Pregnancy is a beautiful, introspective and unique journey for every woman. There are plenty of experiences to look forward to, not just when the baby is born but throughout each of the trimesters too. You’re eating for two, moving for two, and maybe even dreaming for two (or more, if you’re expecting twins and multiples). Regardless of the number of children you’re about to have or have had previously, each pregnancy will differ from the other and from woman to woman. While it’s important to prepare for the new arrival in your life, it’s also a good time to remember looking after the one person the baby will depend on after the birth: The mommy, aka YOU.
On 21st March, Mother’s Day in the UAE, we had an unfiltered discussion with Dr. Ava Ghasemi-Holdich, co-founder of Aurelia Psychology, Dubai about the importance of self-care during pregnancy and motherhood. Both Karolina, our Brand Marketing Manager and Dr. Ava broke it down to basics while talking about their journey from pregnancy to the birth and now as new and experienced mothers.
Self-care doesn’t mean pampering yourself with a salon visit or going on a shopping spree (both are acceptable, though, so don’t let us stop you!). Self-care is just devoting time to looking after yourself as completely and holistically as possible, said Karolina. Self-care is about making time for things you like—taking a walk in nature, meeting friends, engaging in a hobby or even something that’s baby-related. It’s about reconnecting with what truly sparks joy within you, described Dr. Ghasemi-Holdich.
With that in mind, we asked both the mums to share words of wisdom for mums-to-be, new mums and women planning to take the plunge into motherhood. Here’s what they had to say.
Karolina: Good nutrition is key
Ever since I started working at Kcal, I signed up to a meal plan. Given my busy lifestyle and the nature of my role, nutrition was one less thing for me to worry about. When I got pregnant, I made small modifications to my existing plan in order to nourish my growing baby. Post-birth too, I stuck to eating right. Not only did that help me have a healthy pregnancy, but it made my postpartum journey easier, since I knew I have nutritious food on hand at all times.
Dr Ava: Being active helps
Being a psychologist, I’m constantly seated in my appointments, attending daily appointments. My job is rather sedentary, so every opportunity I got, I stood up and moved around as much as I could. If I could take a walk, do some yoga or anything that would get me active, I’d do it. It helped boost my mood during both my pregnancies and also allowed me time to disconnect from everyday stresses of life.
Dr. Ava & Karolina: Don’t get caught up in mom-guilt
As working mums, we often feel guilty for leaving our children to go to work or maybe even taking a little time to self-care, because it feels like we’re missing out on spending time with our babies. Our “mom-guilt” kicks in, but it’s important to set some time for yourself—whether it’s a few minutes each day or a single day each week, don’t forget to look after yourself while prioritising your child. Whether you’re taking a walk without a toddler in tow or are just sat in another room scrolling through your phone while your kid plays or naps, it’s okay (read: necessary) to take time for yourself.
Dr. Ava & Karolina: Take all the help you get
When you’re pregnant and once you’ve had your baby, it’s important to have a community you can be a part of and reach out to for help and advice. This could be a mom support group or simply leaning on your friends and family to step in once in a while to mind the baby while you take a shower or nap. Don’t feel like you need to be a helicopter mum and do it all with no help—let people in. If you need to hire a nanny so you can go back to work, don’t be embarrassed about it. It’s all about what works for you.
If you’d like to sign up to a meal plan, let’s get started.
Watch the live video on our Instagram.
Learn more about Aurelia Psychology through their website.Written by Rawan Khammash, Nutrition Director