This last month of pregnancy has been the hardest for me to relax. I feel like there's so much to do and so much I wanna do before the baby is here and before our lives change completely. whether it's setting up the nursery, getting quality time in with my husband, getting as much work done as possible, or checking and re-checking my lists to make sure I haven't forgot anything, this last month can feel overwhelming. But, we all know that this is probably the time you should be taking it the easiest on your body. Below are five simple methods either I have practiced myself or other mamas have suggested to make this last month a little lighter for anyone who is trying to be a hero in their third trimester. All of which can be done from home. Little secret; we're all gonna be heroes when we give birth, no one will remember if we forgot our three pairs of socks in the hospital bag!
1. Read something that is not pregnancy related. Find a comfy spot, put your feet up, and enjoy some quiet time. If you're anything like me sometimes putting a timer on your phone is the best way to really soak up even 30 minutes where you aren't distracted with anything else in addition to giving your body a rest. Your to do list can wait 30 minutes. I promise.
2. Prenatal Yoga Podcast. This is a great, free, 20 minute, prenatal yoga podcast that you can do at home at any time of the day. I have taken yoga on and off for the past ten years, all different types of yoga in the studio and at home. These podcasts from yoga download seem to be the best for a quick, at home workout. this particular one gives you slides of all the poses, so even if you aren't super experienced with yoga this podcast should be relatively easy to follow along with. At this point in my pregnancy I honestly prefer doing yoga at home over going to the studio. I know that my swollen feet, and sloth pace are completely normal in the third trimester, but I feel the most comfortable practicing at home. Hah! I'm sure some of you understand.
3. essential oils. A good friend of mine, Trisha, sells essential oils. This is a little bit of an investment, but if you feel like it's something you and your household would benefit from they have some incredible oils that are geared specifically towards relaxation and stress relief. Some are even known to help with leg cramping and other sore muscles. I don't know about you guys, but towards the end of the second trimester i had leg cramps like no other. They have seemed to mellow out, but I wish I would have known about something like this when i was in the heat of those issues. Learn more here.
4. Try to eat a healthy snack. From everything I've read and know it is important to try to do your best to eat healthy while pregnant and at any other point in your life really. Healthy food is proven to help reduce stress, and contribute to the growth of a healthy baby, but if you've been following along with me for even a week you know not everything I consume is "healthy". Pregnancy cravings are real and I love food too much to completely sign off on sweets for nine months. In my opinion, and I am not a professional, it is all about balance. you can find a million and one opinions out there on the internet, most of them would attack every word I'm saying. but, what I have found is best for me is to listen to my body. If I'm hungry for a snack I try not to go for sweets, I try to eat something a little more substantial first (fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains). Then if I'm still craving that piece of pie I eat it. I said it. I eat it! I know, so wild, but really guys, sometimes you deserve a bowl of ice cream or a piece of pie, or both. and sometimes that's all I needed to feel relaxed.
5. Take a cat nap. Sounds simple right? I, at least, in this last trimester have got such a spirt of energy. I know everyone is different, but I started off slow and over the course of my pregnancy I feel like my body is preparing me for motherhood, especially early motherhood. I am up almost every 2-3 hours in the night, and really don't sleep for more than cumulative 6 hours a night. Then all day I'm going, going, going since I am still working and getting ready for this baby to arrive. Sometimes all I need is to slow down for a small chunk of time and rest my head. So just like my first option. Set a timer. Remove all distractions and get comfy. Take a nap! You're carrying a baby and you deserve it. Even if it's just 30 minutes.
If you guys have any relaxing activities that have been helpful during pregnancy I would love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Photo by amy frances.