How to Focus on Self-Care during Pregnancy

And what manspreading has to do with it.

Pregnancy Wellness

Pregnancy is one whirlwind roller coaster, and moms-to-be often see their needs falling by the wayside as they’re prepping for baby. But pregnancy isn’t just about baby — it’s about mama too, and it’s a time when some self-care is essential for emotional wellbeing. Because we all know: a happy mama makes a happy baby.

That is why we hosted our Tips by Trimester event — to treat some of New York City’s expecting mums to an indulging evening of conversation, healthy foods, delicious drinks and some much-deserved prenatal pampering.

Since we know there’s no shortage of questions when you are expecting, we gathered some of NYC’s foremost pregnancy experts for our guests to get a little pregnancy p(r)ep talk! Arielle Fierman Haspel, nutrition and lifestyle expert, talked about some of the foods that helped her cope with pregnancy discomforts. Kate Lynch Bieger, a psychologist with the Seleni Institute, addressed mental wellness during pregnancy. And Natalia Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies, advised attendants on how to get the birth of their dreams. Here are 3 noteworthy tips we got from them:

pregnant women chatting Bugaboo test station Babywearing mama

1) When you’re pregnant, eating in bed is ok…in fact, it can help  fight morning sickness. “I kept a stash of healthy snacks near my bed in case I got hungry. I’d keep a few almonds on my bedside stand or have a hard boiled egg. It helped stabilize my blood sugar and prevented me from throwing up. I was so tired during my first trimester, I also made sure to eat every 2 to 3 hours, even if I wasn’t hungry. Not only would it help ward off nausea, I would stay energized. My favorite snacks? Apple or sprouted pretzels with almond butter, almond flour crackers with an organic mozzarella stick, a handful of almonds, and smoothies with chia seeds.” Arielle, from Be Well With Arielle.  

2) Loosen your expectations of what childbirth and motherhood is “supposed” to be.Be gentle with yourselves. Women often feel a sense of loss when childbirth and the early weeks of postpartum don’t match the cultural expectation of a natural and joyful time. Women’s real birth and mothering stories are much wider than this — they may include feelings of fear and inadequacy, loss of an old identity and anxiety about what will takes its place. I encourage women to make room for whatever mix of emotions and experiences arise, remembering that mothering is not about being perfect and getting every moment right. We are better mothers when we are gentle with ourselves.” Kate, from the Seleni Institute.   

3) Take the time to prepare emotionally for labor. “We tend to spend a lot of time in our heads and keep busy checking off items on our to-do lists. But it’s important to slow down, connect with our bodies (and the little people growing inside them) and find tools that can help us cope with what’s ahead. These are of course different for everyone, but can include sounds and music, massage, visualizations, meditations, breathing exercises, or a candlelit bath. Whatever it is that quiets your ‘monkey mind,’ start using it and PRACTICE. The more you practice, the more effective and helpful it will be during labor.” Natalie Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies.

Bonus tip: If you’re in third trimester, “manspread” as much as you can. “You want to create lots of room in your pelvis for baby to get settled in a good position and engage in your pelvis before labor starts. Manspreading (aka sitting with your legs spread wide apart) and leaning forward both help do that.” Natalie Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies.

Tips by Trimester Panel Pregnant woman sitting Tips by Trimester attendees

Our Tips by Trimester event, which took place at Second Floor of Hotel Eventi, provided the perfect opportunity to mingle with other mamas-to-be while also getting a peek at some of the best pregnancy and baby brands. Among them were Bugaboo, Bamboobies, City Family Legal Planning, NYDJ, Ergobaby, Teat & Cosset, Babyganics, Icon, Ubbi and SNOO.

As they scouted around for products that would make their lives easier during and after pregnancy, guests filled up on wholesome, tasty bites from Meisterdish and treated themselves with scrumptious sweets from Sprinkles Cupcake. Little Spoon concocted delicious pregnancy mocktails using organic baby food ingredients and Balance Water ensured everyone stayed hydrated. And for those who weren’t getting enough me-time at home, the gals at Earth + Sky Healing Arts came to the rescue with their relaxing touch. Head and upper-back massage, anyone?

Of course, we wouldn’t let all these wonderful mamas-to-be leave empty handed. Our guests had the opportunity to try on NYDJ maternity jeans and got to even snag the pair that fit them best. They also received a LeSportsac bag filled with goodies from event sponsors, as well as some extras from Bebe au Lait, Munchkin, Nine Naturals, Baby Brezza and June & January.

We are so thankful for our community of Well Rounded mamas and for everyone who stopped by. What, you missed it? Check out some photos below, and et your ticket to our next pregnancy event, The UNshower, on April 24! Register here.

Tips by Trimester Pregnancy massages

NYDJ jeans samplingBloggers hanging outMeisterdish chefPregnancy CocktailsJada Shapiro of Boober Pregnancy event Well Rounded gift bagPhotography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.

Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis

Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis

Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis is a French expat, Brooklyn-based writer and mama to Arthur. She’s lived in LA, Berkeley, Baltimore and New York City and earned a degree in journalism from Columbia University. When she isn’t busy chasing after her kiddo or writing about all things health and motherhood, she’s likely to soak in a bubble bath, eat an entire wheel of brie cheese or drink a crisp glass of Sancerre (sometimes, all three at the same time).

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