If the days of your first pregnancy were filled with gentle smiles from strangers, naps, foot rubs and healthy snacks, your second pregnancy is likely to be something of a surprise. Keeping up with a toddler while you’re pregnant can be exhausting and frustrating, and many women struggle to maintain a balance.
“When you’re pregnant, the most important things are a nutritious diet, exercise and sleep,” said Meredith Mann, DO, an OB/GYN at Samaritan Women’s Health Center in Lincoln City, who has three young children of her own. “It’s easy to let your self-care go, but when you take care of yourself you can take care of others.”
Dr. Mann emphasizes giving up the fantasy of doing it all. Work, housework, parenting and partnering may all experience some give and take while your body focuses its energy on growing your little one.
“Focus on what’s important in life during your pregnancy, like time with your toddler and partner, and concentrate the rest of your energy on a healthy pregnancy,” said Dr. Mann.
Taking the time for yourself is anything but easy when you have others at home who need you. But paring life down to the essentials can help. Fix an extra sandwich and apple for yourself when you feed your toddler lunch. Let the laundry sit so you can take a nap. Reach out to a friend to ask for some freezer meals or help with housework.
“If you are really struggling and having a hard time parenting, attending a mommy and me class or taking a parenting class can connect you with others in the community who are going through the same thing,” said Dr. Mann. “It can be very helpful to find out that you’re not alone and to remember that it’s not going to be like this forever.”
To make an appointment with Meredith Mann, DO, or to learn more about Samaritan Women’s Health Center, call 541-994-4440.