Pregnancy Pampering: 10 Ways to Treat Yourself

Your pregnant body is working hard (hey, it's not easy growing a person!), so make time for me-time when you're expecting.

Being pregnant is hard work. Growing a baby can mean morning sickness, swelling, mood swings, backaches, and a host of other discomforts -- which means you're more than deserving of a little splurge here and there. Here are 10 wonderful ways to pamper your pregnant body while you're expecting!

1. Get a pregnancy massage. Massages may not be part of your regular pampering routine (did I hear a laugh there?), but the aches, pains, and stresses of pregnancy make it easy to justify the occasional prenatal massage. It may not even cost you: I called my health insurance provider and found out that our coverage includes a few massage therapy visits. Try your own provider and ask if massage is covered. When you book your appointment, tell the masseuse that you're pregnant so she can give you an appropriate -- and ultra relaxing! -- massage.

2. Spare no expense for exercise. Part of my birth plan this time around is staying fit. But because I've struggled to keep up my normal running routine, I've had to improvise a little. Splurging on group exercise classes and purchasing new prenatal exercise DVDs to do at home has helped keep me motivated. Pamper yourself by keeping your health a priority.

3. Indulge in a pedicure. You may not be able to even see your toes, but nothing will help melt away those aches and pains like a little TLC for your aching, swollen feet.

4. Go to bed early. It's hard to resist the temptation to stay up past your bedtime to tackle your to-do list, especially if you have other kids at home who keep you from nursery d?cor or other projects. With this pregnancy, however, I have taken a more kind approach to what my body needs. Tucking myself in at promptly 9:00 every night feels a bit like pampering, even if my projects need to wait a bit longer.

5. Enjoy a weekend nap. And while we're on the subject of sleep, can we talk about how deliciously indulgent a weekend nap can feel? Take this opportunity to indulge in a few extra zzz's before your baby leaves you feeling sleep deprived.

6. Buy a pretty maternity nightgown. With all of this sleep that you'll (hopefully) be getting, you'll need something pretty and comfortable to wear. I recently spent way too much on a perfect pink polka-dot maternity nightgown, but every time I put it on, it makes me happy. Search for something adjustable that can take you into those late-night feeding sessions, too.

7. Experiment with food. Call me crazy, but pregnancy makes food taste so much better. The juicy suppleness of an orange, the cheesy tang of fresh pepperoni pizza, or the crisp chewiness of a brownie right out of the oven can be a delight to the pregnant senses. You're not exactly eating for two, but you can enjoy the heightened sensations of eating for one.

8. Hire a housekeeper. You know those last few weeks, when all you want to do is keep everything clean and organized but nothing will actually stay clean and organized? And you know how that bump will likely keep you from getting too much done? I've been considering hiring a housekeeper -- just once -- for a deep clean before delivery. Wouldn't it be nice to save up your energy for the birth and know you'll come home to a clean house?

9. Buy a new e-reader. Sleepless nights and the feedings to come mean primarily one thing for me -- an excuse to indulge in mindless reading. I've found that although nursing a baby and trying to read a book never quite works out, flipping through an e-reader with one hand is the perfect solution. Start browsing now and enjoy some pre-delivery reading as well.

10. Give yourself a break. Too tired to cook? Kids watching a tad more TV than usual? It's okay -- really. Consider pregnancy and year one of being a mom (first time or repeat) as times of survival, and instead of beating yourself up about things, enjoy a few more take-out dinners or snuggles with the kids while they watch their favorite movie. It's not slacking, it's your own personal pregnancy pampering.

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Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.

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