'I don’t enjoy one moment of it and I don’t understand people who enjoy it,' bemoaned Kim Kardashian on her new app. And as if to drive home the point even further she went on to say (or we imagine wail); 'Maybe it’s the swelling, the backaches, or just the complete mindfuck of how your body expands and nothing fits. I just always feel like I’m not in my own skin. . . . I don’t feel sexy, either—I feel insecure and most of the time I just feel gross.'
Not the most positive conclusion from Ms Kardashian, but probably one that sums up how many women feel (even if they don’t choose to tell the world about it).
'Change is difficult for many of us especially one which happens on circumstantial and physical levels simultaneously', says Dr Alla Svirinskaya holistic health expert and author of best-selling book ‘Energy Secrets’.
'We are generally not at ease with limbos so some women tend to be in denial by pretending that nothing is changing and spend a lot of energy covering signs of pregnancy or resenting this state. It’s easy to disconnect from the important awareness that these nine months are a magical period and should be cherished. Afterall, we become mothers as soon as we conceive, not just when we give birth.'
With this in mind, we’ve enlisted the help of three health and wellbeing experts (including Dr Syrinskaya) to give us their top pregnancy tips for making the experience as positive and comfortable as possible (until they find a way for men to carry our babies for us that is. You’ve got to love a seahorse for that).
1) Positive Vibes
'The energy center which fuels pregnancy is known as a second chakra. Interestingly, this second chakra also nourishes our ability for self love and feeling conformable in our own skin,' says Dr Svirinskaya. 'I recommend all expectant mothers use this time for reflection so that you can make peace with yourself and your past which will help you to settle into your skin. I also recommend surrounding yourself with beauty; good music, nice aromas, meditations in nature etc.'
2) Feel physically Om-azing
'I am yet to have children, but I’ve trained many pregnant women and teach pre-natal yoga and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from pregnant women is feeling stiff and uncomfortable,' says Shona Vertue, a London-based Personal trainer and Yoga Teacher who counts numerous A-listers (someone Beckham?) amongst her clients (also her real name btw, check out her instagram; @shone_vertue).
'When we feel bad physically, unsurprisingly, we can start to feel pretty negatively about things. Mood-boosting yoga postures that are safe for pregnancy (these vary during different trimesters) are my go-to when my pre-natal clients are feeling down. Gentle heart openers and side stretches are great for stimulating energy and correcting posture, ultimately leading to a happier and healthier body and mind.
Another frequent complaint is lower back pain which is usually due to the increased lumbar curve that naturally occurs to accommodate for the baby. Adding various core exercises to your daily routine can help relieve the pain, and help prepare you for a slightly easier spring-back post pregnancy too! My favourite is the quadruped which helps to develop contralateral stability, eliminating imbalances between the right and left side of the body.
If you've been putting off taking up yoga for a while, pregnancy could be the best time to start. Pre-natal yoga helps to relieve commonly compressed joints and tired muscles through strengthening and stretching, while the focus on breath awareness can help to calm nerves.'
3) Food for thought
'Food affects our mood whether we are pregnant or not, but remember that when you're pregnant your body AND your baby need nutrients so the more nutrient-dense your food choices are, the more energy you will have and the better you will feel,' says Vertue.
'My clients are always talking about the temptation to just have a big food blow-out during pregnancy and eat all the ice cream and pizza they want. I’m all for eating the things that you love but eating junk food is never going to make you feel better. Go for quality. You definitely should not go hungry whilst pregnant (or ever) but remember that nutrient-dense foods are the key to that happy feeling!'
And for an extra nutrient and energy-boost, pop a pill says Shabir Daya, co-founder of Victoria Health; 'Make sure you take the correct supplements throughout your pregnancy – namely those that are specifically recommended for pregnant women. I like the Zita West range of multivitamin supplements which contain specific nutrients for each trimester.'
4) Nod off
'It can be really hard to sleep well during pregnancy as it’s difficult to get comfortable at night, especially in the last few months,' says Vertue. 'Nothing makes me feel grumpier than lack of sleep! Exercising gently while pregnant can help to improve the quality of sleep so it is worth doing as a better sleep means a better mood, pregnant or not.'
Shabir agrees; 'Get enough rest and manage stress effectively – pregnancy can be tiring and that can often affect your mood. Being tired may actually be considered ‘normal’ during pregnancy so don’t stress about not being able to complete your daily tasks.'
5) Queasy peasy
'Feeling sick during pregnancy can be a burden and can make you feel tired but there are some tricks you can use to help overcome nausea and morning sickness,' says Shabir. 'First of all change your eating habits – don’t eat a large meal once daily but instead opt for smaller amounts frequently. This should keep your stomach reasonably full, without over-filling, and should minimise nausea.
Drink water in-between meals and not just before or after a meal as this will also help to control nausea. If you can, try drinking herbal teas such as Organic Pregnancy Tea by Neuner’s which combines ginger, raspberry leaf and digestion supporting herbs such as chamomile and peppermint.'
Read more: The Kim Kardashian maternity style guide (how to dress your bump in feathers, fringing and more...!)