Preparing for a healthy pregnancy can sometimes feel like checking things off a list. Getting enough exercise, planning your financial life, planning for your unplanned pregnancy, etc. The number of things you have to do never seems to decrease, much like your stress level. This can make it difficult to do the most important thing of all — self-care.
While you are still eating and exercising for the health of your body, you might forget to take care of yourself mentally and spiritually. Mental health is just as important as physical health and should be discussed more openly than it is, especially during pregnancy. If you keep your mind and body happy, your baby will be happy as well. You don’t have to go out of your way to relax. Sometimes taking a deep breath is all you need.
Your adoption experts at Adoption Choices of New York can walk with you on this emotional journey as you place your child for adoption. You are not alone. Here are six tips for self-care for birth mothers during pregnancy.
1. Stay Positive
Once you choose to place your child for adoption, you might begin to hear discouragement from friends and family. While their intentions are good, their words might create more stress for you. Choosing adoption is a hard choice and one that is often not talked about openly. Your friends and families might not understand that there’s a story behind every birth mother and her decision. Because of this, there’s a chance you might start to feel like a bad mother for making this choice. Stop those thoughts.
You are incredibly brave and strong for taking the initiative to provide a better future for your child, even if that’s not with you. Despite what others might think, you are a wonderful mother-to-be. So drop that negativity and continue to do what will be best for you and your child.
2. Eat in Bed
There’s absolutely no one who can tell you that you can’t eat in bed, especially when you’re growing a human inside of your belly. Take advantage of that. It’s alright to indulge in laziness once in a while. Staying in bed can also alleviate morning sickness.
Speaking of bed, it is also crucial for you to get enough rest. Because you have another human in you, your body is hard at work and needs time to recharge. Resting can be a power nap, getting off your feet or even just eating in bed. Whatever it is, make sure that you are in a quiet space so that you can unwind. Take deep breaths and think happy thoughts.
3. Take a Spa Day
With all the morning sickness, unwanted bloating and mood changes, you can definitely use a spa day. You deserve to be pampered. However, not all spa treatments are pregnancy-friendly. You should check with your doctor before proceeding forward with any professional spa treatments.
If you can’t afford a spa day, no problem – you can have a spa day at home. A face mask is all you will need. During pregnancy, your skin is more sensitive and thus will need more moisture. Keep in mind that any harsh chemicals might cause you to have negative reactions so check the active ingredients in every face mask. Typically, collagen and any hydrating minerals are welcomed. Collagen increases circulation, promotes the growth of new skin cells and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Other activities you can do at home include foot soaks and scrubs.
Generally, face masks, waxing and facial and body exfoliators will be safe for you. Long term exposure to warm water such as saunas or hot tubs, though, can be dangerous as they raise your body temperature. If you’re looking for a full body massage, it is recommended that you wait until the second trimester so as to not disturb the development of your baby. As always, you should check with your doctor.
4. Start a Journal
Pregnancies can be a time of self-reflection and growth. For many expectant mothers, this journey is emotional, and they need some way to prepare for the endeavors ahead. Another tip for self-care for birth mothers during pregnancy is to start a journal. This method serves as a healing activity.
To get started, set aside a time in the day specifically for writing. It doesn’t have to be long, but make sure that it’s long enough so that you have time to write about your day. You don’t need to set a prompt for yourself. This journal is a place where you can let down all of your unfiltered thoughts. So, write without thinking or holding back. It’s also good to designate a specific spot in your house for writing. It will act as your safe space, a place where you don’t have to follow any expectations and can take a deep breath.
5. Remind Your Friends that You Love Them
Pregnancy is all about creating new bonds. However, women can also experience the loss of friends while being pregnant. There are many reasons for this, including, but not limited to: different sleeping schedules, change in diet and your body not permitting you to leave the house at times. Because of the surplus of emotions, you might start to feel lonely.
The first step in maintaining any relationship is to have open communication. Let your friends know that you care about them. Also, let them know when you are available for lunch or invite them over for an at home spa day. Chances are, they want to see you too, but are hesitant to ask. Let them know you are thankful for them, because everyone needs to hear that. And don’t be shy about telling them that you need them too during this time in your life.
6. Keep that Smile on Your Face
It is a psychological fact that if you fake a smile, you will eventually start to feel happy. This isn’t to say that you are not allowed to feel sad. At the same time, though, it is important for you to be happy so that you promote a more positive pregnancy experience. During the first trimester, you may feel nervous and scared for the future. Those are natural and valid reasons to be stressed, but do not let those thoughts fill your head for the duration of your pregnancy. Too much stress will affect your health and the development of your baby. So, take a deep breath and keep smiling.
Tips for Self-care for Life
At Adoption Choices of New York, we value your physical as well as your mental health. Being emotionally healthy is part of the pregnancy journey, and our adoption experts will work to help you create a relaxing routine for yourself. We hope that our tips for self-care for birth mothers during pregnancy will alleviate a little bit of your stress. Contact us for more information or have us call you instead. Remember, you are not alone.
Adoption Choices of New York
Over the past seventeen (17) years, Adoption Choices has helped many individuals and couples make adoption plans and complete their families through the miracle of adoption . The adoption agency staff of Adoption Choices of New York has well established relationships with agencies and attorneys across the nation, as well as Adoption Choices agencies in many other states. Adoption Choices’ professional staff are leaders in the adoption community with a genuine commitment to a sensitive, comprehensive, and supportive experience for all involved in the adoption journey. We are dedicated to ensuring that your adoption is processed in a professional, competent and caring manner and would be delighted to answer your questions.
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
Petitjean-Barkulis, Charlene. “How to Focus on Self-Care during Pregnancy.” Motherly. Motherly, February 9, 2019. https://www.mother.ly/lifestyle/focus-self-care-pregnancy.
Rosenberg, Jennifer, Jennifer Rosenberg, Jennifer Rosenberg, Jennifer Rosenberg, and Jennifer Rosenberg. “Ten Ways to Take Care of Yourself in Pregnancy • Midwifery Today.” Midwifery Today, November 26, 2019. https://midwiferytoday.com/mt-articles/ten-ways/.
“Self-Care During Pregnancy.” Baby Co., November 29, 2016. https://www.babyandcompany.com/self-care-during-pregnancy/.