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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

Chill Mama: 5 Ways to Relax During Pregnancy

Image Credit: Thinkstock

Image Credit: Thinkstock

Pregnancy is an exciting time. You’re growing a brand new human being, you get to do some cool shopping, and everyone is excited for you. Sounds awesome, right? It definitely is, but pregnancy is not all excitement, shopping, and adventure. What many women don’t realize as they embark on the pregnancy journey is that for every exciting moment there is also a lot of stress, both physical and emotional. From the physical changes in your body to worrying about how your little nugget is developing, the stress of pregnancy is constant.

We all know that constant stress isn’t good under ordinary circumstances, but stress in pregnancy doesn’t just impact mama. It impacts baby too, possibly contributing to lower birth weights in severe cases. So how do you help yourself (and baby) chill out and relax? Here are five tips to let go of stress while you’re expecting.

Get some rest

Thanks to all of the changes your body is going through to support your baby’s development chances are likely that you are already exhausted. You might not even be getting enough good quality sleep. That’s definitely stressful. So why not take it easy? Put your feet up and watch your favorite show, curl up with a book, or, better yet, take a nap! You’re working hard. You deserve some downtime and it’s definitely okay to take a nap.

Treat yourself to a pedicure

One of the common experience women have during pregnancy is swollen feet. Definitely no fun, especially when that swelling means your favorite, most comfortable shoes don’t fit. It won’t give you back your pre-baby tootsies, but treating yourself to a pedicure feels great and pampers you. It also helps with general foot care (such as keeping your toenails clean and trim) which gets harder as your bump gets bigger. Pedicures not your thing? Consider a pregnancy-friendly massage or facial. You deserve it!

Laugh

They say laughter is the best medicine and it’s awfully hard to be stressed out if you’re giggling. You can yuk it up at a comedy show, rent a funny movie, or play silly card games with friends. Anything goes, just as long as it gets you laughing and not thinking about the things weighing on you.

Get wet

Nothing beats water as a way to relax, be it going for a swim or taking a nice, warm bath or shower. Hot tubs are off-limits during pregnancy, but you can soothe the muscles just as well in the bath or shower (and you can add scented body wash or soap of your choosing). Looking for something a little more athletic? Take a dip in a pool. The feeling of semi-weightlessness in the pool is a nice, relaxing way to take some stress off your sore and tired body.

Talk it out

Sometimes everything going on during pregnancy is honestly just more than you can do alone. From coordinating numerous medical appointments to working to body changes and planning for your future it can be a heavy emotional load. Take some of that load off by finding someone to talk to. That can be as sophisticated as a professional therapist or as general as a good, trusted friend. Either option will help you process how you are feeling and might even give you some insights that will let you relax (it might even ease your mind enough to get some better sleep!)

Have your own ways to go from stressed to chill mama? What are some of your best relaxation tips? Let us know in the comments how you get your relaxation on.

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