Every mum has worries about her growing baby, her body, the birth and how she and the family will manage with these changes. Here are some tips from a first time Mum.
- Eat well, little and often to keep your energy up and especially drink lots of water.
- Learn to listen to your body. Rest when you feel tired and put your legs up. Personally I found the first three months were draining especially working full time.
- Use smoothing leg gels to stop swelling and help them feel refreshed.
- Have an extra pillow or two to sleep with, whether it is to support your back, or put it between your knees to support your growing tummy.
- Continue to do exercise classes (under the consultation of your doctor), and swim as long as you can to maintain muscle strength. It’s good for producing the feel good endorphins. You can try ‘mums to be’ keep fit classes, as it’s great to meet other mums to be especially if they have a similar due date as you.
- Buy pregnancy work trousers which go under bump for the summer, and over the bump for the winter. Over the bump give you more support, but they can be hot, especially with all those extra hormones you have floating round making you sweat more.
- Don’t buy too many maternity t shirts. It’s not worth it, just buy cheaper high street shop ones in one or two sizes bigger or free flowing styles.
- Treat yourself to two or three great looking maternity tops (even better if it has breast feeding access for post maternity wear) and a dress for those special occasion and family events.
- Buy sports or pregnancy bra properly fitted as you breast swell during the last months. In the last few weeks you can wear a bra at night as well, if feel you need to for extra support and comfort.
- Buy a maternity bra that has been fitted properly no more than 2 weeks before the birth to be a good fit. Your breasts will change shape and size during the pregnancy and especially the first few months after giving birth as they try to go into milk production.
- Go to the library and loan out birthing books rather than buying or use the internet websites like www.mums-dads.co.uk to be more informed about the birth and beyond.
- Have a birth plan. Talk it over with your family and midwife. Discuss options for pain relief. Be relaxed and be positive about birth, the worse is the unknown and women give birth every day; many people have more than one child so giving birth must be manageable. Many first time pregnancies go overdue, so be prepared and don’t see your due date as now or never. At two weeks over due it is recommended to be induced and caesareans are commonplace. So when the time comes aim for the ‘normal’ birth that you want, but if it is not meant to be, then take medical advice and decide what is best for you and your baby.
- Make a music sleep CD for baby and let the bump listen to it when you are relaxing and stretching in the last few months. Then listen to this music as you feed the baby and then put it to sleep in the first months – your baby will learn sleep time patterns.
- Take photos of yourself and your partner and the bump as it grows, to remember this exciting time.
- Prepare for the baby. The minimum you need to have is some baby clothes ranging from newborn to 3 months, a cot or a Moses basket which is easy and portable, and a car seat if going home by car.
- Have your hospital bag ready a month in advance with nappies, wipes, cotton wool, two packs of maternity pads, and night time pads, breast pads, at least two changes of clothes for you and the baby (several baby grows, pyjamas, a baby hat, a baby suit, jacket), a towel and toiletries, and finally a magazine to read and a few sweets or food as you don’t know how long you will be in hospital. I found ‘jelly babies’ and a cereal bar gave a good energy boost on the day.
The most important advice is to enjoy your pregnancy and look forward to the birth. It’s a special time – make the most of it!