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How Self Care Empowers Us To Be Better Mothers

How Self Care Empowers Us To Be Better Mothers

How Self Care Empowers Us To Be Better Mothers

How Self Care Empowers Us To Be Better Mothers

As an expectant mother, you are preparing yourself for one of the highest duties you’ll ever know: the complete responsibility for another person’s well-being. It starts when this tiny life is conceived in your body, and simply put, it’s a responsibility that lasts a lifetime. In fact, human beings are the only mammal on the planet that take a decade or longer to become self-sufficient.

What you may not realize is that this total devotion to the care of your child begins with taking care of yourself. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship – this beautiful, little child is counting on you to take care of her; in order for you to be there for her, you must take care of yourself. The more you get into the habit of self-care, the more empowered of a caregiver you will be when your baby arrives.

A great way to start is by putting together your birth plan and your care team. Get organized on who will be coming to visit and when, what kind of help you’ll need, how long will you be out of work, and which of your current responsibilities will need to be delegated to someone else (either temporarily or longer). This clears the way for you to focus on being the most nurturing mother you can be during this critical time.

Remember to get plenty of rest. Naps are great – don’t deprive yourself of them. Want to go to bed early and wake up late? Do it. Not only do you require plenty of rest for the job ahead, but according to psychiatrist Mary O’Malley, your baby is developing a sleep/wake cycle before he's born. At the beginning of your third trimester, he'll start having active or REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep, the phase of sleep in which we dream. He'll add non-REM sleep (also known as quiet sleep) a month or so later.

Take classes, read books, go online and research, or do whatever you can to make educated choices about the care you receive. You are doing one of the most remarkable things a person can possibly do: create another life. So, make sure you’re getting the care you deserve to support you in this incredible endeavor. By doing so, you’ll empower yourself with the resources – and the attitude - to do the same thing for your child.

Don’t forget to go easy on yourself and try maintain a positive body image. As hard as it can be with societal pressures and unrealistic norms, remember that you are a beautiful, unique, amazing pregnant woman, whose body is accomplishing a huge feat and doing a great job. Keep this in mind, and you’ll get a head start on becoming a role model for your child when she or he inevitably faces potential body issues through puberty, adolescence and beyond.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to friends, family and especially your partner if you need assistance or guidance. The network of support you build for yourself will show your child that they are never alone, and always loved.

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