Visualization is the creation of mental imagery coupled with relaxing messages to help resolve fear. In other words, you use your imagination to influence your attitude, behavior or physiological responses. Family therapist Peterson suggests that pregnant women create a visualization tape by reading appropriate imagery into a tape recorder. For example, you may picture yourself relaxing in a peaceful forest or listening to a trickling stream. “I like the image of a cat basking in the warm sunlight,” Peterson says. You may want to imagine your baby — not only how she looks, but how she smells, feels and sounds. “Talk to your baby,” she says. “Relax into this union.”
8) Get a massage
Want to do something really special? Treat yourself to a massage. It’s safe for most women with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies, provided it’s performed by a certified pregnancy massage therapist who knows what is safe (and what isn’t) for you and your baby.
“[Pregnant] clients who didn’t have massage therapy the first time around can’t believe the difference,” says Lynne Daize, a registered pregnancy massage therapist in Austin, Texas. “They tell me that with massage, their [subsequent] pregnancies are smoother, their recovery quicker.” Indeed, studies at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine have found that women who receive massage during pregnancy have shorter labors, less need for medication and less postpartum depression than women who are given standard breathing coaching alone.
For more information, contact the National Association of Pregnancy Massage Therapy at 888-451-4945
Indulge yourself just this once. Get a deluxe pedicure — the kind that involves sea salts and a leg massage. Buy a sexy shirt or sundress that shows off your belly or a pair of expensive strappy sandals. Eat a large slice of chocolate cake.
10) Continue to be yourself
Take time now to explore what you like to do. “I would tell women who are carrying their first baby to enjoy the freedom of being ‘single,’” says new mom Christina Tse, a 33-year-old graphic designer from New York. “No matter how difficult the pregnancy, it’s much harder — though even more wonderful — to be a mom.” Take the final course to complete a degree, write a business plan for your company or learn a language. In other words, cherish the little person inside, but don’t let the worry or the visions of how life will be different — and it will be different — consume you.