Pregnancy can stretch you to the maximum, both physically and mentally. It can become easy to focus on the negatives, and aches and pains of pregnancy. Instead, try and see it as nine months to concentrate on good health, motivation, looking after yourself and having some fun.
Never again will people be so willing to help you as they are when you are pregnant. Most people will offer you their seat on the train or bus, and you should accept any offers of help from friends and relatives – you will probably be able to repay the favour in the future.
It is easy to feel less confident about your looks and body when you are pregnant so do what you can to boost your self-esteem. You will need some new maternity clothes anyway, so make the most of the excuse to buy some new outfits. You can always re-use them for future pregnancies, or you can pass them onto pregnant friends. Beauty treatments will help you feel better; even when you have put on all your baby weight, your nails can still look glamorous!
Many women find pregnancy is a good time to look again at their priorities. Pregnancy and giving birth needn’t limit the possibilities, but it gives you a chance to think about what you want for your family in the future. You have a few months to step off the treadmill of life and think about what you want from your life.
Changing hormones may make your hair stronger and thicker, so you may be able to change to a different hair style if you wish. You may want an easy to manage style when baby comes along, so spend some time talking to your hairdresser and enjoy the chance for a change.
The need to look after the baby growing inside you, is sometimes the motivation we need to look after ourselves. It is the right time to develop healthy eating habits and to stop drinking alcohol. Together with moderate exercise, these will all help you to be fitter and better able to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth. You may have become used to working longer hours, but now is the time to leave work on time, and perhaps have a walk or swim in the evening instead.
Pregnancy can be a time when you become closer to your mum. You will be more able to understand what she went through, and your mum may be the one person that you feel able to talk about certain things with.
Many women make lifelong friends from prenatal groups so find out what is going on
in your area. These are the women who are going through the same experiences as you, at the same time and in the same area, so as well as being an excellent source of information and shared experiences, they may become friends through the whole of your child’s school life and beyond.
Couples often get round to doing things that they have been putting off for a while during pregnancy. Two will soon become three, so make the most of this limited time you now have and go on dates, weekend trips and take time to talk about your hopes and fears about pregnancy and parenting. This is a time when you can become very close, and this time will help bind you together when you have young children and have far less time together.
If all else fails and everything seems wrong, you can blame pregnancy hormones! Indulge yourself, listen to your body and take some time to be spoilt and spoil yourself. You’re pregnant, and with all the highs and lows, you deserve to be pampered and looked after, so make the most of it.