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Your Complete Pregnancy Self-Care Kit [Slideshow]

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Pregnancy brings countless changes–the new feelings and emotions that pop up, the endless physical changes, and it can be overwhelming, both mentally and physically. Even if you are working, preparing for baby, and tackling the demands of everyday life, it’s crucial to take time for yourself to make sure you’re healthy and happy for you and your baby.

Here are some Gr8 ways to practice self-care while expecting:

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Rest

It takes a lot of energy to grow a baby. Make you get plenty of sleep at night. Do your best to take a little time each day to rest and recharge. If you can, try a few naps throughout the day, even if you rest your eyes for 20 minutes and put your feet up. If you need help relaxing, using essential oils for aromatherapy, such as lavender or chamomile, can be helpful.

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Reduce Stress

Stress can have a negative effect not only on emotional wellbeing and physical health but also birth outcomes. Mindfulness, meditation, and prenatal massage can to bring you into a more peaceful state so you can manage the stresses of daily life. Focus your mind on all the wonderful things you have to look forward to, like the tiny baby that will soon be in your arms.

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Eat Well

Now that you're eating for two, sustaining hunger levels throughout the day is essential. Making the right food choices can provide important nutrients, lift your mood, and help your baby grow. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are all good for your baby, and they help boost your mood. Carry nutrient-dense snacks like berries, nuts, and cheese in your bag to keep hunger at bay when you're on-the-go.

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Exercise

Staying active is important throughout pregnancy. Exercise releases endorphins, which reduce anxiety and help lift your spirits, as well. Prenatal yoga, walking, swimming and low-impact aerobics are all excellent ways to exercise your body and mind during pregnancy. Add a friend or two to your exercise routine and make it social, too!

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Pamper Yourself

Treat yourself, mama! That to-do list can wait. Your body is working overtime to take care of your baby. Take time for yourself to do whatever you need to recharge your batteries. Self-care involves listening to your body, hearing what it needs, and making the time to oblige. A splurge on a prenatal massage, a simple pedicure, or even just a warm bath and face mask, are all lovely ways to treat yourself.

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Get Outside

Spending time outdoors lowers cortisol levels, helps calm your mind and gives you a healthy dose of vitamin D. Whether it's the beach, the park, or your yard, take yourself to a place where you can be still with your thoughts. Combine meditation or exercise with your outdoor time for an extra dose of self-care. Your body, your mind, and your baby will thank you.

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Accept Support

Pregnancy is special time, but it's not uncommon for women to experience prenatal depression or anxiety. Do not consider it a sign of weakness to seek help if you need it. If you feel depressed or anxious, or just feel a little “off,” talk with your partner, family, or friends. There are also counselors and support groups that can help get you through the rough patches. You shouldn't go through this alone, mama.

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Gina
GR8NESS Writer
Gina is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer covering self care and parenting. She is the proud mom to two sets of twin girls, ages 5 and 9, and is always looking for new ways to manage work/life balance. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her art directing, designing, reading, cooking healthy meals, practicing barre, laughing with her girls and snuggling with their dog.
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