Go ahead… pamper yourself. Not only do you deserve it (you ARE, after all, growing another human being completely from scratch), it’s also good for you! Taking care of yourself is an affirmation of self-love, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your baby and yourself.
When you are pregnant, everyone is going to tell you, “Just enjoy it!” What they really mean is that once your baby comes, you won’t have time to yourself anymore, at least not in the same way you do during pregnancy. That’s another really good reason to take the time to pamper yourself now! It’s also really important to do after baby comes, but those strategies are a topic for another post.
So, as you await for your baby’s arrival, steal these tips and cherish the moments when you can do something for yourself that just feels really good and melts away those pregnancy stressors.
I’ve grouped these pampering ideas around the amount of time you can dedicate to your self-care. That way you’ll find a way to pamper yourself whether you have 10 minutes or a whole day.
If you have 10 minutes:
- Grab a cup of tea (rooibos vanilla is a great alternative to coffee or caffeinated teas; it’s safe for pregnancy and tastes divine) and curl up in your favourite chair and let yourself daydream! If the baby’s nursery is already set up, go sit in the rocking chair and let your mind wander. Wandering minds are so good for our spirits and brains. Leave your phone in the other room and enjoy the creative freedom of a good daydream and a hot cup of tea.
- Do a simple feel-good stretch sequence. I created a lovely bedtime yoga routine on my YouTube channel—it includes wonderful stretches for hips and back and takes only about 10 minutes to do.
- Take pleasure in your favourite songs! Press play and boogie down in your living room to your best-loved dance tunes. It’s awesome how quickly this will make you feel good!
- Listen to a guided relaxation especially designed for pregnancy. This is a great way to release stress and create a wonderfully relaxed energy for the rest of the day. You can listen to a sample my birth bliss guided pregnancy relaxation here. If you love it, you can get your copy of the entire album here.
- Show your feet some love by doing a foot soak! They have a big job carrying you and baby around all day. Even just 10 minutes can be great for your circulation and do wonders for relieving stress. Fill a small basin with warm water, Epsom salts, and therapeutic-grade essential oils. My favourite pregnancy foot soak recipe is 1 drop Roman chamomile and 1 drop lavender mixed into ½ cup of Epsom salts and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix them together and then add them to the warm water.
If you have an hour:
- Get outside. The fresh air and movement will do wonders for both your frame of mind and your body. If you are a garden person, plant some flowers or visit a new garden. Even just going for a little walk is so simple but so good for you!
- Enjoy a soak in the tub—light a candle, play relaxing music, diffuse ylang ylang and wild orange for a zen spa vibe, or invite in your partner and add some bubbles if you are feeling playful.
- Settle down for a daytime nap. Can we talk about how deliciously indulgent a weekend or after-work nap can be? Sometimes we feel as though we should just push through those tired moments, but allowing yourself to rest when you are tired is a gift to yourself. Dilute a drop of lavender with a carrier oil and rub it on your wrists to carry you off to dreamland. (P.S. Even if you don’t fall asleep, IT DOESN’T MATTER. As long as your thoughts are peaceful, just resting will be as restorative as sleeping).
- Get a prenatal massage. Carrying a baby puts unique strains on your body in ways that your body hasn’t experienced before. Each pregnancy can feel quite different because each baby hangs out in a unique way inside you. A prenatal massage with a qualified and experienced practitioner can feel wonderful.
- Read something inspiring or entertaining (or maybe both) and take break from the information overload! Much of your current reading might be cramming in information about birth and babies. Take a break from that and read a delightful book that lifts your spirit and allows for some sweet moments of escapism. (If you are stuck for titles, You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane is a plucky, lighthearted romance, and Expecting Adam by Martha Beck is a surprisingly heartwarming and spirit-lifting account of her second pregnancy.)
- Do an extended at-home yoga sequence. Give this sequence I created a try, and I promise you, you’ll emerge at the end feeling like a new person.
If you have an afternoon:
- Go out and do something that you enjoy but that you don’t get to do very often. This one is going to be a bit different for everyone, but I have a little benchmark to help you figure it out. For the activity you choose, ask yourself one simple question: “Does it spark joy?” If you think of the activity and your face lights up, well, that’s it. It can be anything from going to look at show homes, to looking at some beautiful art in a gallery, to visiting a friend you haven’t seen in a while. The important part is to choose something that resonates with you!
- Go shopping for some new, pretty underwear even if you aren’t a shopper. Grab a female in your life that you love to spend time with and get yourself some underwear that will make you smile! It’s a little thing, but it truly does help you celebrate your changing body and make you feel beautiful. And while you are there, make sure to pick up a nursing bra. It’s one of those things you don’t want to have to think about or travel to get once baby is born.
- Create an at-home spa experience. I LOVED to do this while pregnant, and it remains to this day one of my favourite ways to shower myself with love and appreciation. Here’s my recipe—start with mood! Lights (maybe candles), music (love Sarah Brightman’s Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye album) and essential oils in my diffuser. (One drop each of cedarwood, lime, and peppermint is my at-home-spa blend.) Then comes dry brushing, which is great for your skin, plus it carries the added bonus of reducing swelling and supporting healthy circulation (full directions here). Next is homemade exfoliant sugar scrub (click here for my easy-to-make personal favourite). Finish off with a soak or shower and then spend a good ten minutes gently buttering yourself up with your favourite moisturizer.
If you have a day or a couple of days:
- Plan a girls’ day out! Start with brunch at a restaurant you love, and then fill your day with activities with your girlfriends that will be tricky to manage once baby comes. Whatever you plan, focus on celebrating the wonderful closeness of your gal-pals.
- Get out of Dodge! Pack up a few things and go for a little mini-break with your honey. Even if it’s only an hour away from home, the change of scenery will do you good. Focus on FUN and enjoying intimacy with your partner! It’s a great last-hurrah trip before baby comes and life changes dramatically.