Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, being pregnant in the middle of summer is never a huge laugh. Not only have you had to give up drinking, late nights, blue cheeses and your job (basically, fun), but your much-longed-for baby is taking up a huge amount of space behind your ribcage. Some days, you probably feel like getting in the car and driving to your parents’ for a cry and a meal that you haven’t cooked yourself. However, all is not lost. If you’re feeling like you’re living on the edge some days, here is a checklist of ways to chill out…
Be kind to yourself. You’re putting your body under a huge amount of emotional and physical strain – it’s perfectly acceptable to have days where you feel like you’re being ambushed by your feelings. If you’re finding that work is becoming an impossible daily strain, talk to your line manager/manager about the possibility of leaving early. As uncomfortable as this might sound, there is probably someone keen who’d love to cover your role over your maternity leave, so you might find this is easier to arrange than you’ve thought.
If you and your partner have been swept up in the drama and excitement of the pregnancy so far, it might be a good idea to get away for a week or so, so you can gain some perspective, and some time together before the baby arrives! If you don’t fancy spending huge amounts of cash, there are plenty of holiday parks that offer cheap and cheerful breaks. Think ice cream, long coastal walks, fish and chips, early nights and the chance to enjoy the best of the British seaside. It’ll give you a chance to leave your worries at home behind and focus on spending some quality time with your partner.
If you have a friend that you can be totally honest with and who will listen to you rant on for hours, let them know that you’re struggling, and arrange a day together. If you know you’ve got a lot to get off your chest, arrange to buy your friend lunch, and warn them beforehand that you’re feeling stressed (it’s only polite). If your friend decides they need a bottle of wine mid-meal, accommodate their desires. Friends who listen uncompromisingly to your troubles are hard to find. Take care of them.
It sounds ridiculous, and more than a little clichéd, but yoga and pilates will help – promise. Not only will you burn off some of those extra calories, but you can also take out your frustration on the floor. So, when the thought of those people who refused your gaze when you were standing up on a crowded train gets to you, head to your local gym and sign up. One day, you will not look like the side of a house and they might do, so get exercising and leave your revenge to karma.
If you are feeling physically hot, remember that the points where your blood flows closest to the skin are the best places to cool. So, this includes your neck, your ankles and your wrists. If you just can’t cool down, run a sink full of iced water and add some ice cubes. Immerse your wrists. You’ll feel better almost immediately. The same goes for cold showers, and immersing your feet in a washing up bowl of near-freezing water.
You might find that feeling hot means that you can’t sleep, which is one of the unfortunate side-effects of carrying a huge baby. If you suffer from insomnia, the most important thing you can do is to not fight it. Whether you choose to read a book, have a bath, shop online (dangerous), or put on a yoga DVD to tire yourself out, it’s up to you. Just try to remember that this isn’t forever, and you’ll have your bundle of joy with you soon enough – it’s just a question of hanging on until the due date…