Pregnancy can be a time for celebration and excitement – as well as a time of change, anxiety and questions. It can be a time for information, support and reassurance; when you want to know what you are experiencing is normal and when you want to look after yourself.
It is also a time when your thoughts will inevitably turn to birth and preparing as well as you can for contractions, induction, caesareans, life with your new baby and knowing more about your options.
The Birth, Baby & Family Practice and its Business Network provides a range of support and services for expectant parents…
Birth debrief and/or pregnancy anxiety – Sometimes being pregnant can create stress and anxiety – it could be because your previous birth was tough or it could be because you are worried about your pregnancy and what birth will be like. You can book some time with me for a consultation to talk through your concerns.
Antenatal course – a 5 week course to prepare you well for the birth of your baby
Relax & Breathe – a specialised session to learn and develop effective skills for labour & birth
1:1 Birth Preparation – private sessions to focus on your needs for information and support
Birth Doula – pregnancy and birth support
With Janine Smith at Birth, Baby & Family – specialists in pregnancy, birth and parent support
If ever there was a time to pamper yourself, then pregnancy is it – after all you are growing another human being! But booking yourself in for a massage is not an indulgence, it can make a huge difference to how you feel. You get to relax and say goodbye to stress, and so does your baby. Some uninterrupted time to chill and just be with your baby bump can’t be under-estimated – it’s a great way to bond, while also helping to ease your aches and pains and boosting your mood.
Julia McCarthy from Sanctuary House provides pregnancy massage and reflexology and recommends that pregnant women use a therapist who is trained and experienced at providing pregnancy massage, “you need the peace of mind that the practitioner is safe, using appropriate massage oils.”
Keeping fit in pregnancy
Pregnancy could turn you into a sloth if you are tired and achey but exercise could help to boost your energy and help you feel better, while keeping you fitter and happier too.
You may fancy a class – like pilates, yoga, aerobics and aquanatal – or you could just get out for more walks. Exercising in pregnancy is safe if you listen to your body and don’t over do it so take it gently as your body grows and changes and get advice from your midwife if you are unsure.
Pilates instructor Claire writes:
Exercise in pregnancy can boost your energy levels as well as your mood. It can also help you to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight so you may get back to your pre-pregnancy weight quicker.
By keeping your body moving and stretching, you can help to relieve some of those pregnancy related aches and pains and exercise also helps to keep you strong and fit for labour and the birth of your baby.
And, of course, group classes also give you the chance to meet other expectant mum’s and make new friends.
Exercise Tips by Debbie Donaldson, who runs a range of pregnancy and postnatal exercise sessions.
If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if it safe to exercise in pregnancy. The simple answer is yes, although I would recommend that you get your midwife to agree it is ok for you to exercise.
It may be important to modify your exercise, and attend classes specifically for pregnant women, where the teacher has specialist knowledge and an interest in pregnant women.
Exercising in pregnancy can improve posture, relieve stiffness and, most importantly, increase energy levels. Combined with sensible eating, exercise in pregnancy also helps to control weight gain.
Chances are, your body will recover from pregnancy and birth quicker if you exercise during pregnancy. Your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles should regain strength sooner and you will find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy shape if your muscles are toned and stretched. So feel free to get moving, feel confident about your changing body and enjoy your pregnancy.