The new year is traditionally the time to invest in your wellbeing, but what about if you’re pregnant and not hitting the gym? We asked seven experts what’s going to be big in wellness this year for new mums and mums-to-be. From postnatal mental and physical health, to sleep hygiene, and ElectroAcupuncture, find out what they predicted below…
Greater investment in postnatal mental and physical health
In a world where mums are realising the profound impact of holistic well-being, the trend is shifting towards investing in postnatal mental and physical health. This is resulting in lots of mums seeking a nurturing path beyond the limitations of NHS support.
Laura Bardell-Smith, postnatal wellbeing expert, postnatal doula, and Founder of Mama Nurtured, says: “Personally, I’ve seen a growing curiosity around the postnatal treatments I offer, delving into a comprehensive exploration of mothers’ well-being using a natural health therapy called Kinesiology. From the physical and mental aspects to the energetic and nutritional dimensions, it’s a holistic journey to nurture every facet of a mum’s health and vitality.
The evolution continues as mums opt for the gift of self-care, shifting from traditional presents for the baby to a new paradigm—embracing postnatal doula support. It’s a heartfelt request for support, recognising that investing in their own well-being is the greatest gift a mother can give to herself and her growing family.”
On-demand workouts that incorporate trimester-specific wellness advice
Fitness platforms are nothing new, but since the pandemic content in the wellness space has just been getting better and better. Having the ability to workout at any time of day (without leaving the house) is of course a game-changer for new mums. But what we’re seeing from the latest pre and post natal fitness apps and platforms is more of a 360 approach with a focus on holistic wellbeing during pregnancy and beyond.
Catie Miller, the founder of Barre Series (and mum-of-two) has just launched a new Prenatal and Postnatal On-Demand bundle on her platform for 2024. A dedicated resource of workouts and blogs for expectant mothers seeking support throughout their journey, it offers tailored prenatal barre classes, trimester-specific wellness advice, as well as insights into the complexities of pregnancy.
Catie says: “Embracing a fitness routine during pregnancy can be transformative, and one modality that stands out and changed my pregnancy journey is Barre. The profound benefits of working out during pregnancy, specifically Barre can greatly support expecting moms on their journey to motherhood.”
ElectroAcupuncture to treat postpartum symptoms
ElectroAcupuncture is a new innovative acupuncture that can be used in the postpartum period by a trained practitioner in many different ways. Research has started to map the promising results of ElectroAcupuncture in some common postpartum imbalances, such as diastasis recti abdominis where the muscles that lie over your stomach separate. ElectroAcupuncture has also shown promising results in sexual dysfunction in women postpartum especially when there is urinary incontinence issues, also a common issue postpartum. It can also help in many other areas such as muscle tension, hormonal regulation, mood regulation, hair loss and fatigue.
Maeve O’Sullivan, TCM Practitioner & Co-Founder of Escapada Health says: “Integrative Medicine, TCM, Ayurveda and Holistic alternatives have been huge in 2023, and as we move into the new year we’re going to see it continue to grow as people start to understand not only the benefits of holistic health and natural medicine but also the structure that these incredible health sciences offer to give a timeless model of care.
We continuously work with our clients through the four pillars: natural treatments, mindful movement, nourishing nutrition and lifestyle/self care. At Escapada Health we strive to continuously curate treatments that incorporate Eastern Medicine with Western Medicine moving with current research, creating innovative treatment alternatives that not only treat everyday symptoms and nuances but also treat the root cause. Pregnancy and postpartum care is one of our main areas of care, so we have created a wonderful treatment in-clinic (and know it is going to be a wellness trend) – ElectroAcupuncture.”
She continues: “There is a fantastic movement towards more natural methods of treating, especially since Covid. This is a welcome and much needed change, as sometimes, especially for postpartum women, western medicine can be quite limited in terms of offerings when it comes to many of the imbalances that women face. Postpartum care requires individualised and a holistic approach to care – this is imperative to the imbalances faced or they can turn into chronic conditions. We’ve found in-clinic that electroacupuncture, because of its heightened stimulation effects works quicker, but it’s always recommended to book in for 4-6 sessions for long-term results.”
