What I've Made Space For & Released While Pregnant
by Chelsea Becker, Editorial contributor
Before getting pregnant, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about pregnancy. All I had was the Hollywood version of weird cravings, barfing a few times, gaining some weight, and getting to sleep a lot more. Even with the majority of my friends being pregnant before me, I didn’t put much thought it what my experience would be.
As I shared in this piece, the journey has been harder than I imaged (barfing more than a few times, gaining weight everywhere, not sleeping well, and not the Hollywood image I would have assumed). Something else I didn’t take time to consider was how my daily life would shift - naive I know, but the truth. Pregnancy has rocked me. Not necessarily in a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ way, but let’s just say it’s changed my life more than anticipated.
Since being pregnant, I’ve spent the last 8 months bringing in new practices, releasing certain mindsets, and honestly rearranging a lot of my life. Not that every pregnancy experience is the same, but here’s what I’ve made space for + released from my own journey.
Made Space For
Acupuncture + a Chiropractor. While I’m no stranger to wellness practices, these were two that were new for me. Acupuncture was my first attempt in releasing back tension and gaining strength (I’m anemic and was feeling weak a lot of my 1st and 2nd trimesters), I’ve been happy with the relaxing and rewarding sessions - though my back does still ache after a couple days. I also felt a sense of “body claustrophobia” and knew I needed my back to crack, which was honestly driving me a little crazy mentally. I was timid to see the chiro after horror stories, but I researched a pregnancy-specialist and she changed my world. Not only did my whole body ease up after one visit, but the fog of body claustrophobia vanished. Truly magical for me! I’ve been going every 2 weeks since.
Heating pads + essential oils as a way to soothe. I’ve appreciated these natural remedies as opposed to reaching for something OTC, which was a habit before.
A nightly skincare routine for my face, as well as my body. The face is covered here and for my body, I’ve been slathering on this skin soufflé and body elixir as of late. It’s usually the time of day when I remember to chat with bebe and even put on calming music. Yes, some of it is for external vanity, but so much of it has become my time to connect with my body and son.
A new community: While I have a lot of friends who have gone through pregnancy, it’s been amazing connecting with mothers outside of my core group. Through writing for this site, chatting with my own clients in a more personal way, and even getting to know the staff at the hospital, it’s been cool having support from an outside perspective. I’ll always have my girlfriends to rely on, but to watch my circle grow around pregnancy and to learn from new people has been priceless.
Not being as comfortable with my body, which I shared more about here. Slowly but surely, I’m accepting it.
Motherhood podcasts, Mom Brain being a favorite.
Buying so much for myself. Other than a few maternity items (I was lucky enough to borrow loads from a friend), it’s been nice to focus less on myself in that way.
Strict eating habits. It wasn’t until I was pregnant and off my normal eating habits (mainly due to nausea) that I noticed some unhealthy mental patterns I’d created for myself pre-pregnancy. Like skipping fruit because I was afraid of the sugar, not trying new recipes because I was set in a cycle of boring but healthy meals, and so forth. Since being pregnant, I’ve simply tried to get in nutrients of all kinds - including fruit, more whole grains, healthy fats, and so on. I’ve happily released the strict rules I unknowingly convinced myself of before and hope to continue this fluidity post-partum - definitely a work in process!
Being as involved. I’ve never been great at saying “no” or not attending events I’m invited to. I also feel pressure to keep up with friends, often being the first one to reach out for our monthly dates or to plan the next thing. But pregnancy has somewhat forced me to do less. And while that felt uncomfortable at first (major FOMO and feelings of being a “bad” friend), it’s been such a release of not only my calendar but my brain space as well.
Intense workouts, which I don’t miss at all. I’ve actually rethought my workout regimen in general and am excited to nix the workouts I don’t love after baby. I plan to keep Pvolve, yoga, and Pilates in the swing, and am looking forward to trying the cult-following behind Melissa Wood’s workouts.
Hangovers, gladly. While I so badly crave a glass of wine some nights (and I’ve indulged in sips here and there), I’ve noticed my overall happiness with not having the chance to overdo it. Noting this for life after baby comes.
Forcing relationships. From certain clients to family members who always felt unaligned with my happiness, I’ve slowly started to release these people. As a friend told me during Month 1, “you’ll notice a shift in your priorities, mainly with the people you choose to let into your world.” Have totally agreed with this and want to keep it going, especially as I return to work after my maternity leave plan.
Are you willing to share what you released or made space for during your own pregnancy?
Chelsea Becker is a San Francisco-based writer, creator of becker editorial, and on the editorial team at MU. She’s expecting her first child this spring. Read more from her on body shame while pregnant and maternity leave notes for freelancers.
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