Whether you’re pregnant right now, are planning on it in the future or have a friend who’s expecting, it can be a daunting experience bringing new life into the world! Editor and journalist Eleanor Taylor (esjtaylor.com) gave birth to her first child in October – in the first of her guest blogs on pregnancy and being a new mum, she shares some simple and super-helpful tips for anyone who’s a mum-to-be (or supporting them!):
My pregnancy had its share of physically and psychologically demanding moments, so I was keen to find as many ways as possible to ease the load. Thanks to baby websites and books plus chats with mums-to-be and midwives, I got advice about how to make pregnancy an enjoyable experience. Here are eight things that worked for me.
Find out the facts: Before I got pregnant, I assumed ignorance was bliss when it came to the gritty details of carrying a child. I soon found that gaining knowledge about the changes my body was going through made it less daunting. Ignoring the stretch marks wouldn’t make them disappear, after all.
Build a support network: I went to NCT antenatal classes not just to get information and advice, but also to meet other women in the same situation. Sharing the experience with them enabled me to realise it was a normal process we were all going through together… Not some alien invasion!
Get appy: If you’re a bit of a control freak like me, you might find it hard to go with the flow when there are constant changes. This is where apps are handy, as they can shed light on what’s happening to you and your baby on a weekly basis. Be prepared for countless food-related comparisons to describe bubba’s size…
Bond with baby in the bath: Although baby was always with me, there weren’t actually many opportunities in the day when the two of us were alone and I could focus just on her. Bath time gave me the chance to chat and sing to her. It’s probably the only time you’ll have a captive audience, so take full advantage.
Handbag essentials: Peek into my handbag and you’ll find something resembling an 8-year-old’s lunchbox. We’re talking crisps, raisins, granola bars and cartons of juice. Eating little and often can be the key to satisfying pregnancy (and breastfeeding) hunger without feeling too bloated.
Are you sitting (and laying) comfortably? Having to lie on your side can become increasingly uncomfortable as the bump blossoms. I used a maternity pillow in bed to support my knees, belly and back, and sat on a birthing ball during the day to help encourage baby into the optimum position.
Stretch it out: Swimming was the perfect way for me to keep fit, as exercise was a foreign country to me. It was bliss to lie on my front and back supported by the water and it built up my stamina for labour. Lazy Daisy active birth classes gave me a good stretch through yoga, breathing exercises and a positive mind-set too.
Stress-free staycation: I didn’t fancy sitting on a plane with my big ol’ bump, so we stayed closer to home with a couple of long weekends in a 4 star hotel. Breakfast in bed, pampering in the spa and lazy walks made for a chilled out break. Once baby arrived, I realised just how decadent those weekends were!
Loved this? Stay tuned for more guest blogs from Eleanor over the next month on all things pregnancy and being a new mum.