“Take care”. It’s an expression we throw around a lot – when we say goodbye to a friend, when we hang up the phone after a conversation with a loved one, even when we part ways from someone we’ve just met...we advise that person to take good care of themselves.

But how often do we heed our own advice. In today’s rat race society, where everything moves so fast and everything has a quick fix, we rarely take the time to really ‘take care’. We feel a cold coming on, so we take a tablet. We can’t sleep, so we take a pill for that too. And meanwhile we’re ignoring the damage we’re doing to our own health by running ourselves into the ground.

Being kinder to your health is important at any stage in life; but especially so if you’re pregnant. Because you’re eating, breathing and living for two now – and whatever stresses you’re putting your body through, well, baby’s gonna feel the impact.

So here are 3 ways to keep your body and mind fit, healthy and relaxed during pregnancy; giving both you and bubs the TLC you deserve.

1. Eat sensibly

Now I’m sure you have a list of what-to-eats and what-not-to-eats and that’s great. Still, it seems there’s more being added to the ‘avoid’ list every day – and it’s hard to keep up!

The last thing you want is to stress yourself out by worrying about every little thing that passes your lips. So use your common sense, steer clear of the big no-nos, like raw fish, and make sure to eat plenty of dark leafy greens for your iron and calcium fix. Avoid processed food as much as possible and imagine, your baby could be born with a love of brussel sprouts!

It’s also really important to eat 3 proper meals a day. You probably feel so bloated and uncomfortable at times that you may even end up skipping meals, giving in to snacking instead. Don’t do it! It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for the baby.

2. Exercise gently

Just because you’re sporting a large bump doesn’t mean that you become a couch potato! I’m not suggesting that you burn tracks around the block or set a new weight-lifting record at your gym; far from it, in fact. What I suggest is a lot more kinder to your body!

Some gentle exercise each day, like prenatal yoga stretches or swimming, can help your state of mind during the pregnancy and can even minimise discomfort during the birth. Think about it – you’ll be using muscles that frankly, don’t get used very much...so isn’t it a good idea to warm them up?!

Plus, exercise of any kind just helps us feel better. Combine it with a bit of fresh air if you can by going for a walk every day and your body will feel fitter, your mind will feel calmer and both you and bubs will benefit from this self-caring approach.

3. Sleep soundly

Easier said than done, right?! Because when you’ve got heartburn, backache, a giant bump in your way and a head filled with anxieties, sleep doesn’t exactly feel like it’s coming anytime soon.

Getting enough, good-quality sleep is crucial for all of us, whether we’re expecting or not. Sleep affects both our physical and mental health in so many ways; from heart disease to insomnia, diabetes to depression. And with our pregnancy hormones playing games on our minds and bodies enough as it is, the last thing we want to be is sleep-deprived.

Following the first two tips on this list should help with your sleep levels, as eating sensibly (ie reducing your sugar and caffeine intake) and exercising regularly both contribute to a sounder sleep. There are also some great sleep-related resources out there with tips to give you a more comfortable sleep, whether it’s the position you’re lying in or what you’re lying on. Tip: the SoS (sleep-on-side) position is recommended during pregnancy, particularly the left side.

If you’re still having trouble winding down at night, getting into a pre-bedtime routine can really help. Take the self-care a step further by having a long soak in the tub, with candles lit, incense wafting, the works! Play some relaxing music and rub a calming essential oil like lavender on your temples as you feel the tension melt away.

It’s easy – especially when pregnant – to forget to take care of yourself. You’re so caught up with the wellbeing of your future child that your own needs take a backseat! But remember, what’s good for you is good for the baby. So take care of yourself – like really, take care – and your baby will be meeting a healthier, happier mom when the time comes.

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones