So much is going on in your body and your mind when you’re pregnant that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We speak with real mums to get the scoop on how to survive – and thrive – during this challenging period.
1. Avoid overwhelming yourself with information.
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t Google your symptoms.” The same applies to pregnancy. If you start researching everything that can go wrong, you will drive yourself crazy! That said, if you experience anything that doesn’t seem right, like heavy cramping or bleeding, tell your doctor immediately. Your frequent appointments will give you plenty of opportunities to discuss more minor issues. But don’t be tempted to research too much on your own if you want to stay sane.
2. Tune out delivery horror stories.
Everyone has one—their neighbour who spent twenty hours in labour, the cousin whose epidural wore off before the placenta came out. Tell your well-meaning friends and relatives that you don’t need to hear any tales of woe. Save the story swapping for after your own (hopefully) uneventful delivery!
3. Keep up your exercise routine.
Most types of exercise can be modified for pregnancy. Staying active will keep your stress level down and help you sleep better. If your high-intensity boot camp becomes too much, try low-impact strength training, a dance-based class, or pregnancy yoga. During my pregnancies, I enjoyed swimming, which makes the extra weight you are carrying feel lighter, or even just sitting in the pool to cool off, especially in the later months.
4. Focus on nourishing, not noshing.
It might be tempting to indulge since you are “eating for two,” but you aren’t just feeding yourself and your baby, you are also providing nutrition. You might find yourself craving certain foods—I wanted chocolate milk during my first pregnancy, which I normally hate, and had to have beef during the second—but try to reign in the desire to snack on sweets or fatty foods constantly. Nutritious, quality food will help you feel better, physically and emotionally.
5. Most importantly, hold on to your perspective.
Millions of women have experienced exactly what you are going through. Talk to your friends who have already had children, join mummies’ support groups, or talk to your own mother! Sometimes, it helps just to know that others have been where you are now, and they’ve made it through. Keep your eye on the goal – having a wonderful, healthy baby!