"We are what we repeatedly do", so says Aristotle and it is true that our habits do set the tone for our life.
So, if you’re feeling as though your habits during pregnancy or as a new mama could benefit from a little refining or you'd like to introduce some health hacks, we're here for you, mama. It only take 21 days to form a habit and making small changes can result in a significant difference in how your body feels and skin looks.
Here's a few ways to start small and make manageable changes for maximum impact!
Blend it up
A simple and delicious way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet - especially when pregnancy or breastfeeding - is by making fresh smoothies. If you’re pregnant, load your blender up with superfoods filled with essential vitamins, micronutrients and protein. If you’re in your first trimester, adding a little ginger can help with morning sickness. If it's your second or third trimester, adding plenty of leafy greens can help to boost iron levels and provide fibre to help avoid constipation. If you’re breastfeeding, try adding a oats and flaxseed to boost your milk supply.
Drink more water
Hydration is important for everyone, but even more so when pregnant or a new mama. Your body needs more water to produce amniotic fluid, extra blood and aid digestion. As water carries nutrients to cells all around the body, it’s responsible for cooling us down and helping to increase our energy, but it also helps to reduce swelling and keep skin soft.
Load up on antioxidants
Antioxidant micronutrients play an important role in the short and long term health of both mama and baby. Selenium, copper, zinc and vitamins C and E all play a beneficial role within overall nutrition. Selenium is key for thyroid function, whilst copper is essential for embryonic development.
As the term suggests, micronutrients are small daily additions, so you may boost your levels through supplements or even simply through diet. Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and tuna are all rich in Selenium. Leafy greens and dark chocolate (yay!) are high in copper.
One of the most important type of antioxidants are polyphenols. Responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour, polyphenols have been shown to have incredible regenerating benefits. These phytochemicals detox the skin by reducing inflammation and protecting against UV radiation. A simple way to get enough each day? Switch your morning caffeine fix from coffee to antioxidant rich green tea.
Clear your mind
When it comes to detoxing, clearing your mind is just as important as clearing your body. While everyone has their own methods for dealing with day to day stress, meditation is a simple way to centre yourself. Taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness can make a world of difference.
Some might say the hardest habit to consistently maintain is sleep. Whether it be due trouble sleeping whilst pregnant, the sleep deprivation of a new mama or everyday life contributing to less sleep, it’s safe to say we could all do with a little more sleep. Beyond boosting your energy levels and decreasing under eye bags, adequate sleep has been shown to elevate your mood and balance weight.