A Message from your Body
Hi! Remember me? Your body! You know... the thing that pumps your heart, facilitates your breathing and carries out other essential functions so you and your baby can live! I know you are a busy lady, but I have something important to tell you…
Lately, I feel like you’ve been ignoring me and only listening to your mind. It makes me feel left out and insignificant! It’s a shame because I know you’ve been going through a lot, and I have amazing insight that can help.
Often, it may feel like our mind and body are at odds with one another. This can especially be the case during significant life transitions, such as being pregnant or having a newborn. During these times, our body may be telling us to slow down, while our mind wants us to pick up the pace. Although our mind has a lot of credibility in identifying what we think, feel, and want, the body plays an important role in keeping your mind in check so that it does not spiral out of control into maladaptive thinking patterns that can put your health and the health of your baby at risk.
Here are five prominent areas to make sure your mind and body are working together in order to help you pre and post pregnancy:
Because you are used to a certain level of intensity, your mind might tell you to push yourself beyond your body’s limits. Even though your mind may be worried that you are too out of shape, your body is going through some critical changes that require you to be a little gentler than usual. If you are working too hard, your body will give you essential warning signs such as light headedness, fatigue, dizziness, soreness and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing these symptoms, listen, and slow down. Your ego is not more important than you and your baby’s health.
When your mind is focused on working, taking care of your child/children and preparing for a new baby, it may prevent you from consuming the foods you need. Your body has ways of letting you know if you are lacking in essential nutrients. This may be in the form of a grumbly stomach, fatigue, headaches, or specific food cravings. Believe it or not, there may be a reason you constantly want a bowl of ice cream. Your body needs extra calcium to support your teeth and bones as well as help your baby develop healthy teeth and bones. Can’t stop thinking about a juicy hamburger? Taking a daily prenatal vitamin can also contribute to getting the extra nutrients you need and keeping snacks with you can make it easier to eat with your busy schedule. Staying hydrated is also critical! Water significantly influences the development of your baby by forming placenta that your baby needs to receive nutrients. If you are dehydrated, your body will let you know by overheating, producing dark yellow urine or causing headaches.
At night, it may seem like your body is your worst enemy. Unfortunately, it has to sacrifice some of your comfort for the sake of your baby, thus causing you to get up frequently to pee and struggle to find a comfortable position. Consequently, you may feel more tired throughout the day. If you have the time, try not to let your mind’s ambitions prevent you from going to bed at a decent time or taking a power nap.
4) Physical Pain
As your body changes and your baby grows, there are various painful feelings that could arise. Many of these pains are normal, but it is important to stay in touch with your doctor about these feelings in order to assure that all is well.
You may notice that your body provides some uncomfortable symptoms when your mind starts racing with anxious or depressive thoughts. It may cause you to breath heavily, elevate your heart rate, become tense all over, or even feel numb and lethargic. These are the moments when you need to take some deep breaths and really acknowledge what your body is feeling. Notice where you are feeling discomfort and try to imagine it leaving. This will give your mind and body a sense of relief and help you think more clearly. If you are still finding it difficult to calm down when you feel overwhelmed, it may help to seek help from a mental health professional.
Trust in you body and know that it is doing its job. It has been helping you survive your entire life and will do the same for your baby. It is in tune with what you need and will let you know when your attention is required. All you need to do is listen.