When I began this pregnancy journey, I had no idea what to expect. While most of my friends had endured pregnancy at some point, I knew that everyone handled it differently, and I was fearful of how my body would. I feared major weight gain, stretch marks, announcing our news too soon, and all the health complications that COULD occur. But as weeks went by, and I began to see my body evolve into a vessel for our first born, I started to realize that all this anxiety and fear were unnecessary. Everything I worried about was something I could not control on my own, and once I accepted that, I was able to begin to enjoy these fantastic 9 months. I must say, pregnancy has been a fabulous experience to me, with very little complications and health concerns. In fact, this pregnancy has been enjoyable- more so than I expected. I went on vacation to the beach with our friends halfway through, I’ve endured the heat waves of this hot summer, and I maintained a healthy style- all while enjoying a brownie here and there. ☺️ But there have also been times where I am miserable and don’t know how much more I can take. So, I have put together a list of reminders and tips on how to feel your best during pregnancy and make the most out of the best 9 months of your life.
Working from home, sometimes I forget to do this, but it is so important to get up and get ready in the mornings. Sometimes you are just too exhausted to shower, shave, and blow dry your hair, but I promise it will make you feel better in the long run. I always find that when I get up in the morning and get ready, I get an extra burst of energy and accomplish a lot more during the day than if I were to just stay in my robe all day. It gives me a sense of purpose and confidence needed to conquer the day- and my to-do list usually slims down much quicker when I do so.
But Get Comfy
While it is important for your self-care to get all done up, remember to stay comfy. Especially if you are enduring a summer pregnancy in the heat or nearing the end, it is important to maintain your comfort. That means wearing comfortable footwear, loose clothing, and light makeup. This will help keep you refreshed and relaxed during the last few days of your pregnancy.
Lights, Camera, ACTION!
As I was finishing up my 2nd trimester, I started to consider doing a boudoir photoshoot. I wanted to capture the moments of my first pregnancy, but was afraid of seeing my body for what it really was- every stretch mark, extra pound, and imperfection. Thankfully, I was able to work with a FABULOUS photographer (B. Reed Photography) who made me feel beautiful. If you are in Kentucky, I HIGHLY recommend using Bree for all your photography needs- not only for boudoir sessions, but for family sessions, weddings, Fresh 48 shoots, and everything in between. She is so fun and easy to work with, budget friendly, and provides PRISTINE and QUALITY photos that always exceed expectations.
But this photoshoot was more than just for the photos. I was able to explore ventures outside my comfort zone and give me a sense of confidence that I didn’t realize I needed, and Bree helped me to achieve that. I was constantly so hard on myself about stretch marks, weight gain, etc. that I forgot to love my body for the miracle it was performing and appreciate it for its purpose. To some, it may seem risqué, but to me (and lots of women), it was a confidence booster I needed. Through these photos, I realized that my body isn’t perfect. However, God thought it was perfect enough to grow and nurture one of His own, and that is more than enough!
Now, I am no medical professional, but it is just common knowledge to maintain your health, especially while pregnant. Eat healthy foods that will nourish you, don’t skip meals, and maintain a balanced diet. Don’t overeat, but instead, eat more frequent smaller meals throughout the day. There’s a 7+lbs baby growing inside you, and sometimes I don’t know how much more room there could possibly be left inside there. That is why I always feel so much better when I don’t overindulge.
But Treat Yourself!
While it is very important to nourish your body appropriately, as it is the only source of nourishment for your baby, it is also important to indulge every now and then. This is mainly for your mental health, but remember- you are growing a human inside of you! Be sure to enjoy that cookie, ice cream, or whatever you’re craving. Of course- be sure to practice moderation when doing so, but it is important to treat yourself.
I have said this before, but water has seriously been my BFF during this pregnancy. It has been easy to drink lots of water, as I am constantly thirsty. Which is so good- because it is very important to stay hydrated, especially during a summer pregnancy. Not only does it help the baby’s health, but it helps alleviate lots of symptoms that comes with pregnancy: including swelling, restless legs and cramping, and skin tightness. I am constantly carrying around my big water jug and keeping it filled with iced water. You can purchase my favorite tumbler HERE.
You’re body is undergoing so much change- which can make you extra tired and exhausted, more so than normal. And they always say- sleep while you can. While I have had a difficult time sleeping these last few months of pregnancy due to pain and being uncomfortable, I always try and fit in a nap whenever I can. Rest is important for both your physical body and your mind. Take some ME time and hit the ZZZ’s.
Get a prenatal massage. Or two. I promise- you won’t regret it. I recommend getting one later in your pregnancy, as you will need it more than ever. I always go to NTouch Salon and Spa here in Elizabethtown, KY and I highly recommend their services. They are always professional, easy to get into, and use all natural products from Aveda. During my last massage, I received a dry-brushing treatment that has helped the swelling in my feet tremendously! Not only is a massage healthy for your mind, but also for your body- especially during pregnancy.
Try not to stress. Not only is it important for your baby, but also for your sanity. Don’t read those horror stories you see online about pregnancies or births gone wrong. That is just going to make you crazy. And don’t be so hard on yourself. You are perfect just the way you are- and every “imperfection” you feel about yourself is just a reminder of how awesome our bodies are to be able to endure all it does to grow a HUMAN BEING inside. Don’t forget to love yourself- BEFORE and AFTER pregnancy. A healthy mama will bring a healthy baby- so don’t let the stressors of pregnancy and beyond get you down.
It is truly amazing how beautiful a woman’s body is- and sometimes it takes pregnancy to realize this. In midst of all the symptoms, aches, and pains, be sure to enjoy this time and remember that pregnancy is a journey that should be appreciated and glorified.
***Photography by B. Reed Photography.