By Ruthie Prasil
To those that are always glowing and feeling like goddesses while pregnant, I give you a million props and a hearty applause. For some of us, putting on extra poundage is depressing and instead of having dewy and glowing skin, the teenage fairy pays us a visit and marks us with acne we haven’t seen for years. Not only on our faces — I’m talking chest acne, back acne, freaking LEG acne. Morning sickness (also known as “all day and night” sickness) makes it difficult to ever look and feel put together and aches and pains create unnecessary anxiety to even the most low-risk pregnancies.
Even with these ‘blahs’ of pregnancy, you can enjoy the entire 9 months! There will certainly be parts that are harder than others, but with a few changes and additions to the way you live everyday, they will be few and far between.
(1) Eat small meals throughout the day. They don’t have to be time consuming and they certainly don’t have to be gourmet. Even nuts and cheese can count as a small meal. Eat every couple hours instead of having a large breakfast, a large lunch and a large dinner with crappy snack thrown in between. This will help your morning sickness for sure. You’ll have energy and won’t be a slave to the toilet. At work, pack Ziploc sandwich bags full of snacks like nuts, cheeses, dried (or fresh) fruit, veggies, crackers, and snack bars. Add the to-go cups of hummus, peanut butter, and dip. While you’re writing your 10th email of the morning, snack on veggies, hummus, and nuts. Go about your day for a couple hours then munch on a snack bar with a few berries. Do that throughout the day and see what it does for your tummy and energy level.
(2) Find a skin care regimen you can stick to… and stick to it. As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all feel much more comfortable in our skin when it’s at its healthiest. Read: blemish free. Of course it goes without saying that having flawless skin is nearly impossible and is most definitely not the one sign of beauty. But having more skin issues than normal due to hormones can be really hard! Find something that maybe you haven’t tried before that might work for you and your new skin. Don’t forget that many acne treatments have salicylic acid and aren’t safe but there are many out there that are natural and good for you! Some essential oils are used to clear up complexions and there are some products that have ingredients from the Dead Sea that are supposed to help tremendously. Whatever you try, keep at it for a while to see if you’re getting results you’re happy with. Also switch makeup (if you wear makeup). What you’ve used for years might not be good for you now. Try oil-free or skip it altogether. Trust me, your natural face is beautiful!
(3) Exercise. Not to lose weight or gain muscle, but to feel good! It’s not a secret that exercising boosts your mood and helps you maintain that mood all day. That “Baby Story” marathon on TLC might look really inviting, but a walk around your neighborhood will do your body good! Consistent exercise throughout your pregnancy can make labor and delivery easier, too. If you’re in better shape, your body will respond so much better – and recovery will be easier, too! It will be worth it, I promise.
(4) Schedule a maternity massage once a month. Yes, it can be incredibly relaxing but if your massage therapist knows what she is doing, many aches and pains can be relieved through massage. With my 4th pregnancy I had absolutely horrible sciatic nerve pain. I couldn’t walk without stopping every couple steps because of the pain. I finally decided, at the urging of my husband, to try massage. You would not believe the difference it made! It can be a bit spendy, but if you can swing a massage every 2 weeks, you’ll feel like a different person.
These aren’t magical cures for a perfect 9 months. I don’t think that exists. But small steps to creating a positive and uplifting atmosphere and body image can do wonders for your overall attitude and self esteem while your body is growing a life. Repeat that. Your body is growing a life. Take care of yourself and take care of your baby — mind and body. 9 months will flash by.