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Feeling Good and Looking Great During Pregnancy

Feel-Good Routine :

When you are pregnant, you need to feel nurtured; set yourself a routine which should be practiced daily in the mornings and evenings. That way you will also stay in touch with your body throughout your pregnancy term and in turn help motivate you towards your pre-pregnancy self after delivery.

Get yourself an aromatherapy oil diffuser and add a couple of drops of tangerine and grapefruit essential oils to scentisize your surroundings; you will feel rejuvenated first thing in the morning.

Light skin Routine

Light skin exfoliation first thing in the morning is very refreshing. A grainy body scrub in the shower on your legs and arms (avoid the abdomen and breasts totally) helps improve your circulation and remove dead cells, revealing a glowing skin. Start from the feet and brush upward; then from your hands, brush inwards. Remember to brush toward your heart.

On some days a dry body brushing using a loofah or body brush can be tried. This boosts circulation and keeps cellulite in check (cellulite tends to appear during pregnancy due to hormonal reasons). Absolutely safe to practice, brush inward from the feet and hands (again avoid abdomen and breasts). Finally, a body-wash and a rinse in the end will complete your shower regime.

Set yourself a morning moisturizing routine so that after delivery your skin will have benefited from the pampering. Apply a rich body cream all over your body, with particular emphasis on breasts and abdomen.

If aromatherapy is your thing, set the stage with dim lights or room candles; add three drops of mandarin and rosewood essential oils to still bath water (tepid to warm) and immerse yourself in it. As a precaution, make sure you are not alone at home in case of bathroom accidents.

A soothing eye mask - a couple of chilled teabags or slices of cucumber over your eyes is very therapeutic.

Take this time to shut your mind down from the pressures and worries - however big or small - and focus on yourself and your growing baby.

Practice reiki (energy healing) by closing your eyes and focusing on a color (white/silver, purple, green, blue are positive colors). Breathe calmly and imagine the color entering your being from the top of your head and diffusing through your arms, hands and fingertips, legs and toes. Keep this feeling going for a while, then imagine the color leaving your body; when it leaves the top of your head, open your eyes.

Mood-Enhancing Routine

How you feel during these nine months is important. Some tips and tricks to make you feel good about yourself are outlined below. Your mental health is important but it tends to go out of whack because of your hormones.

Visualization - the art of relaxation through positive mental imagery - is a very positive tactic. Breathe deeply, close your eyes and focus your mind on your favorite or a peaceful place you have been to e.g. beach, hilltop, or your mum's garden, any place that is important or holds special positive memories. Imagine yourself there again.

In pregnancy, not only your body goes soft but your brain gets affected too. Refresh your mind and body by breathing deeply whenever possible. Fresh oxygenated blood is sent throughout your body; this boosts your mental clarity.

Get as much fresh air as possible instead of staying wrapped up within the four walls. Go for long drives, for walks - this gives you the time, space and opportunity to unclutter your head.

Don't just reserve deep breathing for labor; you can use it to calm your body when under stress or pressure. Sit upright in a comfortable chair with your hands resting on your bump. Breathe in fully then breathe out at a comfortable rate. Be aware of your hands rising and falling.

When your baby kicks at you, tap back. It is your way of connecting; whenever your baby kicks at you respond back with a tap or a stroke. Communication before the birth allows for you to be half way bonded to your baby before its arrival.

Add 2 drops of essential oil of your choice to a large bowl of warm water. Soak your hands or feet in the water for upto 15 mins (top up with warm water if it turns cool). Dry off with a towel and wrap up for another 15 mins.

Close your eyes and take your fingertips into your scalp; using claw like movements massage your whole scalp. Repeat 5 times. Use a little oil to avoid friction.

Face Therapy Routine

Halfway thru your pregnancy is your best chance to make the most of your pregnancy in the looks department. And when the bloom doesn't come naturally, make the effort!

Exfoliate your skin. A gentle scrub twice a week or once if your skin is sensitive will brighten up your complexion and make up for your tiredness. When you are not feeling quite yourself, this simple ritual can help boost your mood and senses and make you feel more positive inside out.

Always carry around a refreshing facial spray. It can be an aromatherapy spray, a spray from your skincare line or water in an atomizer; a quick spritz to your skin helps to keep you cool and fresh - a great pick me up at the end of a long day at work.

Raised body temperature is common during pregnancy; perspiration is more common now. Keep an antiperspirant deodorant in your bag.

Don't have a flawless skin to flaunt? Choose a cream-to-powder foundation that covers spots and blemishes really well without making you feel all caked up. It is easy to apply, looks natural, and you can touch up throughout the day without making your makeup look heavy.

A quick slick of lip balm over the lips keeps them looking natural and conditioned and gives a hint of gloss too. You have a choice of staying with the natural look or topping up with your favorite lip color/ liner.

Not getting enough sleep and the dark circles are evident already! Try using a small amount of lilac colored matte powder underneath your eyes. Lilac will help counteract any darkness under the eyes and brighten up the way you look on a bad face day.

Revitalizing face cream containing vitamin C is helpful particularly in the cold weather when the skin is especially dry. Use it beneath your usual face cream to boost your complexion. On warmer days you can simply use your usual moisturizer.

Enhance your complexion by using a light dusting bronzing powder all over your face and neck where you would naturally catch the sun - cheeks, temples and collarbone. Choose a powder that is neither matte nor glittery but slightly shimmery. Alternatively look for cosmetic cream that contains shimmery light-reflective particles. These are often golden or bronze and when applied on key areas they give a sheer healthy looking sheen to your skin - the make up equivalent of radiance in pregnancy.

Keep Your Cool

Whether it is the winter or summer months, you always seem to feel hotter than everyone else around you. Some tips to help you cool off at home or at work so you feel in control during your pregnant months.

Wear loose, floaty clothing that wont constrict your around the middle as you grow bigger.

Try running cold water over your wrists to cool your body or place an icy cold damp cloth on the nape of your neck to bring your whole body temperature down.

If your home is without an air conditioner, either open your refrigerator door for a quick cool-down or go to the supermarket and loiter by the open freezer compartments whenever possible.

Sip several cups of peppermint tea throughout the day as it is cooling to the body and helps ease digestion. A peppermint foot lotion helps to cool the skin.

If you need to wear pantyhose to work, make sure it doesn't constrict you too much; apply a cooling leg gel under the pantyhose to relieve the sensation of 'restless legs'. Raise your feet under your desk to help prevent swelling.

Avoid the midday sun. You may underestimate the heat during that time but it can cause you to feel nauseas and dizzy.

Carry a facial spray around with you when you are traveling on the roads. Fill up an empty spray bottle with mineral or rose water and spritz when you feel the need. Alternatively you can add your favorite essential oil to double up as a fragrance.

If the heat gets too intense after your day out, plunge your feet straight into a bowl of cool water when you get home. Do this routine as often as the need arises.

Open the windows an hour before you go to bed. A well ventilated room will help you sleep better. Sleep between crisp clean cotton or linen sheets and avoid manmade alternatives. It is next to impossible to sleep without an efficient fan, so invest in one.

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