Sleep hygiene for frazzled new parents
A huge trend in the wellness space that continues into 2024 is taking care of your ‘sleep hygiene’. This probably sounds futile if you’re a new parent being woken by a tiny screaming alarm clock every few hours. However, just creating a calm space in your bedroom can help frazzled new parents to nurture their mental and physical wellbeing.
Fatima Khan, Founder of luxury and eco friendly bedding brand Sukun says: “Wellness is evolving into a lifestyle rather than a temporary trend. And as people increasingly view wellness as an integral part of their daily lives, they are becoming more inclined to invest in products that contribute to their overall well-being, including the quality of their sleep. Investing in luxury bedding can help contribute to a sacred wellness space at home; promoting better sleep hygiene, creating a calming and stress reducing environment and prioritising your comfort and over-all health and wellbeing by increasing your sleep quality.”
Angel Skillman, Founder of lifestyle brand Shades of Cool London says: “In 2024, the surge in mindfulness practices and the importance placed on quality sleep as a pillar of well-being align perfectly with the multifaceted health benefits of our Sleep Dohars. As the focus on conscious well-being grows, our products stand out as not just blankets but essential contributors to a comprehensive self-care experience, providing both comfort and health benefits.”
Scent therapy to relieve postpartum tension and calm the nervous system
Whilst you need to be mindful of aromatherapy oils if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, scent therapy is an emerging wellness trend that can really help to reduce stress and tension for new mums*.
Anna Ayers, Environmentalist & Co-Founder of Rahua says: “Functional Fragrances have been on the rise for a while now, and as we enter 2024 I’m forecasting that Scent Therapy is going to be huge. Here at Rahua we’ve used scent to help enhance your mood and wellbeing through your hair and body care since founding the company.”
She continues: “As we move into 2024 our products are being created with wellness even more front of mind – every product will be developed to be used as ‘therapy for your wellbeing’. Our scents will enhance and change your mood, bring mental clarity, providing inspiration and positivity and be a holistic tool to start and end your day with.”
*Just remember to double check ingredients with your care provider if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Taking care of your gut health before, during, and after pregnancy
The trend for taking care of your gut health continues into 2024, and we’ll be seeing much more emphasis on its importance for new mums and mums-to-be.
Lola Biggs, Dietitian at natural health supplement brand Together Health says: “Having good gut health is key to overall health and can be particularly influential for preparing to have a baby and supporting both mother and baby postpartum. It can boost and balance digestion to improve the delivery of both fertility-nourishing compounds and post-natal healing and recovery of essential nutrients from our food.”
She continues: “A happy gut often equals less disturbed sleep, with indigestion being one of the main causes of light sleeping. However, there is no guarantee this will mean restful nights once the baby arrives, but it can set you in the most optimistic position and investing in.
A healthy digestive tract also promotes enhanced defences against bugs and viruses. If our gut’s healthy natural bacteria are upset, we can start to experience problems, and no new mother needs any more hurdles.
The female reproductive region shares close ground with the digestive system so throughout conception, pregnancy and postpartum there are often changes in movements, digestive issues, and responses to types of foods.
Keeping your diet rich in whole grains, fresh veggies, legumes, beans, nuts, and fresh fruits will help keep your gut running smoothly. Eat more warming slowly cooked fibre-rich foods like stews, dahls, and soups with lots of added spices such as turmeric, ginger, herbs, and garlic as these can help rid your gut of harmful bacteria.
Try adding a fermented food topper to dishes, like spicy kimchi, raw sauerkraut, or choose miso paste to add flavour. Plant protein-rich tempeh is also a great option for upping live cultures in the diet.
Preserving a healthy level can be an issue during the winter months with changes in light wavelengths. I recommend taking a Vitamin D upkeep supplement from October through to April, aiming for 1000iu, and opting for naturally occurring sources like lichen ideally with coconut oil in the formulation for better absorption. Try Together Health’s Vitamin D3, £6.99 which are made from natural and sustainable lichen and 1000iu active vitamin D3.”