As pregnancy progresses it can be hard to relax. There is a lot going on with your body, and even more going on with your mind. How can you put your feet up when you should be refolding the baby clothes (again)? How can you take a walk when you need to be sure the freezer is stocked with meals for your first few weeks at home? Regardless of how you feel and how much time you have at your disposal, you absolutely must find time to relax during pregnancy.
Your feet are below your increasingly heavy body most of the day. You stand on them. You walk on them. When you sit, they dangle below you. So do what everyone keeps telling you to do and prop them up. The best way to prop up your feet is in bed. Find all of your pillows and create a nest. Throw a few behind you back, and then put the rest under your knees and feet. Now, with the blood and fluids finally circulating easily in your body, you’re ready to close your eyes and rest or catch up on some of your baby books. Try to do this every night to give your poor feet a break!
As relaxing as it is sitting still, you also need to be sure you’ve given your body a chance to move. Moving through exercise of any kind is good to relieve stress and give your mind a chance to process thoughts. So go for a walk around the block. If you’re stuck at an office most of the day, get up from your desk and walk around the building’s floor a few times. Or take part of your lunch hour to stroll along the sidewalk outside the office.
Even heading to the mall for lunch and taking a brisk walk while staring at window displays can be enough movement to be sure the blood is flowing and that you’re releasing tension.
The best position for a pregnant woman is lying on her left side. This promotes the best blood flow to the uterus. It’s also very relaxing to lie around with no purpose other than laying still and counting kicks, movements and idly daydreaming about the future. Stretch out on your couch or bed in the afternoon or evening. You can watch television or read, but the best relaxation is to simply let your mind wander or to lay still and feel your baby moving inside you.
Rest is absolutely critical for a healthy and relaxed pregnancy. So don’t feel guilty about taking a nap. Even a fifteen minute catnap in your desk chair with your feet propped up on file boxes can give you the energy you need to get through the day. Your brain also does its best work while we are resting or sleeping, so give it time to sort through your competing thoughts to help clear your mind and allow you to focus on your joy.
Sometimes all we need to break a stressful routine is playing hooky and having fun. Sure you might have planned a day of cleaning or filing, but those things can wait. Take the day off work and head to the spa for a manicure and pedicure. Or find a specialist in pregnancy massage and let her work out the tension in your body. Even something as low key as heading to the mall after work to browse baby clothes while eating ice cream can be a spontaneous treat and help get you back in the right frame of mind.
Don't forget to record your pregnancy for posterity using a free pregnancy website!
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