Why self care isn’t selfish during pregnancy

From the moment women decide to become parents there’s a selflessness that takes over. There’s a pervasive belief that everything must be about the baby, otherwise you’re being selfish. However, taking care of yourself and being proactive about your health is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby.

In North America, our healthcare system is generally reactive. You visit a health care professional when you’re sick, and then actions are taken to diagnose the problem. During pregnancy the focus is on the well being of mother and baby, but with so much information provided, there is little time to spend on overall wellness. So, if you want to treat things that are not ‘clinically significant’ problems, you need to find providers that focus on wellness.

During pregnancy there are extreme demands put on your body. Joints loosen, blood volume increases by 50% and you create a specialized organ (the placenta), just to name a few of the amazing body adaptations. During labour, you burn at least as many calories as you would running the Boston Marathon! Then comes the  postpartum period – after all your body has done, and with inadequate sleep, you begin to care for your newborn. Your body needs and deserves specialized care during this journey and there’s no need for apologies or guilt.

How can you be proactive about your health during pregnancy? Fortunately, there are a number of providers that specialize in fertility, pregnancy and postpartum care. There’s a variety of maternity wellness centres with numerous services and specialists under one roof, for easy access. There are mom spas, virtual services, mobile services and maternity wellness specialists.

There are many options, but sometimes pregnancy comes with information overload. Fortunately, there are services like Womb & Wellness that will match you with needed services, based on your preferences. They have providers across the GTA that are vetted and specialize in maternity services. The experts at Womb & Wellness will customize a care plan enabling you to treat conditions and optimize your health.

During pregnancy a wellness team may include a number of specialists. Perhaps a massage therapist helps treat swelling and a physiotherapist helps you prepare your pelvic floor for labour. You may take prenatal classes and hire a doula for labour support and advocacy. Postpartum you may continue with those specialists and add a fitness expert and naturopath to help you recover and restore.

It’s essential for mothers to appreciate what their body has endured and realize that they deserve the care that’s available. It’s time to start looking at health differently and surround yourself with a team that not just reacts but works proactively to keep you healthy. This is especially important during and after pregnancy due to the residual effects that may persist without treatment. In the same way you treat illness, take care of your body and mind during pregnancy and beyond, because saying you deserve it is an understatement.

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