I am jealous of anyone who says they LOVED being pregnant. I can't say I felt the same when I was carrying my two. From the nausea and vomiting, to endless heartburn I found it less than enjoyable most of the time. I did however manage to feel well enough to work and exercise until the day I delivered by following the tips below.
1. Exercise daily: I know you are tired and achy and swollen, but walking or other exercise stimulates your metabolism, burns fat, builds muscle and releases endorphins that will keep you happy throughout pregnancy. Labour may be faster and less painful too. My daily spinning routine continued 'til the day I delivered -- maybe the reason I had brief two-hour labours and two minutes of pushing (sans epidural!). Seriously, it helps.
For more on exercising in pregnancy check out my blog
2. Eat nutritiously: Many women see pregnancy as a time to indulge. I caution against it. You will have to lose the weight eventually, and packing on more pounds now will make you that much more uncomfortable as you expand. More swelling, joint pain, difficulty breathing, sleeping...
3. Love your body: Curves can be fun. Lots of women feel most sexy when they are pregnant. You don't have to worry so much about being skinny and your breasts look amazing!
4. Drink a lot: Now is the time to stay hydrated -- you'll have more energy and feel more healthy. You have lots of blood flow now, so drink up.
5. Minimize sugar intake: You know the sugar high we all love? It is followed by a sugar crash. Many people feel lethargic after sugar is metabolized, and you are fatigued enough in pregnancy. Eating lots of sugar can lead you to crave more, and increases your risk of gestational diabetes, which has many risks for you and your baby.
6. Limit salt: Swollen ankles, hands and feet are the worst! Limiting salt can reduce your risk of this swelling. Also, take lots of foods with potassium (like bananas) which can help counteract the sodium effects and lower blood pressure.
7. Take your multivitamin: Taking folic acid daily is necessary to protect your baby from spinal cord defects, but can also stave of fatigue, cravings and restless leg syndrome
8. Stretch: Many women get very tight in pregnancy. Hormonal changes and carrying around more weight can lead to muscle tightness. A daily stretching routine can lower stress, relieve aches and lead to better sleep.
9. Pamper yourself: Relaxation will reduce stress and allow you to connect to yourself before life with baby (a.k.a. organized chaos) starts. Get a mani/pedi, massage or relax with some friends. Quiet time will be at a premium soon.
10. Have sex: If you're in the mood, do it! Sex, like exercise, releases endorphins and gets the blood flowing. It can leave you feeling energized and less achy. Plus lots of partners find your pregnancy curves extra sexy. It wont hurt the baby, nor trigger labor (unless you are about to go into labor anyhow).
Now relax and feel well. You'll be fighting off fatigue and stressed when the baby arrives. Take advantage of any time to yourself now!
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