Oct 14, 2021

10 self-care tips
during pregnancy

Written by: Mary Lee

With so many books, blogs and “do’s and don’ts” of pregnancy, it can feel daunting to keep a checklist of how to best care for you and your baby. Whether you’re a first time mom or this is your second (or third) BE PATIENT with yourself while you learn, grow and change through pregnancy – every body, experience, and journey is unique to its own. Our bodies are smart and capable…I couldn’t believe how much faster my body changed with #2 – it knew exactly what to do.

Compared to my first I was more attuned to what my body needed, and felt more at peace with the MANY transformations we experience as moms. My pregnancy with Indie was starkly different than Navy — unrelenting morning sickness that persisted till week 34, indigestion that led to vomiting and many sleepless nights, congestion (hi Afrin), annddd something very new…bulging varicose veins in my legs and groin. Painful..YES! All this compounded while doing my best to chase and entertain my toddler and keeping my head above water at work. Wow. The new found appreciation for mommas of multiples is REAL.

Staying healthy, managing my symptoms, and resting when I had the chance was my main focus. I tried different vitamins, supplements, foods and almost every anti-nausea trick in the book to find the best wellness routine for me. Sharing all my tips and tricks below that I found most beneficial!!

Working Out

Moving your body is so important during pregnancy, so work out regularly even when you don't feel you have the energy - push through even just for 10 minutes of movement :) Be sure to adapt and modify workouts as you progress and your body changes. You’ll likely become more limited in what you can do.

Eating Well

If you experience indigestion but be sure to avoid offensive foods that cause further indigestion including:

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
    • Tomatoes
    • Pineapple
    • Citrus fruits
    • Chocolate (you can eat this in moderation)
  • Foods with a lot of garlic or onion
  • Fried and fatty foods
  • Carbonated drinks

If you’re experiencing nausea, here are a few things to eat in an effort to curb it:

  • Anything and everything ginger (mints, gum, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and ginger tea)
  • Crackers, crackers, and more crackers
  • Small, frequent meals

Folic acid is essential for the baby's development so it's also really important to eat folate-rich foods during pregnancy. Some foods to add to your diet include:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens
  • Chickpeas and kidney beans

Also, it's ok to say YES to pregnancy cravings =)

Staying Hydrated

HYDRATION..the key to pregnancy as well as breastfeeding. The benefits are never-ending - flushes out toxins and waste, forms amniotic fluid, reduces swelling, increases energy, decreases risk of UTIs and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, helps with digestion, and the list could go ON. Make it a priority to drink 8-10 glasses of water (at least) while pregnant.

It seems there is a tea for every pregnancy symptom so I try a few and find what works for you:

  • Ginger tea - reduces nausea
  • Raspberry red leaf tea - boosts overall uterine health
  • Peppermint tea - eases headaches and reduces vomiting
  • Lemon Balm tea - helps relieve irritability and insomnia

Daily Supplements

I’ve taken Seed synbiotic for about a year and a half to maintain a healthy gut. It’s pregnancy safe and also great to take while breastfeeding. Other benefits I’ve noticed with Seed…

  • More energy
  • Less bloating
  • Improved gut health
  • Clearer skin

Prenatal Vitamins

Perelel prenatal vitamins are dosed dependent on your trimester, which put me at ease knowing I was getting exactly the nutrients I needed for me and the baby throughout my pregnancy. Perelel also makes a postnatal multi-vitamin pack available so I’ll continue to take these while breastfeeding.

"Not only is nighttime sleep important but an hour nap here or there (if you can) is often necessary as your body is changing."

- Mary Lee

Rest

GOOD SLEEP is so important while pregnant, especially in the first and last trimester. A full 8 hours of sleep can make a HUGE difference in your energy level. Not only is nighttime sleep important but an hour nap here or there (if you can) is often necessary as your body is changing.

Remember to SLOW DOWN and rest. Whenever you're able, take time to get off your feet and also recognize that productivity and a day's work will look very different in this season and that's ok - give yourself grace!

Eliminate Toxins

Exposure to chemicals can harm you and the baby so checking ingredient labels is very important - the Think Dirty app and EWG’s skin deep website have been great resources! They’re both quick and easy guides to reference any skincare, beauty, and cleaning products to ensure everything you’re using is clean.

Focus on ditching any products in your day to day that have potentially harmful ingredients including:

  • Household cleaning products - not only should you switch out cleaning products, you may also have to avoid certain chores where you can’t make a clean swap - ask if your partner wouldn’t mind picking up the extra slack here (!!) A great option for safe cleaning products is Branch Basics. Toxic household products to avoid:
    • Pesticides + Herbicides
    • Alcohol
    • Ammonia
    • Chlorine
    • Anything containing VOCs (toilet bowl cleaners, oven cleaners, some dishwasher + laundry detergents)
  • Skincare and Beauty - Using safe products are not only important for you but also the baby growing in your belly. Unfortunately many products in the US are still made with chemicals labeled “unsafe” in other countries. While the FDA has banned only 11 cosmetic ingredients, OVER 1,300 ingredients are banned in the EU (WHAT)! Our skin is the largest organ on our body and absorbs everyyything we put on it, which is why it’s important to check and understand our labels!!

The main ingredients to stay away from (especially while pregnant)…

  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Diethanolamine
  • Triethanolamine
  • Diazolidinyl Ureal
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Tefolin

A quick side note… as important as it is to avoid the above ingredients in skincare, it’s just as important to prioritize sun protection while you’re pregnant. Be sure to DAILY apply a high SPF since you'll burn much quicker during pregnancy.

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