by Courtney Sullivan
Is there ever a limit on how much pampering a woman should get?
How about when a woman's pregnant? We don't think there should be any limits.
These nine months are full of enough stress, anxiety, complications or days just trying to manage to deny a pregnant mama-to-be.
Whether it's wrapping your belly in a soft robe, getting a well-deserved massage, or indulging in a delicious snack, we believe every pregnant woman deserves a good pick-me-up.
This is our top ten list of pampering and pick-me-up favorites.
1. Manicure or Pedicure
Sometime during your pregnancy you'll notice that your feet and hands are poufy and sore. More moms-to-be complain about swelling than any other pregnancy symptom. A manicure and a pedicure done by a reputable person will offer a little relief and make you feel pretty too!
2. Prenatal Massage
Growing another human comes with its share of muscle strain, aches and pains. A good masseuse trained in prenatal massage can make you feel like a million dollars in no time! They'll work on sore areas without any fear of harming the baby. Special tables with a hole for the belly offer an immense relief from the pressure, and can help align your spine and pelvis for birth.
3. Retail Therapy
Particularly in the second trimester some women find that they feel a bit disconnected from their pregnancy. They're not quite showing, the baby is just starting to make its presence known, and usually they're waiting on the baby's sex ultrasound. Doing a little shopping for the baby can help bring you closer to feeling like a "mom." While these items aren't a replacement for your baby, it can give you something to focus on while waiting for the big day. Go ahead and buy the first blanket, tiny pair of socks, or baby lotion.
4. Wardrobe Update
Still squeezing into your jeans? Are you stuck wearing only your partners t-shirts? Go get some maternity gear! Not only will you feel more comfortable, you'll be able to show off that beautiful bump! If you've been sporting the same duds for a while, or you find that they're "shrinking" a bit, grab a few new items to add to your collection. Maybe that awesome sweater you have been eyeing is on sale! Wearing clothes that are comfy and make you feel good lift your spirits.
5. Get Up and Go
Pregnancy is exhausting. The more tired a mama feels, the more she wants to rest. While this is logical, rest might only make you more tired. Try engaging in light exercise. It can open your lungs, get the blood flowing and renew your spirits. Put the leash on Fido and take a brisk 20 minute walk.
6. Indulge in Moderation
Proper nutrition is vital to your pregnancy health, but denying yourself a treat now and then only makes you feel more miserable! If you feel like having a chocolate bar or deli sandwich go ahead! Sip a cup of decaf coffee or a soda. Let yourself enjoy it, guilt free. You've earned it. [Editor's note: If you're not able to eat items like this, you should check with your healthcare provider to be safe.]
7. Take a Day Off
Take a day off or call a friend or family member to take the kids for a day. Do whatever you wish because this should be all about you. Sleep, eat, relax, exercise, clean -- whatever your heart desires! Just make sure it's making you happy. Rejuvenating can make all the difference in the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
8. Plan a Date
Pregnancy can take center stage if you let it. This can leave your relationship feeling left in the dust. With all the baby talk, worry, waiting and wonder it's easy to get disconnected. Taking the time to be with each other, intimate or otherwise, can bring you closer together and remind you both why you're having a baby to begin with. Have some couple time before baby arrives.
9. Dive In!
If you can work in a swim, a dip in the pool will help your body, mind and spirit! The water leaves you weightless, alleviating pain and pressure from your already swollen joints. The exercise will help you feel more energized, too! See if your baby kicks while you're doing the backstroke!
10. Daydream or Meditate
Take a five minute mental vacation and daydream about all the wonderful things motherhood will bring. Reject anything negative or worrisome, and just allow those amazing mama feelings to flow! Meditation can also provide benefits to moms-to-be.
Help out another mom and share what gave you a lift during your most challenging days of pregnancy.
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