Hey, mom-to-be, we know it’s not always easy to find the time to relax – among the extreme exhaustion and anxious feelings about baby’s every move, to the physical changes, hormonal changes, work, money, and, well, just life, finding time to take a moment for you can seem impossible. And you’re not wrong for feeling that way! Nearly all of us expecting moms feel all those feelings at some point in our pregnancy journeys. And while we can’t take all these feelings away (wish we could), we can share with you our 7 favorite tried and true pregnancy relaxation exercises that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Each of these exercises have been praised by other Rumbly moms in our community (so you know it’s not just our favs) for the amazing ways they can help reduce stress, calm your mind, and connect deeper with your growing baby. So read on for your new fav relaxation exercises.
1. Mindful Breathing
Why we love it: Mindful breathing is a powerful technique that can instantly calm your mind and body. It helps connect you with your body and can make you feel sooooo much better in just a few minutes!
Our reco: Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose, feeling your belly expand, and slowly exhale through your mouth, releasing any tension. Focus on the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Allow any thoughts or worries to drift away as you continue to breathe deeply and mindfully. Practice this exercise for a few minutes each day to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
2. Guided Imagery
Why we love it: Guided imagery is a wonderful way to transport your mind to a peaceful and serene place – it is sometimes called visualization, or guided meditation. It involves focusing on a really powerful positive mental image (like an amazing birth experience for you and your little one!).
Our reco: Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a tranquil setting, such as a beautiful beach, a peaceful garden, or lying in bed at home and snuggling your beautiful newborn baby! Visualize the sights, the sounds, and the smells of this place, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the experience. As you engage your senses, feel the stress and tension melt away, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. You can find guided imagery scripts or recordings online or create your own personalized visualization (both are highly recommended!).
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Why we love it: Progressive muscle relaxation is an effective technique for releasing tension and promoting deep relaxation. It focuses on tense muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders, and then releases the tension in those specific areas versus working your whole body at once.
Our reco: Start by finding a quiet and comfortable space. Begin with your toes and gradually work your way up through your body, tensing and then releasing each muscle group. As you tense your muscles, hold the tension for a few seconds before releasing, allowing the muscles to relax fully. Move slowly from your feet to your legs, abdomen, arms, and finally, your face and neck. This exercise can be done anytime, anywhere, and is a great way to release physical and mental tension, which no doubt you likely have a lot of right now.
4. Yoga and Stretching
Why we love it: Yoga and stretching are excellent forms of exercise during pregnancy that promote relaxation and flexibility. Gentle prenatal yoga poses and stretches can help ease muscle tension, improve circulation, and create a sense of calm.
Our reco: Focus on gentle movements that feel comfortable and avoid any positions that cause any discomfort or strain. Try to incorporate deep breathing into your practice as well to enhance the relaxation benefits of your practice. And pending the day, you can either attend prenatal yoga classes in person or follow along with online videos designed specifically for pregnant women (our favorite is down dog prenatal yoga. Try it out here and let us know if you agree!).
Why we love it: Meditation is a powerful practice that can help quiet your mind, reduce stress, and increase overall well-being.
Our reco: Find a quiet and peaceful space, sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breath, bringing your awareness to each inhale and exhale. As thoughts arise, gently bring your attention back to your breath, letting go of any distractions. Start with just a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Explore different meditation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation, to find what resonates most with you. You can also alternate depending on how you feel on that particular day.
Why we love it: Aromatherapy is a natural and soothing way to promote relaxation during pregnancy. Certain scents have particularly calming properties that can help reduce anxiety and promote sleep.
Our reco: Try using essential oils during your second and third trimester in a diffuser, to massage your skin with, or by adding a few drops to a warm bath. Whichever you choose, just ensure you refrain from using any essential oil based products during your first trimester of pregnancy. We also highly recommend that that you consult with your healthcare provider before using any essential oils, to ensure that the oil you use is pregnancy-safe.
Our always favorite oils are from Saje – they have great quality oils and amazing smelling blends! They also have a great blog article on guidelines and product recommendations for new and expectant mothers!
Why we love it: Journaling is a therapeutic practice that allows you to express your thoughts, emotions, and concerns.
Our reco: Set aside a few minutes each day to write freely in a journal. Let your thoughts flow without judgment or expectation. Write about your dreams, fears, and hopes for your pregnancy and future as a new mother. Journaling can provide a sense of release, clarity, and self-reflection. It's a valuable tool for processing emotions and connecting with your inner self.
Have other techniques you want to share? Questions on pregnancy? Hit us up in our DM’s over on @rumbly_co on Instagram and TikTok!!