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To all pregnant women: Treat yourself well to the MAX!


For this blogpost I interviewed Chloe Shepherd, owner of Koru Skin and Body, so she could share her insights on self-care with expecting parents. For Chloe self-care means taking time for yourself, time in which you are not interrupted. Minimal external distractions for as long as you want or need. She really hopes that all pregnant women understand that it’s important to take and make time for themselves.


You are growing a child!


Pregnancy is a time to really prioritize your own wellbeing. As a mother of two, she knows that it can be more challenging to take time for yourself when you already have a child. So especially to first-time moms: fully use the time you have for yourself!


Acts of self-care can be different for everyone. Here are some of Chloe’s favorites.


Fresh air and nature

Where do you feel good? Choose places in nature that make you feel calm, connected, and reenergized. Do you prefer the sounds of the sea, the scents of a forest, or do you become grounded by the rocks of a mountain? Luckily here in Rogaland we have it all. Try to spend some time in nature, even if it is short and even if you are maybe not as mobile as you once were! Nature can help us to recharge ourselves and to focus more inwards. If you feel good in nature, this might also be a good place to listen to birth affirmations if you use those. Or nature can be a good place to be together with your (birth)partner. To connect, to prepare and to enjoy.

Nature landscape with mountains
Aromatherapy

Chloe is an absolute fan of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can be helpful in case of nausea, back pain, anxiety, and even swollen ankles. But more generally, aroma therapy can help you to relax and ease your body and mind. There are certain oils you should avoid when pregnant, so make sure to check that you are using the ones that are safe. A warm bath, some drops on your pillow before sleep or using an aroma diffuser when you do some yoga or breathing exercises, there are many ways in which you can use aromatherapy during pregnancy.


Treatments

While treatments are generally avoided during the first trimester, they can be a wonderful form of self-care during the rest of your pregnancy, right up until the end. A facial massage helps to relax your face muscles, including your jaw. This is typically a place where we hold tension which is connected with the rest of our body, including our pelvic area. So, a facial has its effect on more than just your face.

A pregnancy massage from someone that is a specialist in these kinds of massage (like Chloe) can make you feel like a completely new person. Other sorts of treatments that can be beneficial are acupuncture and reflexology.

A pregnant lady enjoying a relaxing massage
Sleep

Long story short: Your body needs it AND once the baby is there, you might experience a serious lack of it.


Pregnancy activities

There are lots of options. Chloe’s own absolute favourite during (and after) pregnancy was Pilates. But she also very much enjoyed the swimming classes organized especially for pregnant women. Make sure to pick what fits you best, she says, as there are the more active ‘exercise’ classes, in which you benefit from being in water to move more freely and easier. But there are also the more relaxing classes, where you just enjoy floating in the water and escaping for a moment the heaviness of your belly.

These activities might also help you to get in contact with other expecting mothers. Something you may highly benefit from, once the baby is there. Peer support can be crucial for your mental well-being post-partum.


Hydrate

It’s obvious that good and healthy food is beneficial when pregnant. But Chloe stipulates that it is also important to make sure you hydrate enough. This can really help you to feel better.


Let others help you

In almost all cases, pregnancy demands a redivision of the tasks in and around the house. Talk about this with your partner and be vocal about what you need and what you expect from him or her. Take as much advantage of everything and everyone around you. Pregnancy is a time to slow down, and you can’t continue doing all your tasks like you have done before. Asking people for help can be difficult, but it is a healthy way to avoid exhausting yourself during pregnancy. Be mindful that after pregnancy comes birth, followed by an intense time with your baby. You want to have energy for that!


Prepare

Concentrate on yourself. Focus inwards. Prepare for birth and prepare for when the baby is born. Connect with your partner. Preparing for birth together can strengthen your bond. Try to connect with other expecting parents, preferably in-person and not online. Consider taking a break from SOME partly or fully, whatever feels best for you. Maybe you feel you don't need such a break and that is fine, as long as you make a conscious choice about it. Go into your calm bubble. Do things that make you feel safe. Ground yourself.


About Chloe

It was when I was pregnant with my youngest child that I found out about Chloe's excellent massages. With Koru Skin and Body, Chloe offers a wide range of treatments, including massages during pregnancy and post-partum. Not only does Chloe really know how to work with your body during pregnancy and after birth, she also has an extra wide massage table and a super comfy pregnancy pillow, to make sure you are 100% comfortable to receive the treatment and benefit from it to the max.

The most special massage I personally received from Chloe, was the one where my 11 days old boy was laying on top of me, nursing and sleeping, while Chloe was super gently working her way around him. Helping me release the after-birth tensions in my body: 'Mothering the Mother'.

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