There comes a time in every woman's pregnancy when the nausea, swollen ankles and fatigue get the best of her. At the end of the day, growing a human being is hard work. So take a moment, in between registry-building and doctor's appointments, to schedule some time just for you. We have six ideas for putting the focus on relaxing, recharging and pampering before baby arrives.
Take a dip
After months of supporting a growing bump, your back, shoulders and legs may be ready for a break. Slip into a swimsuit and spend an afternoon floating weightless in a pool. You'll be amazed at what a mid-pregnancy swim can do for your spirits. Check local park districts for indoor pools to frequent this winter – or call around to area hotels, some of which may offer guest passes to outside visitors.
Grab your partner and duck inside a movie theater for the afternoon, taking in back-to-back guilty pleasures. Kick it up a notch by springing for a bucket of popcorn and some sugary snacks.
We'll be the first to tell you that maternity clothes are not the most sound investment. Most likely, you'll wear them for the last four months of your pregnancy – and when baby arrives, you'll be so sick of them you will jump to pack them away. All that being said, there's something to be said about having one or two wardrobe pieces that make you feel your best. Splurge on a little black dress to wear for date night, a pair of skinny jeans for the weekend or a new top to dress up your 9 to 5.
Put your aches and pains in the hands of a professional, quite literally. Check in with local massage therapists to find one that is certified in prenatal massages. Some therapists may even have a special table for pregnant women, allowing you to lie flat on your belly while a divot, cut into the table, cradles your bump.
Skip out of the office early on a Friday to meet a friend for lunch. Add delicious food, a sparkling mocktail and some girl talk for a perfectly indulgent afternoon.
Let's face it, once baby arrives, evenings out on the town will be few and far between. Make the most of your time together now by adding in a few special date nights to your calendar. Sign up for a cooking class for the two of you. Go dancing (skip the high heels – you'll thank us later). Or make reservations at your favorite romantic restaurant. Whatever you do, take a break from the baby prep to re-sync with your partner.
Now you: Are you doing anything special to slow down and relax during your pregnancy? Share your ideas in the comments below!