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Empowering Moms-to-be: The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy, Radiant Pregnancy

It’s common to feel a range of strong emotions during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. So it’s natural to feel more stressed or anxious than usual.  As a parent-to-be, your emotional well-being can sometimes be overlooked as the focus shifts to your baby’s growth.

There are many practical ways to look after your emotional well-being. The following suggestions will help you cope with the darker days of your pregnancy.

1- Connect

Feeling close to and appreciated by others is a human need. Having close friendships and people to talk to protects you from mental health problems.

Pregnancy and parenthood, especially for the first time, are so new and raise so many challenges you haven’t had to face before. Knowing other people in the same situation and connecting with them is really helpful. But the great thing is that for many, this is a time when it’s easier to make many connections within your local community.

2- Be active

Physical activity can help combat anxiety and depression and improve your sense of well-being.

You don’t have to take a class or engage in paid activity. Slower activities are also helpful. Don’t believe anyone who tells you to rest or stop exercising because you’re pregnant. Physical activity is good for your baby and for you.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs, not the elevator
  • Take a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk to work – perhaps with a colleague – so you can be in contact with him or her.
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the last part of your journey to work.
  • Walk to someone’s office instead of calling or e-mailing.

3- Take notice

Try to be in the present instead of thinking (and worrying) about the future. On your way to work or to the stores, try to concentrate on what’s going on around you, instead of thinking about what you’re going to eat or about everything else you have to do.

The things around you also make a difference. A tidy space can make your mind more relaxed.

  • Buy a plant. Plants are pretty, and looking after them can give you a sense of well-being. Spider plants are easy to care for.
  • Clean up if there’s a lot of clutter around you.
  • If you’re constantly worrying about certain things, devote a specific time of the day or week to it and try not to do it at other times.
  • If you’re very busy, remember to take a break every couple of hours, have a cup of tea and notice who and what is around you.
  • Have lunch away from your desk if you’re working.

4- Learn

Learning new things and setting goals can help you feel good. Pregnancy and child-rearing are a time of learning for all women. Whether you’re having twins, pregnant after a loss or eagerly awaiting your third baby, there are many ways to learn more about all types of pregnancy and parenthood.

Here are all the ways you can learn more about the journey

  • Read a book.
  • Research a question you’ve always wondered about pregnancy.

5- Don’t believe the hype

It may seem that all other pregnant women and people giving birth are happy and coping all the time, but they will all face difficulties. It’s not uncommon to feel bad during pregnancy or after giving birth, but many people hide their true feelings, especially in public.

What are the most common pregnancy-related problems?

Here are 10 pregnancy surprises.

1- Mood swings

Premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy are similar in many ways. Your breasts swell and become sensitive, your hormones rise and fall, and you may feel moody. Mood swings are very common during pregnancy. They tend to occur more in the first trimester and towards the end of the third trimester.

2- Hair and nails

Many women experience changes in hair texture and growth during pregnancy. Hormones can accelerate hair growth and reduce hair loss. But these changes are generally not permanent because many women experience hair loss after pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Some women find that hair grows in unwanted places, such as on the face, stomach or around the nipples. Changes in hair texture can make it drier or oilier. Some women even find that their hair changes color.

Nails, like hair, can change during pregnancy. The extra hormones can make them grow faster and stronger. However, some women find that their nails split and break more easily during pregnancy.

3- Varicose veins, hemorrhoids and constipation

Varicose veins, usually found in the legs and genital area, occur when blood accumulates in veins enlarged by pregnancy hormones. Varicose veins often disappear after pregnancy. To prevent them:

  • avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • wear loose-fitting clothing
  • wear compression stockings
  • elevate your feet when sitting.

Hemorrhoids – varicose veins of the rectum – are also common during pregnancy. Your blood volume has increased and your uterus exerts pressure on your pelvis. As a result, the veins in your rectum can enlarge, forming grape-like clusters. Hemorrhoids can be very painful, bleeding, itchy or stinging, especially during or after a bowel movement.

Constipation is another common pregnancy misfortune. This is due to the fact that pregnancy hormones slow down the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract. In the later stages of pregnancy, your uterus may exert pressure on your large intestine, preventing you from having a bowel movement. Constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids, as straining to have a bowel movement can widen the veins in the rectum.

4- Skin changes

Pregnant women have a larger blood volume to provide extra blood flow to the uterus and other organs, especially the kidneys. This greater volume brings more blood into the vessels and increases sebaceous gland secretion.

Some women develop brown spots on the face, called melasma (also known as chloasma or pregnancy mask). Others will notice a dark line down the middle of the abdomen, called the black line (or linea negra). They may also experience hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) of the nipples, external genitalia and anal region. This is because pregnancy hormones increase the body’s production of pigments.

This increase in pigmentation may not be uniform, so darkened skin may appear as patches of color. This phenomenon cannot be prevented, but wearing sunscreen and avoiding UV rays can minimize its effects.

Some general tips for preggos

During pregnancy, a woman will experience many skin changes and conditions. This is why the skincare products you use during pregnancy must be hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free.

To sum it up… Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it’s also a time when you need to take extra care with your skincare and beauty routine. Also, don’t forget to take care of your inner beauty. Find what makes you happy and relaxed and stick to it. A happy pregnancy means a happy baby!

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