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Working women need to take special care of themselves when pregnant. Here are some health tips for your physical and emotional well-being.
By Anika Puri
Pregnancy is with no doubt, THE most fantastic ride a woman will ever take. I have never felt more ‘one’ with anyone than I did when my babies were growing inside me. I have never felt more powerful. I have never felt more supreme; Goddess-like. However, pregnancy also comes with its fair share of emotional and physical stress. Keeping up with the daily changes in your body and trying to figure out the source of constant emotional turbulence is a full time job in its own right. If you add that to your actual full time job, your hands are well and truly full.
The minute you conceive your child, you become a mother. Mothering does not begin with physically holding your child, but by holding them in your heart, by making every decision with them in mind. One of the major struggles that women today have when they are pregnant is about their work lives. Some get pressure from home to quit, some feel they should resign so they can focus more on the home and baby-to-be front and others worry about losing momentum in their work lives because of their pregnancies.
Mothering does not begin with physically holding your child, but by holding them in your heart, by making every decision with them in mind.
If you choose to continue to work during your pregnancy, remember that it is perfectly normal to do so. I have multiple clients who have worked right up till their labour started and then drove themselves to the hospital as well! Just remember to listen to your body and those messages from your gut which we call ‘mother’s instinct’. Here are a few health tips to enjoy a healthy, stress free pregnancy while maintaining your career aspirations too.
– Wake up with positive affirmations/meditation/visualisation: This is simply a way to start your day by reminding yourself that you are healthy, happy and safe and so is your baby. Positive thoughts are great for your baby as well you.
– You can ‘have it all’ but you are not super-preggo-mom: I’ve had clients who worked high stress jobs during their pregnancies, went out with friends most nights and worked out every morning and had perfectly normal pregnancies. If you are one of those super energetic working women, it’s okay to continue to do all you want to – just pace it out.
– Beat the guilt: If you have decided to work during your pregnancy, enjoy it. Shut out the opinions and judgements from others. Remember, they are NOT you and they don’t know your body the way you do. Go with what is good for you and don’t feel guilty about your decision.
– Carry snacks: There is a strong link between mind and body; if one is not taken care of, the other will suffer for sure. When you are pregnant, it is extremely important to eat right – especially if you are extra active and have a job as well. Just because you are at work, doesn’t mean you can’t eat nutritiously. Carry small containers of nuts, fruit yoghurt or smoothies, fruit, cheese and crackers, fresh vegetables and juices. Keep nibbling every two hours to keep your energy levels up and your mood balanced as well.
– Rest at work: There is nothing wrong in making your work space as comfy as possible. Place a footstool under your desk, support your back with more cushions and feel free to sit cross legged whenever you like. Nobody ever said your efficiency goes down if you sit in a less corporate position (I work on my laptop and sit either on a birth ball or cross legged on my desk chair!)
– Don’t hide it: If you are good at your job and you know it, stop worrying about hiding your pregnancy from the bosses and your colleagues. Be honest and so ease some of that unnecessary stress. If you are still hesitant, at least confide in a colleague or two who can help support you till you do make the announcement.
– Heal yourself: Working women who are pregnant need to ‘let go’ atleast once a week. Indulge in some postnatal yoga, a massage, reflexology or some kind of energy healing. I’m not just saying this because I run centres for fitness and wellness for expecting moms BUT because it is true. In order to reduce our stress levels, we need to constantly clean out our chakras and release our toxins.
Remember, you CAN have it all as a working mom but if you continue to have a career once your baby is born, it just gets tougher to balance it all and keep your sanity. I juggle the balls of kids, work, home, husband and parents every single day but I’ve realised over the years that the main ball to keep in the air, is the one that holds my own health in place. The days that I am mentally or physically exhausted are the days when all the balls crash to the ground. As I said, you become a mother from the minute you conceive a child. And then you become the centre of the universe. When you shine, it will reflect on the whole universe.
*Photo credit: Daniel Lobo (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)