Pregnancy can be a hugely challenging journey, both mentally and physically. Not only are you trying to adjust to all the physical changes going on in your body, but you’ll likely be overwhelmed with advice about all the different lifestyle changes you could be making. Outside of pregnancy we’d normally be focusing on making one or two changes at a time (if we were planning on making any changes at all, that is). However, pregnancy is different in that all of these changes feel like they need to be made at once, and often with immediate effect!
There are the obvious things like cutting out drinking or smoking. But then there’s the supplements you’ll be recommended to take and the seemingly endless list of foods to try and avoid. You might also be wanting to make healthier food choices or be thinking about making adjustments to the way in which you exercise. It’s hardly surprising that this can sometimes feel overwhelming and challenging to get on top of. That’s where working with a Pregnancy Health Coach comes in!
If you feel you’re struggling and could do with some extra support and guidance, a Pregnancy Health Coach can work alongside you to help you make these changes and empower you to take charge during a time that can sometimes feel quite out of control. In particular, working with a coach can help you to identify your values, to set goals, and identify the things in your life that might be holding you back from making healthy changes. Your coach will also hold you accountable, motivate you, and provide you with a safe, non-judgemental space to share and reflect on your progress. In this blog post, I’ll be going into more depth about how each these aspects of coaching can help you to achieve the changes you desire in relation to your health and wellbeing.
Gaining clarity on your values
An important first step in the coaching journey is to identify your values. In other words, what matters to you in relation to your health and wellbeing, and in relation to the way you want to live your life. Getting clear on this is important, as it taps into the underlying motivations you hold and reasons for wanting to make positive changes. This will allow you to see whether your current lifestyle is aligned with these values, and if not, to identify what changes might be necessary to help you live a more healthy, meaningful life.
Whilst many of us set goals from time-to-time, we often make them vague and non-specific. For example, deciding to “get fit” or “eat more healthily”. Broad goals like these can also seem overwhelming if you don’t identify how you plan to achieve them by setting smaller, more manageable goals along the way. Moreover, only thinking about these goals in your head limits your ability to take action. By working with a coach and explicitly identifying what it is you want to achieve, you’ll be able to put plans in place and take action to work towards your goals on a week-by-week basis.
Identifying barriers to change
In your sessions, your coach will encourage you to identify the things in your life that are preventing you from meeting your goals. By getting clear on what these things are, it enables you to find ways to address these blocks and move forward in a way that is most aligned with your values and goals.
Some people find it quite easy to decide on what they want to achieve and to stick to it. Whereas others (which is more often the case) find it challenging without having any outside accountability. Working with a coach and having regular one-to-one sessions will provide you with a sense of external accountability and hold you to those goals you want to achieve. Your coach will catch up with you regularly to review your progress and modify your goals as needed. This is a hugely important part in making healthy changes that can often be overlooked.
Your coach will be your biggest champion. They’ll share your successes and see the positives when things don’t go as planned. Seeing your coach on a regular basis will help to maintain momentum as you make your desired changes and motivate you to keep going, even when things feel tough. Having someone regularly review your progress and reflect on how well you’re doing is hugely motivating and a key component when making any type of healthy changes.
Safety and lack of judgement
During your pregnancy, you’ll likely to come into contact with people who hold strong opinions about what they think you should, or shouldn’t, be doing. This might be friends or family members, or it might be strangers you interact with online. This can lead to feelings of judgement and negative comparisons. The benefit of working with a health coach is that they are totally impartial and provide you with a safe space, free of judgement. Everything you talk about in your sessions will remain between you and your coach, so you have the freedom to explore issues that really matter to you, without worrying about what they might think.
Interested in coaching?
If pregnancy health coaching sounds like it could be helpful for you, please get in touch. You can contact me directly via the online contact form found here, or you can book a free 20-minute telephone consultation using this link.