In pregnancy, every day makes for a new and mystifying adventure.
As our bodies do the work of creating precious life, we may become uneasy or overwhelmed at times. So it's up to us to take care of ourselves, and do what makes us feel good.
Accordingly, here are eight secrets to a happier and healthier pregnancy.
1. Don't get glued to Google.
During pregnancy, it's so easy to worry about every little thing. Is it okay if I eat chocolate? Was that cramping normal? Did I just harm my baby by painting my toenails? But if we get consumed by worry over every little thing, we miss out on enjoying one of life's most awesome experiences. So try not to Google every concern to death, as it'll only make you worry even more! There's too much conflicting -- and WRONG -- information out there, especially on message boards. And if you really have a pressing question, there's no better resource than your doctor or midwife.
2. Make time to connect with your baby.
Make it a daily ritual to check in with the tiny miracle growing inside you. Sing to your baby. Talk about all the things you'll do together. Play music toward your belly. Breathe and connect to your baby through meditation. Whatever makes you feel happy and connected, do it! Creating that bond with the baby early on will not only pay off over the course of his or her lifetime, but will give your days a dose of joy and stability.
3. Engage in self-care... you deserve it!
Now is the time to care for yourself. Full force. As women, we often tend to put others before ourselves. But all of us need to be nourished and supported, as well! This need is especially important during pregnancy. So try not to push yourself too hard. Enjoy this time. Do what you can to nurture yourself. Get a prenatal massage. Take a yoga class. Get a facial. Go for a hike. Feed your soul in all the ways that strike you as downright blissful.
4. Journal about your pregnancy... and don't forget to include all your dreams for your baby!
Writing during pregnancy can be incredibly grounding. You can jot down all the changes you're going through, and all the feelings that are coming up for you. If you have any frustrations or worries, it's really theraputic and cleansing to get them all down on paper; they become less intimidating that way! It's also great to jot down love notes for your baby before you finally meet. Communicating to your little one through the written word will instantly put you in a happy and healthy frame of mind.
5. Eat healthy foods.
Be sure to consume lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. The more you nourish your body, the healthier you and your baby will be. You'll have more energy and clarity -- and that famous pregnancy glow will light up every room!
6. Embrace your changing body -- it's a beautiful thing.
Your body is in the process of creating a new life. It is engaged in a dance with a sacred process that has endured since the dawn of creation. All of the changes, all of the scars, all of the new sensations -- they are all but measures of your evolution into a mother (be it for the first time or the 10th time!). You are shedding the skin of the old while embracing a path that's been embraced by an infinite line of mighty women before you. So love your body. Every step along the way. It's a temple of courage and compassion. It's a miracle in progress.
7. Honor your boundaries.
This one's very simple: When you feel a "no" inside, say, "no." And when you feel a "yes" inside, say, "yes." Being a mother puts you in touch with what truly matters in life. You simply don't have time or energy for things that don't mean anything to you. Accordingly, being pregnant is a terrific time to start honoring your boundaries. Stop making commitments that leave you cold. Live in alignment with your heart's desires, and happiness will always find you.
8. Nurture positive thoughts about your pregnancy, and your upcoming labor and delivery.
Focus, always, on delivering a happy and healthy baby! Worrying about what can go wrong is a waste of energy. So keep your eye on the ball. Cultivate visions of all going right. Keep your focus on that moment when you get to hold that beautiful baby in your arms for the first time. Keep that vision strong and alive, not only in your mind, but in your heart, as well.
My wish for you is to have the happiest and healthiest of pregnancies!