Even though you have made the choice to place your baby with adoptive parents, you still experience all of the symptoms of pregnancy. Some of the symptoms can be uncomfortable or even painful for women. When you want to focus on improving your own future and choosing the right future for your child, these discomforts can be frustrating to deal with.
However, you don’t just have to live with them until delivery. There are some things you can do on a daily basis to help make your pregnancy more enjoyable.
1. Wear Comfortable and Supportive Shoes
Some women can start to experience foot pain during pregnancy. Foot pain usually occurs because of increased swelling in the feet, weight gain over a short period of time and lack of supportive footwear. It’s hard to fit into your old tennis shoes when your feet are swelling.
However, simply wearing flip flops until your pregnancy is over will only make foot pain more severe. Try to find a pair of supportive shoes that will fit, even if you have to get them larger than your normal street size.
Supportive shoes don’t just help with foot pain. They can help you from the ground up by making lower leg and hip pain more manageable as well. Also, don’t forget to stay away from shoes that will only make foot pain worse. Heels, for example, throw off your center of gravity and put a lot of pressure on your heels and lower back.
2. Join a Local Yoga Class
Check your community center or local fitness center for open yoga classes. Some centers for mother support or women’s health may also offer some prenatal yoga classes. Even if you have not done yoga before, prenatal yoga helps you to stretch safely and keep your muscles strong.
Strength and stretching make it easier for your body to handle the stress of pregnancy, which is why yoga can be so helpful for reducing general discomfort and sore areas.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Since becoming pregnant, you have probably been dealing with stress after stress. While your social worker and adoption agency can help you navigate the process of choosing a home for your baby, it’s still an emotional time that can affect your physical health.
Increased emotional and mental stress can actually make physical aches and pains more severe. Stress raises the cortisol levels in your body. This hormone is usually there to help stimulate your muscles, nerves and heart when you need a “fight or flight” response.
However, with prolonged exposure to cortisol, your muscles become tired, your digestion suffers and you might experience more headaches, weight gain and difficulty sleeping. All of these translate to increased pain. Deep breathing can help you learn to decrease stress. Take long, slow meditative breaths.
Sometimes it can help to listen to a meditation track with guided breathing. The breathing will not only help you manage stress during your pregnancy, but it will also help you during labor and delivery as well. There are meditative tracks available specifically for expecting mothers to help reduce your fear and anxiety.
4. Take Advantage of Heat
For lower back pain, round ligament pain or neck pain, you might enjoy a hot compress. You can get an electric heating pad from your local store, or you could make a heating pad with a fabric bag and some rice. When microwaved, the rice becomes hot and you can use the hot bag as a compress for areas that are sore.
Using heat helps to increase circulation to a sore area, and it helps during pregnancy because the heat can also encourage normally uncomfortable areas to release tension.
5. Get in the Water
If you have a bathtub at your home, take advantage of it. The water helps to lift some weight from your joints, and the warmth from the water is like an all-encompassing warm compress. Just don’t make the water too hot. Hot tubs are not safe for pregnant women, so your bath at home should be pleasantly warm but not hot enough to redden the skin.
If you don’t have a bathtub, consider taking a dip in your local pool or visit a friend who has a pool or bathtub you can borrow when you’re really feeling uncomfortable. Swimming is great exercise for pregnant women, and it is also completely safe for the baby.
6. Stay Active
You might not feel like working out very much, especially when queasy or tired. However, even incorporating a simple walk into your day can help with aches and pains. You may find that lying or sitting down too long is what makes your hips, back or shoulders begin to feel sore.
Exercise prevents excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and it also keeps your muscles stronger. You’ll usually have a better delivery and recover more quickly after birth if you are active.
For more information about staying healthy during your pregnancy, contact us at A Child’s Dream. We work hard to make sure birth mothers feel welcome, empowered and capable.