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Cultivating a self-care practice during pregnancy is an excellent way to support your mental and emotional health during such a time of transition. There are many ways to practice self-care, and getting familiar and comfortable with tools that make you feel good will serve you well as a new parent. Here are some of my top areas to focus on;
During pregnancy, particularly the first trimester, food aversions, nausea and vomiting can interfere with nutrient intake. If possible, try to take a quality multivitamin in the evening, and if taking iron, avoid taking this on an empty stomach in the morning, as this generally triggers nausea for a lot of pregnant people.
Staying hydrated helps to reduce nausea, and increase energy levels. If you are not a fan of plain water, or struggling to keep fluids down, try sipping on a flavoured electrolyte powder. This makes your efforts to hydrate much more effective and can also provide added nutrients like minerals and vitamins. I also love bone broth to sip on as this is highly nourishing.
Sleep challenges may happen during pregnancy, whether it is waking up with sweats, frequent bathroom breaks, suffering from indigestion and/or waking from the discomfort of your growing body. Having good quality pillows to support your hips, knees, belly and back will boost your comfort factor, allowing for more sleep.
Exercise during pregnancy, unless contraindicated by your healthcare provider, is a great way to support your body to handle pregnancy and birth. Building your strength with your labour and birth plans in mind is an empowering aspect of birth planning. Look for gyms, studios and in-home programs that have a specific focus on pregnancy exercise.
Massaging your growing belly with a beautiful oil is a lovely ritual to adopt after a shower or bath. Your baby can sense physical touch from as early as eight weeks gestation, so it is also a lovely way to bond with your baby. Using a nutrient-rich oil helps to keep skin hydrated and nourished, which can help support skin stretching and reduce itchiness in those later stages of pregnancy.
Pregnancy massage is a beautiful way to support your body during pregnancy. It can be incredibly relaxing and help to ease muscle tension. A good massage can support good sleep, reduce stress and also assist with preparing your body for labour.
Pregnant individuals have reported positive outcomes from incorporating acupuncture into their prenatal care such as;
A mother’s blessing is less commonly known when compared to the popular baby shower. The purpose of the mother's blessing is to create a time and ceremony for the mother to be supported by her community in her upcoming birth and motherhood transition. A mother’s blessing is all about emotional support, coming together in solidarity with the birth parent and can include activities like a massage, foot soak, song, prayer and food preparation for the postpartum period.
Joelleen, the founder of JWP is a holistic lactation consultant with over 13 years of experience supporting breastfeeding families. She combines her knowledge of midwifery, naturopathy and IBCLC lactation consulting to help parents feel guided and confident in their breastfeeding journey.
Joelleen offers clinic and in-home consultations for parents in Melbourne, and for those outside her visit zone, she offers her services virtually. Joelleen also has breastfeeding eGuides and hosts bi-monthly online workshops to help prepare parents for breastfeeding and for life with a newborn before their baby's arrival.
* photography by Studio Day Dot
Exfoliation is a necessary and basic step in your skin care ritual, as it encourages skin cell turnover, stimulates the production of new skin cells, and encourages the production of collagen and elastin, the basic building blocks of the skin.