Nine months can seem like a long stretch, especially if you’re faced with some of the more unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy. But there are many great reasons to appreciate this time while it lasts and enjoy the moments that will be gone before you know it.
An Excuse to Rest
If there’s one time in your life when you’re allowed to take things easy, it’s during pregnancy. Unless your doctor advises otherwise, it’s generally ok to carry out your usual activities, but you’ll also want to make time for plenty of rest. In your first trimester, hormonal changes can cause fatigue. Your body is working harder to supply the baby with nutrients, and your blood sugar levels are lower. An increase in progesterone can also contribute to tiredness. Energy levels tend to pick during your second trimester but dip again in your third as your bump gets bigger and it becomes harder to sleep at night. Try to take short naps when you can and moderate your exercise routine to include less intense options such as walking, yoga, and swimming.
Healthy Skin and Hair
Not everyone is lucky enough to report beauty benefits during pregnancy, but many women do notice their hair gets thicker and their complexion improves. Blood flow increases (by approx. 40%) to deliver more blood to the uterus and developing fetus while hormonal changes send more oxygen and nutrients to the different organs, including the skin. Coupled, with more oil secretions, this can result in glowing, plumper looking skin. These factors can also cause your hair to grow faster and remain in the growth cycle for longer, making it look thicker. Your nails may also grow quicker and appear stronger.
Feeling Your Baby Move
Feeling your baby move for the first time is a magical moment, and the excitement increases as these small flutters turn into noticeable twists and turns. The movements are important for their bone and joint development, and a way for your baby to test out their developing neurological system. The first flutters can usually be felt around 18 to 22 weeks or earlier with subsequent pregnancies. Women often describe the earliest sensations as much like gas before the feeling starts to become more distinct. Your partner may feel the baby move from 24 weeks onwards, but this does depend on the position of your placenta. You might find certain foods or even sounds make your baby respond more and you’re likely to notice their gymnastics when you’re less active in the evenings.
Indulging Your Cravings
Although the old eating for two advice might have changed to focus more on good nutrition and healthy habits, there’s nothing wrong with indulging your cravings in moderation. If you find yourself dreaming about sweet stuff, enjoy a treat from time to time but also think about ways to get your sugar from healthier alternatives, such as fruit and non-processed ingredients. Cravings can be caused by a number of things, such as an enhanced sense of smell, hormones and nutritional imbalances. Listen to your body while maintaining a balanced diet.
Getting Ready to Welcome Baby
Pregnancy is such an exciting time and getting ready to welcome your new addition is all part of the fun. Enjoy shopping and arranging the nursery but make the process more manageable (as well as affordable) by creating a list of essentials and sticking to what you really need. It’s good to be organized, but you don’t need to buy absolutely everything now, especially the less important items that might not be necessary after all. Prioritize things like the car seat, stroller, bed, nappies, wipes, bottles, and muslin cloths.