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5 Guilt-Free Pleasures for Mums-to-be
You’ve just found out you are pregnant and suddenly, you’re being bombarded by an avalanche of information on what you can and can’t do as well as lists of forbidden foods and drinks – where are you supposed to top up on your guilty pleasures?
Perhaps this is the moment you’ve waited all your life for or it has come out the blue. And yet the fantasies of walking along the beach barefoot with your bump, hair flowing behind you while you’re in a state of total serenity are rudely interrupted by seemingly never-ending waves of morning sickness. Ugh!
Once the nausea abates, it’s not long before sleep can be ruined by chronic heartburn in the later stages. Or you may be worrying about how becoming a mum will impact your career, your hobbies and even some of your relationships.
These nine months are life-changing emotionally as well as physically. Yet this is also a time to embrace this liminal space between motherhood and your life before. You are about to unlock a whole new level of being human, sharing your life and your heart with a small person who depends on you for everything.
This short phase signals the last time you’ll get to be by yourself for a little while, even to go to the loo! So, let’s make it count – why not indulge a few whims and make time for yourself?
To help you out, we’ve come up with a few “guilt-free” pleasures to replace some of the guiltier ones you might be missing temporarily.
A massage is a luxurious experience at the best of times, helping you release tightness and stress in your body, but when you’re pregnant, the role of massage takes on a whole new function.
You may feel a little over-indulgent for pampering yourself when you need to be saving your pennies for the new baby, but just remember, this is great for your baby too!
Massage, as well as helping you to unwind and improving blood flow, actually reduces pain and strengthens your ligaments and muscles as your baby grows. These muscles will be an enormous help to you when you go into labour, so you’ll be glad you took good care of them.
On top of that, studies have shown that women who have frequent massages during their pregnancy are less likely to require intervention during labour and can also help to reduce your little one’s delivery time.
What’s not to love?
Gone are the days when mums-to-be were simply told to put their feet up and eat for two (if only that were still the case!).
While you may not be able to or feel like taking part in your usual exercise classes, a little movement can help to improve your mood if you are feeling down or anxious.
Some exercise can keep you supple for daily tasks, stop you stiffening up and also can reduce swelling in your feet.
A little gentle pregnancy yoga is the perfect way to relax your muscles, relieve stress and release any anxieties as you work through the calming movements.
Whether you’re a regular in the beauty salon or you find you are often too busy for a mani-pedi, pregnancy is the perfect excuse to spoil yourself.
Your body is changing and you may find this has affected your confidence. Getting your nails done might be just the ticket to giving you a little boost, adding the perfect touch of glamour to your day.
A facial is a great way to maximise your already glowing skin, and perhaps you fancy getting your legs or bikini waxed because for some women this helps to feel more prepared and in control for labour (it can also become increasingly hard to do these treatments for yourself with your ever-growing baby bump!).
It’s all up to you – remember this is about you feeling your best! Just be sure to check that the treatments are safe.
Stock up on accessories
Most of us end up splashing out on maternity clothes for comfort, but since these are often temporary guests in our home, it doesn’t make sense to fill an entire wardrobe with them.
What to Expect suggests only buying a small selection of outfits and instead, topping up on accessories: bangles, necklaces, scarves… the options are endless!
This allows you to create a different style each day, and you’ll still get to wear these items once your little one has arrived.
Pregnancy relaxation classes
Preparing for the arrival of a little one has its own busy schedule, and maybe you’re still trying to juggle everything: a job, family life, seeing friends…
Being busy can be fun, but if you’re feeling stressed out during pregnancy, it can have an impact on both you and your little one.
Regular relaxation benefits both mum and baby by:
- Reducing heart rate and blood pressure
- Decreasing the risk of birth complications
- Lowering the chance of giving birth prematurely
- Improving baby’s birth weight
- Cutting down the risk of emotional and physical health problems later down the line
Mums-to-be can also enjoy:
- More high-quality sleep
- Feeling calmer with less anxiety and stress
- Fewer aches and pains during pregnancy
- Reduced pain during labour
We understand it’s not always easy to get away from the demands of everyday life, so we’ve created our Relax with Bump pregnancy relaxation classes as the perfect opportunity to take yourself off for an hour of uninterrupted meditation as well as being a great way to bond with your baby in a mindful way.
Besides the chance to let down your hair during the session, you’ll discover lots of fantastic tools to aid you during labour.
Our classes are live online, which means you don’t have to leave your sofa or bed. And since you don’t need to drive home after class, you can enjoy the full benefits for hours afterwards and even have a snooze.
If you join in with a group session, you’ll get to meet other mums-to-be and ask your questions to your instructor. You’ll become part of the Basking Babies community through our social media and WhatsApp chat, so we can support you throughout your pregnancy – and also once you welcome your little one into the world.
Why not add the above ideas to your pregnancy treat list? Do tell us about your experiences by leaving a comment/post on our Facebook page.
What about the everyday self-care tips?
Here are just a few basics you can do to take care of your daily wellbeing.
- Between trips to the spa and the massage therapist, it is essential to get plenty of rest including your eight hours a night of quality sleep.
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water, as during pregnancy you need more fluids than usual.
- Keep a diary of your pregnancy and how you’re feeling. This often helps people to process any anxieties while also acting as a wonderful keepsake for the future.
- Reach out to other mums-to-be and groups for expectant mums. This means you have people you can ask questions to if no one else seems to understand your current emotions.
- Eat well – get plenty of vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet and vitamin supplements, such as folic acid in the first trimester. Vitamin D is an essential throughout pregnancy. There are other supplements you may need, for example, if there’s not enough iron or calcium in your diet. Check with your doctor or midwife for more details.
Dealing with morning sickness
Morning sickness is an obstacle for many pregnant women, and can last throughout pregnancy. The NHS recommends the following to help you feel better:
- Get lots of rest
- Eat plain food such as dry toast or plain biscuits
- Munch little and often, rather than trying to force down enormous meals
- Drink water at regular intervals, taking light sips when you can
- Ginger can help reduce nausea, so add some to your meals
Always check with your GP or midwife before making changes to your diet, exercise routine or when taking vitamin supplements.
Pregnancy is a short but precious time in a woman’s life. Enjoy this special phase as best you can with self-love and kindness.
If you’re looking for a great way to enjoy quality time with your unborn baby, try our online pregnancy relaxation classes.