Women's Health Week: Tips to looking after yourself during pregnancy & beyond
This week is Women’s Health Week (WHW). From 6th September to 10th September, WHW aims to bring attention to, and support women’s overall health and general well being. Providing resources and information for those who may be struggling as well as offering a reminder that looking after your health is important.
We know that looking after yourself can be difficult at times, with so much going on in our lives. Especially for expecting and new mothers, taking care of you first isn’t always a priority. So we wanted to take this week to remind you that your personal wellbeing is important, and your health both mentally and physically should not be left behind.
So what are some ways that you can look after yourself while pregnant or transitioning into motherhood?
Exercise: Not only is exercise beneficial for you physically, but mentally and for your bub’s development. Now we’re not telling you to hit the gym everyday, but incorporating 30-60minutes of light exercise into your daily routine will significantly improve your overall wellbeing. For more information, check out the article here or chat to your doctor about what is best for your situation.
Managing Stress: If you’re a first time mum, we understand how stressful the whole pregnancy journey can be. Millions of things running through your brain to learn, remember, buy, plan, the list goes on! But finding a pocket of peace in your daily routine will help you manage this stressful time. Communicating your concerns with those around you, exercising, maintaining your hobbies or even just reading a book are all great ways to manage your stress and take time for you.
- Rest: Remember to not be so hard on yourself, you’re creating a whole new life and that takes up a lot of energy. Take enough breaks for yourself, even if it's an added 30 minutes to your daily schedule. Getting enough sleep will also help you feel more rested, writing down any tasks or worries before you get to bed will help take the load off your mind so you can focus on a better sleep.
Welcome to Motherhood:
Motherhood is a whole new ball game. We know how hard it can be to get caught up in the new life, routine and stress but we wanted to remind you that while you’re mum, you’re still YOU. Looking after your own well being as a mum is just as important and looking after your family. So what can you do?
Ask for help: You do not have to do it all! They say it takes a village to raise a baby for a reason, motherhood is hard. If you’re struggling with the load, reach out and ask for help. Friends, family and even local community groups are all great resources to get the assistance you need. Whether it be asking a friend to do your grocery shopping, asking a neighbour to put your bins out or a family member to come help watch bub while you sleep, it all adds up! Taking the little things off your plate can make it feel so much lighter, so don’t bear all the weight.
Schedule in YOU: Don’t lose your individuality throughout motherhood. Staying in touch with friends, participating in your hobbies and interests, and even having a night off are all great ways to keep balance in your life. Even if it’s once a month, schedule a day in the calendar for something you love to do. Setting these in your calendar not only give you something to look forward to, but create boundaries for yourself and your family.
- Live in the present: “When she’s older I'll be able to do it again”. “Before I had him, it was easier to do”. If you find yourself wishing for another time, you may find yourself missing the best parts! They grow up so quickly and we often don’t notice until it’s too late. Making sure you’re living in the now and taking in all new experiences and interactions are what make a bond between mum and bub. Not only that, but it helps support your confidence in your own parenting as well as who you are individually. Acknowledging not every parent is perfect and accepting that the challenges along the way are just speed bumps, not stop signs. Take in the messy moments, and you can appreciate the beautiful ones.
We know how hard parenting can be and how hard it can be to look after your family and yourself. Throughout your journey of pregnancy to motherhood there are so many challenges and changes that will be thrown at you, but understanding how to manage them will get you through. Remembering that you’re still a human with a unique self worth is the key to finding a balance between mum and me.