10 Ways To Love Being Pregnant
Want to have a happy pregnancy? Some of it is in your head. Make the most of your nine months—starting now.
Pregnancy sᴛʀᴇsses the limits of our endurance. It takes us to emotional heights — and depths. It changes our values as well as our shapes. Here are 10 ways to enjoy the opportunities pregnancy provides so you can really savor this special time in your life.
- Take advantage of your status. Never again will more people be so willing to help you. Accept that bus seat. Say yes to offers to carry your packages. Rather than feel guilty, resolve to pass the favors on to another pregnant woman later.
- Revel in your belly. When your baby is awake and active, put a jelly bean or half-filled glass of water on your belly, lean back, and watch the show. Photograph or videotape your ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ. Record the ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ. Have a cast made of your belly. Show the real thing off, too.
- Go easy on nesting. Setting up a nursery and shopping for a new baby can be fun, but don’t let it overwhelm you. All he really needs is shelter, basic clothing, diapers, food and you.
- Look your best. Invest in a couple of special maternity outfits, including some ᴘʀᴇᴛᴛʏ ʟɪɴɢᴇʀɪᴇ. Wear flattering colors and styles. Get beauty treatments often. Have a ɢʟᴀᴍᴏᴜʀ photo taken (don’t worry, you can keep your clothes on).
- Evaluate your life. Suddenly, climbing the corporate ladder may not seem so important. Perhaps your lifestyle feels “off” now that you are bringing a child into it. Take advantage of any doubts or discontentment to do some soul-searching, and be prepared for shifts in your priorities.
- Be queen for a day (for nine months). Trash your to-do lists. Nap without guilt. Go to a day spa. Take extra showers. Take your shoes off and put your feet up. Sleep late (but do get up and dressed so you feel part of the world). Buy a body pillow for your last trimester. If meals or housework are too much, hire help or call on a friend.
- Renew your sᴘɪʀɪᴛᴜᴀʟɪᴛʏ. The timing couldn’t be better. “When you’re pregnant, you’re more contemplative, more in tune with creation,” says the Rev. Susan Plymell, mother of four and pastor of Pueblo West United Methodist Church in Colorado.
- Reconnect with your parents. More than ever, you have something in common with your parents. Use that fact to improve communication with them. “Sharing the mothering experience brought my mother and me closer together,” says Kathy Ward, a mother of three. “It brought back memories for her and increased my understanding of what she went through with five kids.”
- Enjoy being ᴋɴᴇᴀᴅᴇᴅ. Performed correctly, prenatal ᴍᴀssᴀɢᴇ can safely relax you; ease muscle sᴛʀᴇss, swelling and back pain; and improve circulation. “ᴍᴀssᴀɢᴇ can also help a woman develop greater sensory awareness, which is very useful in labor and delivery,” says Paula Koepke, a prenatal-ᴍᴀssᴀɢᴇ instructor in Oakland, Calif. “Studies have also shown that women who are touched in a nurturing way more easily transfer that nurturing to their babies.”
- Get motivated to live more healthfully. Sometimes we’ll do things for someone else that we won’t do for ourselves. You have several months to develop healthful eating habits, start a moderate exercise program, take up meditation or do whatever else makes your body a better home for both you and your baby.