Pregnancy Pick-Me-Ups

From lap swimming to leg rubs, here are 15 ways to boost your mood.


It wasn't until I was pregnant that I craved lying on my stomach more than anything. Lucky to be living in Venice, Calif., I was able to . . . 1. Go to the beach. 2. Dig a hole in the sand. 3. Put my belly in the hole, and . . . 4. Luxuriously stretch my back. Ah....

Whether it's burying your belly at the beach or indulging in some strange snacks, every pregnant woman deserves a good pick-me-up.

Read on for our favorite 15:

1. "When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Beatrice, I felt very large and important. I believed I had to eat for all of England! So my favorite thing to do to cure the doldrums was snack on my favorite treat, mayonnaise sandwiches, or my second-favorite treat, mackerel sandwiches. Yum." —Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, Duchess of York, mother of two

2. "Take a look at photos of yourself as a baby with your mother. Then imagine yourself, your partner and your new baby in the physical setting you love most. Finally imagine your perfect, beautiful, healthy baby being born." —Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., psychologist specializing in women's reproductive issues, mother of two, Lexington, Mass.

3. "Whip up a green drink in the blender. My favorite: cherry juice mixed with spinach or alfalfa sprouts and brewer's yeast. It's rich in the B vitamins that help reduce stress and increase energy." —Leslie Stewart, certified nurse/midwife, mother of one, Studio City, Calif.

4. "Swim. Use a kick board if you want and between laps, float on your back. Floating is suddenly very easy when you're pregnant. Outdoors is best: You can look for the blue, blue sky and the tops of the palm trees and imagine you are in Hawaii. It's relaxing to swim and feel so blissfully weightless." —Carol Impara, R.D., mother of one, Pasadena, Calif.

5. "Run . . . and if you can't run, walk! I ran about three miles a day until my fifth month, when it got to be too cumbersome. Then I switched to taking nice, brisk walks and riding my stationary bike. Both activities refreshed me, and I continued walking right up until the day I gave birth to my daughter, Kady." —Michele Granger, U.S. Olympic softball player who pitched the gold medal-winning game while she was two-and-a-half-months pregnant, mother of one, Kensington, Calif.

6. "Nap. What I usually do when I need a pick-me-up is shop, but I couldn't buy clothes while I was pregnant. Every day, I was a new size! So I napped. When I was working on 'Picket Fences,' they were nice enough to let me nap on the set." —Marlee Matlin, actress, mother of one, Los Angeles, Calif.

7. "Close your eyes, take a deep breath and put your hands over your womb. Send mental messages of love and welcome to your baby growing inside. Try this several times a day.'' —Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Woman's Book of Life and mother of three, Boulder, Colo.

8. "Go to a spa and ask for a cooling leg rub. They massage your legs with French lotions that make you feel as if your legs have been plunged into ice water, and the sensation lasts for hours." —Mel Malmberg, writer, mother of two, Windermere, Fla.

9. "Team spirit is a great pick-me-up any time. Although I wasn't in shape to play much ball, I did continue to coach my daughter's softball team while I was pregnant. I jumped around so much cheering the girls on and flashing signals and giving high-fives that I got a good workout without ever leaving the sidelines." —Heidi Greenberg, paralegal, mother of three, Sunrise, Fla.

10. "At the end of every day of my pregnancy, I listened to a relaxation tape and then recorded my feelings in a journal. It was particularly helpful for me to draw pictures of how I thought the baby looked growing inside of me." —Jann Tuoti-Wilson, wellness/program coordinator, Canyon Ranch Health Resort, mother of one, Tucson, Ariz.

11. "If you have a preschooler at home, set a timer for 10 minutes and tell your child that it's 'mommy time. I would use those few free minutes to fix a snack or sit down to read and relax." —Madeleine Lewis, fitness choreographer, Buns of Steel,the Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy Workout, mother of two,Los Angeles, Calif.

12. "Take a weekend retreat just for you. Leave your other children, partner, responsibilities behind. . . . And wherever you are, if people ask how much weight you've gained, say, enough." —Jennifer Louden, author of The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book, mother of a preschooler,Santa Barbara, Calif.

13. "My yoga teacher, Catherine McNamara, taught me this move that gives your entire body a zing: Get down on all fours, on a carpet or mat, toes pointed but not tense. Beat the tops of your feet against the floor for 30 seconds. Now sit back on your heels, widen your knees and slowly bring your forehead to the floor, arms stretched out in front of you. Enjoy the vibration." —Peg Moline, editor, mother of two, Santa Monica, Calif.

14. "Crudités! For a pick-me-up, I snacked on raw carrots, celery and other crunchy, healthy vegetables." —Jane Seymour, actress, mother of six, including two stepchildren,Los Angeles, Calif.

15. "My favorite stress buster while I was pregnant was a three-letter word: S-E-X. It didn't cost anything or require new clothes (we were on a very, very tight budget), didn't add calories or fat and, best of all, made me feel sexy and desirable even when I looked as big as Babe, the blue ox." —Alexa Whidbey, travel editor, mother of one, Cherry Hill, N.J.