There are many ways in which you can stay healthy during and after pregnancy. Our team wanted to share some ideas of healthy habits our mamas can incorporate to their day to day routines. Incorporating some of these practices into your daily life can really have a big impact both on your physical and mental health.
1. Practise breathing exercises and stretches: Learning to control your breathing is an easy technique that you can do almost anywhere. Slow, deep breathing can help you relax and it’s a great tool to have during labour. There is no right or wrong way to do this, your breathing is right when it feels comfortable to you. It can be through your mouth or nose, with relaxed or pursed lips, making a sound or just blowing quietly – just find a comfortable position and rhythm that works for you. The same goes to stretching, there are many benefits to keeping active during pregnancy and labour, and there is no right way to do it, just keep in mind some simple guidelines to keep it safe for you and your baby. First of all, keep it slow and don’t over do it. You might want to keep abdominal stretches gentle, and avoid deep back bends.
2. Go for a walk: Another easy way to get your body moving is going out for a walk. This underrated type of exercise can reduce joint pain, improve your mood, and help with your blood pressure. You don’t have to go for miles either, studies have shown that walking for as little as 12 minutes can have an impact on our health. You can find your nearest park, or walk around your neighbourhood, you can go on your own or with a friend or Mother Companion.
3. Listen to music or prayer: Listening to your favourite tune is not only entertaining but can also have many health benefits. Music has been proven to help with relaxation and can even help you sleep better. Some people also enjoy listening to prayer and recitation of holy scriptures, such as the Quran. Listening to such recitations has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve general wellbeing.
4. Nourish your body: There is no need for pregnancy or breastfeeding specific foods, having a balanced diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, grains and pulses, as well as dairy (or dairy alternatives) and fat, should provide everything you need to keep you and your baby healthy. You can also relax while preparing foods that you like, enjoying the smells and flavours while you cook.
5. Have a warm shower: Warm water can help you relieve muscle tension. Try giving yourself a gentle neck and scalp massage while in the shower. Having a warm shower in the evenings can also help you fall asleep faster and get some much needed night rest. A warm shower improves your blood circulation and can help you lower your blood pressure too.
6. Talk to a friend or your Mother Companion: Nothing beats a good chat with a pal, whether it’s in person, over the phone or text. Reaching out to friends is very important for new mamas, having a conversation and a laugh, as well as sharing our worries, is all part of looking after yourself. Also, it’s ok to ask for help if you need it, reach out to a friend or a Mother Companion. Our Mother Companions can offer support and reassurance when you need it. Project MAMA exist to provide support during pregnancy, birth and those first few weeks with your baby, don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to have a chat.
How do you look after yourself? We are always looking for new, simple and cheap ways to look after yourself to share with our mamas. Head over to our Instagram to share your best tips.