on the 'gram. The main thing I want to say to my fellow expectant mamas is to TAKE CARE OF YOU. Invest in your self care--especially during pregnancy. There are a few ways I'm doing this, and I will share it below:
I'm Eating Well
Do I enjoy my treat foods...like an occasional ice cream or chocolate bar? Of course! But the keyword here is 'occasional'. My diet thrives on consistency. Every morning, I start off with warm lemon water, fill my big jug of water for the day (I drink at least 80 oz of water daily), and one of my go to green smoothies. Then I typically have oatmeal or eggs and Ezekiel. And for lunch & dinner, I aim for a healthy protein-veggie-carb choice (for instance: salmon, salad, and couscous). In between if I get hungry in between meals, I love grabbing my DIY MWH Trail Mix (with almonds, walnuts, cranberries, & pumpkin seeds). Another thing that's been helping me with my pregnancy overall is consuming smaller meals, just more frequently. With everything growing in my tummy, I get full easier. If I eat too big a meal, this causes big discomfort which helps me have more discipline when it comes to fueling the baby and I.
I'm Working Out
3-5 days a week, I'm doing one of my MWH workouts. For weights, I've gone down in size a bit. I know I could still lift as heavy right now, but intuitively that doesn't feel wise. I'm focusing on movement and health, not 'getting gains' right now. My biggest priority is working out for my and my baby's health, not vanity. So these priorities help me make good decisions regarding fitness. Since there are quite a number of you in my membership whom are expecting, I'll be working on adding more prenatal workouts to our library! For now, if you're an expectant mama, be sure to get the okay from your doctor or midwife to exercise, listen to your body, and monitor your heart rate during sweat sessions, A good rule of thumb is to ensure you can carry on a conversation during your workouts while you're pregnant. If you're too out of breath to talk, tone it down a bit. And as always, stay hydrated!
I'm Doing Soul-Self Care
Pregnancy is a miraculous time of creation. Not just your precious baby you're making, but you, mama, are being reborn as well. As your body, soul, mind, and life is being reshaped to make space and love for your bundle of joy, you are being transformed. No, you will never be the same after experience carrying and birthing your children. And thank God for that! This is a time of consecration, maturation, and this requires not only food and exercise, but deep soul care as well. To do this, I am 1) limiting my interactions with anyone who, well, pushes my buttons. Pregnancy is NO time to people please, my darling. If you have toxic or energy drainers in your life, BOUNDARIES will be required to safely care for you and baby. Say yes to what is absolutely necessary, and to what is life giving. Say no to what isn't good for you, your family, or your peace. 2) Make time for rest. This one is hard for me. I was born ambitious. I love a good to-do list. But pregnancy is a great time to reprioritize your life. Assess your values, and make time for what you love and, again, need to do. And set a reminder on your phone if need be to sit down...put those feet up, and rest! You are GROWING A HUMAN FROM SCRATCH! Take advantage of this perfect time to excuse yourself from unnecessary obligations and enjoy. Read books, brew your favorite tea in your favorite mug, put on calming music, pray, meditate, visualize.
Remember a healthy, happy mom make healthy, happy babies. Even starting in the womb.
I'm Connecting With My Baby
It's tempting to say "I'm too busy" to do this when caring for other young children at home. Trust me, I get it. I am homeschooling my three other children and running a business from home. But I tell you, if you can get honest about your schedule, you can make some space for this. It may require no social media scrolling for a week. It may require no TV before bed. But you can do it, mama! Now! Let's get to the 'how'. I love connecting with my baby by becoming mindful. Simple. I get quiet and simply communicate with she (or he). (We know the gender but will share later!!). Sometimes I do this quietly, and sometimes I audibly do. Babies can feel everything we feel feel as moms. So just sending your baby love and saying, "You are so loved; you are so wanted" and visualizing a beautiful birth and life with your bundle of love--you will be making deposits in her character you wouldn't believe. Trust me on this!
I have so much more to say and share but I'll save it for future posts and on social! For now, let me know if you have any questions. Sending you love!