Pregnancy pick-me-ups

Pregnancy pick-me-ups

Pregnancy can be hard, both physically and mentally, so sometimes, what you really need is a little pick-me-up to help you get through it. Relaxation and regular treats are good for the mind, body and soul, but reaching for the wine isn't an option and too much chocolate isn't a good idea if you're trying to eat healthily.

So what kind of pampering 'pick me ups' can you indulge in and still keep you and bump healthy and safe? Don't despair, here are just a few ideas we've come across to give you a well-deserved boost. They're all affordable and do-able, so go ahead, indulge yourself.

Be a lady who lunches

Go to lunch with a friend. Having a good gossip and treating yourself to something nice to eat is one of life's little luxuries. Just make sure you have something healthy to eat (although the odd treat won't hurt). You don't have to eat out, have a friend round and cook one of the Change4Life recipes or enjoy a healthy picnic.

Meet other mums

Getting together for a chat with other mums-to-be is a great way to share concerns and have a laugh. You could even get some of your 150 minutes of activity and go for a walk together. If you don't know many mums in your area, an antenatal class is a good place to start. Ask your midwife or contact your local branch of the National Childbirth Trust.

Put your feet up

Pregnancy is the perfect time to take half an hour out to sit and read a book or magazine with your feet up. Rest is good for your energy levels so for once, don't feel guilty!

Get some energising exercise

A quick nap might be your treat on some days but on others, taking a bit of exercise can also recharge your batteries. See our pages on exercise for ideas and tips.

Indulge your inner shopaholic

OK, not really, but investing in one great outfit or pair of shoes can help brighten any mum-to-be's day. Clothes can be hard work as your bump starts to grow. Your usual clothes start to feel a bit snug or don't fit at all, and new maternity clothes can be expensive and you can't help but feel that everything looks a bit like a tent. If you can find just one really great outfit – be it a great pair of maternity jeans or a pretty top – then life can seem all the sweeter. Who cares if you wear it every time you go out, if you feel good about yourself and your reflection?

Have a bath

You can't go wrong with a long soak to take the weight off your feet and relax! Once your baby's arrived, you won't have time for such luxuries! Run yourself a deep, warm (but not hot) bath and add bubbles. Light a candle or pick up a magazine or good book and lie back.

Give yourself a pedicure

If you can still reach your toes, that is! A foot bath will relax you and help aching feet and swollen ankles feel better. Dip your feet in for 10 minutes or so, dry and apply foot cream or moisturiser. Then apply nail varnish – even if you can't see your nicely painted toes over your bump, you'll know others can still admire them!

Take a nap

If you're feeling really tired, then sometimes a nap isn't just a treat, it's essential. Your body is working hard to create something amazing, so cut yourself some slack and get some sleep. Whatever you're doing, it can probably wait until you wake up (OK, so it might have to be a weekend activity when you're not in work, and you have someone else who can watch the other kids).

Prepare for your little arrival

As you get closer to your due date, just getting ready for your baby's arrival can be a lovely way to spend some time. Whether it's folding baby clothes, or just sitting and imagining what he or she is going to look like, you can easily while away half an hour or so. It's a way of connecting with your baby, making everything seem worthwhile and getting excited about seeing your little one!