Your 40 (ish) weeks of pregnancy put a lot of pressure and responsibility on you. While obviously your focus is on doing everything you can for your unborn baby, it's really important that you don't forget to look after yourself too. This is something that continues right through your lifetime as a parent because you need to look after yourself to look after you children!
So what can you do to ensure you get that essential self care time during your pregnancy? Probably one of the most simple things is to have a warm bath. Remember not to make it too hot because your precious bundle can't cope with your body overheating and it could also lower your blood pressure, making you feel dizzy and faint. You want to aim for a temperature at which you can comfortably get straight into the bath and surround yourself (safely) with some lightly scented candles to add to the relaxation experience.
It can be tempting to spend any spare time you have, getting the baby's nursery ready or shopping for bits and bobs. If you get the chance to have some down time then read a book, watch a good film with your other half, eat a delicious meal or just sit with your partner or your best friend and have a nice chat. These things are by no means impossible once the baby arrives, but they are harder to do so make the most of this time.
Your second trimester will hopefully see you feeling fabulous, with a nest little bump forming, luscious hair, clear skin and renewed energy levels. Get a hair cut, treat yourself to some lovely new maternity clothes during a shopping day with your friends, join a pregnancy yoga or swimming group and go out for gentle walks. All of these things will be fantastic for your mind, body, soul and baby.
Something that can really help with your self care is to reduce your responsibilities as much as you possibly can. If your partner, mum, neighbour or friends offer to help with the cleaning or cook a meal then don't hesitate to accept! Many of us have a tendency to say no when these things are offered because we don't want to burden others. Don't forget though that if they have made the offer then they're happy to help and you have a full time job growing your new baby so any relief from other jobs should be embraced.
However you're feeling, whatever you're doing during your pregnancy, never forget that you are making a miracle. Your body is amazing so treat it kindly and make time whenever you can to look after yourself. Look in the mirror and ignore any flaws you may see, instead telling yourself that you are incredible because mama, you really are!