GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Tips on Being Pregnant

Billions of women have given birth to billions of babies. That could lead one to think that pregnancy is a fully understood and predictable journey to experience. I don’t think that’s the case. Pregnancy is commonplace, yes. Yet, it is also highly personal and unique for each woman and for each pregnancy. You, as a pregnant woman or as someone who hopes to be pregnant soon, have the opportunity to discover for yourself how to create the best experience for you. That discovery centers around making mindful choices about doing it your way, taking care of yourself, being gentle with yourself, processing your feelings, and celebrating your achievements. In essence, it’s about loving yourself enough to create a life your way.

Here are five ways to love the pregnant you:

Look for what resonates for you. When you’re pregnant there are a myriad of resources available to you: hundreds of books, websites, TV reports, articles, entire magazines, information in your doctor’s or midwife’s office, people in your life with advice, and more. It can feel overwhelming or as if there are a lot of things to do and rules to follow.

People will share great information with you. And it’s just that: great information. It’s not a directive of what you must do. It’s only great information for you, if you decide it is. When others share their advice, when you read books, or when you see information online, check in with yourself to determine what feels aligned with your approach and perspectives. Ask yourself: What feels good to me? What am I truly interested in and committed to doing? Disregard what doesn’t feel good to you. Take on for yourself only what resonates for you.

There’s value in learning about how others approached aspects of their pregnancy. In fact, much of what is shared in my  6 Keys to Loving the Pregnant You Email Program is just that – accounts of women’s real-life experiences. That’s because, whether you agree with others’ perspectives or not, when you hear or read about them, you learn more about what your perspective is. You get ideas and inspiration from what worked and didn’t work for others. Just don’t beat yourself up about not doing everything that other people tell you to do to take care of yourself and your baby.

Audaciously nourish yourself. Pregnancy is a great excuse to finally take good care of yourself! For some of us, and in this day and age where we women wear many hats, this is long overdue. Pregnancy is an excellent opportunity to consider not only the traditional ways to nourish yourself – get rest, be active, eat well – but also what nourishes you emotionally and sparks your enthusiasm. These ways of nourishing yourself may include taking a pottery class, commiserating with members of an expectant mommy group, reading solely for pleasure, enjoying massages, accepting help from others, indulging in long baths – whatever you know refuels you, energizes you, and are activities that you enjoy most.

Remember that you’ve never done this before. If you’ve never played racquetball, you can’t expect to be a champion after your first match. The same holds true for being pregnant. You can’t expect to be immediately good at it. Even if you’ve been pregnant before, you’ve never experienced this pregnancy before. Aspects will be different and you may feel differently. You are not always going to know how you want to address situations that come up. You may not immediately know what will serve you best. You may act in ways that frustrate you in hindsight. You are going to mess things up because you are doing something you’ve never done before. You’re not going to expect your child to walk without wobbling or failing the first time he tries. Similarly, you’re going to have wobbles and falls and you shouldn’t view them as failures. Just like you’re going to nurture your child when she falls and bumps her head as she’s learning to walk, be gentle with yourself.

Be straight with yourself. There’s a lot of emphasis today about the power of positive thinking. And I agree that there is great value in this practice. Yet, at the same time, what we resist persists. If we resist looking at negative thoughts and concerns, they will stick around. The negative considerations may even fester and grow as we’re trying to pretend that they don’t exist or will just go away. If we’re straight with ourselves and put our disempowering notions in the forefront and examine them, we have the opportunity to reframe these thoughts and feelings or do something empowering about them.

Examples of how to process your thoughts and concerns in an empowering way are included in the 6 Keys to Loving the Pregnant You Email Program (which is a low-cost, simple, streamlined way to receive “coaching” in your inbox over the next 6 weeks).

Acknowledge yourself. We women can be so hard on ourselves. We tend to focus on what we didn’t get done rather than celebrate what we did accomplish. When you’re pregnant, you are growing a person. You are literally providing the energy and nutrients to generate billions of cells, make fingers, grow intricate internal organs. Your body is handling complex biological creations. So, if some days it feels like you do nothing else, acknowledge yourself for that. You’re creating a life. And, I know, you’re doing a lot of other things as well. Consider acknowledging yourself daily for what you accomplished that day. Acknowledge yourself for every little thing. For everything you had the guts to address. For successes big and small. Include items you’re just expected to handle – like feeding the dog or bringing home a paycheck – and for ways that you’re thinking positively or feeling empowered.

Create a life your way…

Ultimately, you know what is best for you during this important, creative time of pregnancy. If you can give yourself permission to set aside all the thoughts about what you should do or the pressure to do things perfectly, you can uncover the way you’d really like it to be. You know the best path to loving the pregnant you, you just might not be able to see it.

If you’d like individualized support in finding your unique path, please contact me at regarding pregnancy coaching services. I’d love to work with you.

And…the 6 Keys to Loving the Pregnant You Email Program is an easy way to get practical, real-world advice delivered to your inbox over the next 6 weeks. To learn more and subscribe to the program, click here.

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