As a mom to four beautiful children, I have learned that pampering yourself isn't selfish, it's essential. Whether this is baby number one or ten, moms fare best when they take care of themselves first – starting with pregnancy. Find the time to relax and recharge, because once your little one is on the outside, finding time to relax will become more of a challenge than ever.
You probably already know that getting enough sleep is important, but with a new baby developing it is even more true. In order to help you sleep better at night, there are a few easy and enjoyable things you can do. Try soaking in a warm tub – not too hot, to get your body to unwind. Add lavender essential oils to enhance the experience.
If your partner is helpful in finding ways to help you relax, perhaps he can have the bath ready with candles and soft music. Perhaps this will result in some spontaneous romance, which will help you feel better about your changing body.
As the third trimester closes in, it's time to start thinking about ways to make life easier after the baby. Instead of being completely practical, use this as a chance for one last splurge. Go for a facial and a good haircut. While being pampered in the salon, use it as an opportunity to get a really good cut that will be low maintenance after the new baby.
Getting a massage has always been the deferred to means of relaxation. Add a massage to your list of "must haves". Make sure your massage therapist knows you are pregnant (there are certain pressure points they will avoid). If going for a massage isn't an option, try an at home massage oil for your partner to use – if your partner is away, let your older kids massage.
Learn to accept help, because you will find that you appreciate it. Moms really can't "do it all", and having a casserole in the freezer or getting help cleaning your house can give you that little boost you need when you start to feel overwhelmed with all the preparations. Having your partner or a friend help you can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.
Do something fun – a bachelorette party, except for expectant moms. Take your partner on a quick weekend getaway for a relaxing time. Let someone else do all the cooking and cleaning, while you take in the sights. Choose somewhere that you have wanted to go, but that navigating with a baby in tow would be tricky. Museums, hiking, the ocean… your options are endless. Keep it simple, though – you don't want to stress over a vacation.
This is the time to do something you only get one shot at. Perhaps you have seen the parenting magazines with the belly casts – hurry and make yours as a one time souvenir of your pregnancy. If you'd rather, have someone paint a design on your belly – the ideas are endless, from pumpkins to basketballs, to faces. Find some adorable ideas, then paint your belly with body paint. Make sure to take lots of pictures.
If you are sleepy, take a nap. As your baby gets closer to the delivery date, your body will need more rest to get you ready. Simply give in and take a nap with that soft, comfy pillow….
Shop online for some specialized pampering products. Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics offers a line of products from pregnancy through delivery and then for the baby. These products come without any toxins, and are safe, making it stress free to buy.
Make a fun date of pouring through baby name books at the local library. Instead of simply looking for your baby's name, find the meaning of your name and that of your friends and family. It may be an eye opening experience to discover the origin and meaning of some of the names. Keep a list of the names you want, but don't be too stuck on one name; when baby comes out, he (or she) might surprise you with personality that doesn't match the name.
Surprises happen more than you can imagine, so go ahead and plan on a lunch date with your friend on baby's due date. This will keep you from focusing too much on "wanting the baby out" and will give you one last chance at relaxation. You are sure to be pampered at the restaurant when they see that you are well into your expectancy dates.
If you are still feeling a little selfish thinking about doing all this pampering for yourself, keep in mind that it's just practice. In a few short weeks, you will be giving all your attention to your new baby, and you will need to be pampering them. Enjoy every moment – it goes by in a flash.