Easy Ways To Take Care Of Yourself During Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! During this time taking care of yourself is also taking care of your baby. In the excitement of preparing for your baby, it can be easy to forget about focusing on your own well-being. But you are just as important.

The way your pregnant body adapts to pregnancy affects almost every part of it. Along with the visible physical changes such as a growing belly and larger breasts, there are a variety of other physical changes occurring that aren’t always as obvious but still affect your overall well-being.

The many hormonal changes can affect your mood, cause nausea, along with loosening of your ligaments and joints. Essential weight gain can slow the circulation of blood and fluids in your body resulting in some fluid retention and swelling. Changes in your breasts and nipples, your hair, skin and nails also occur along with an increased blood volume in your body and an increased heart rate. Your sense of taste and smell can even be affected.1

Given that almost every part of your body is affected, how can you take care of yourself? We take a look at some easy self-care options.

Rest and relaxation

pregnancy time out

All the changes of pregnancy along with any discomfort at night can make pregnancy exhausting. Be kind to yourself and prioritise some quiet time during the day where you can relax, put your feet up and enjoy some me time. Take a nap, read a book, enjoy some positive social media, meditate, crochet – do whatever it is that you enjoy while you relax. You deserve it.


Like any other time in your life, keeping active is good for your body. Aim for around two and a half hours of aerobic activity each week and as a rule of thumb don’t do more than you did before you were pregnant – now is not the time to start a training programme!

Have a chat with your Lead Maternity Caregiver (LMC) about your plans. Walking, swimming or aqua jogging, spinning and your usual gym routine are all good options for most. Stop if you feel unwell or uncomfortable.

Limit the noise

Pregnancy seems to attract a lot of well-meaning advice, offers of help, and intrusive questions and it can all be a bit overwhelming. Add to this the clever algorithms on your social media and you easily become inundated with conflicting and frankly sometimes scary information.

It is OK to say no to things you don’t want; No to the offers of dated second-hand gear. No to being touched without permission. No to horror stories. No to overtime or extra tasks at work. No to doom scrolling on social media. If things are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed, they are not adding any value so try to remove them from your life.

Find people, groups and sources of information you trust and try to limit all the other noise.

Pregnancy nutrition

If you are lucky you will comfortably be able to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, rice, milk products and protein sources along with plenty of fluids. Most people suffer from nausea, cravings and indigestion at some stage of their pregnancy and this can make it hard to eat well all the time. A goal of eating well most of the time is more realistic for most.2

There are some food items you shouldn’t eat such as processed or precooked meat, unpasteurised dairy products, deli salads and soft-serve ice-cream. For a full list check with your LMC or Plunket.

Take a babymoon

Especially if this is your first baby, this really is an opportunity to take a holiday without all the gear and care you will need to take along after your baby arrives.

If possible, book some relaxing time away at a destination that suits you. It doesn’t have to be a tropical island – a relaxed bach somewhere could be just the ticket. Work out what you really want from a break away and arrange something that ticks all those boxes.

Some pampering

Pregnancy massage

If not now, when is the right time to treat yourself to some pampering? Whether it’s a special pregnancy massage, a manicure or pedicure, an eyebrow tidy or a bikini line tidy-up, a little bit of pampering won’t go amiss.

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