SO what do you do when you find out you’re expecting……
- *Start taking folic acid (ideally 3 months before you conceive if you’re planning, if not just take it ASAP). Alternatively take a Pregnacare type multi-vitamin inclusive of folic acid. You’d be surprised that a lot of multi-vitamins already contain this.
- *Well being – Look at maybe having a bit more of a balanced diet, and look at a Foods you can’t eat list (eg http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx), because in pregnancy your body is focused on looking after Bump making you more sensitive to high risk foods which can cause food poisoning (Pate, runny eggs, rare or undercooked meats, mussels and seafood to name a few).
- *Reducing or cutting out alcohol and smoking – Anything that goes into your body will go into your baby’s too, so ideally reducing or cutting out alcohol and smoking is recommended. It’s only for a few months but it literally can mean the world of difference to your baby.
- Get some nausea busters in – rich tea, ginger, polo mints, mini cheddars, milk, dizzy drinks are some of the Mumma Says ladies faves…. Whatever takes your fancy, just try a few things to see what helps, and remember to drink lots of water, and eat little and often.
- Bio oil / lotion – as soon as you find out you’re expecting I would get into the habit of putting bio oil on your belly – or a pregnancy designed body lotion. Although it may seem like not a lot is going on, your uterus grows at massive rates in the first few weeks and your body will start stretching! As you get into trimester 2 and 3 you may want to just start slathering it on all over… Nathan’s Mumma thinks this helps her achieve 0 stretch marks, whilst Leyton’s Mumma still got quite dark ones on her tummy and thighs and another Mumma got them on her boobs as they went up in cup sizes! But who knows, they may have been worse without the lotions/oils. And the stretching can itch so that definitely helps there.
- Book a Drs apt at 8 weeks roughly (UK) – this will be your booking appointment where you discuss your pregnancy, the support on offer, they do some medical things like blood pressure, blood tests and urine, and also book you in for a 12 weeks scan.
- Exercise – I’ve read if you did vigorous exercise before you were pregnant then carrying on with some is fine, but the general rule of thumb is not to start anything new and drastic. And no heavy lifting where you can help it.
- New maternity clothes – even by 12 weeks you may feel your trousers feel tight as your uterus expands so these are the first item I would replace (although at 12 weeks your baby may only be 3 inches long, your uterus should be approx. the size of a grapefruit so it’s understandable if you need new things!). Also I’d recommend a soft non-wired maternity bra which will make the world of difference.
*Points with * are great things to do whilst you are trying to get pregnant if you are reading this during the Planning stage. But as no-one can guarantee when you’ll conceive I wouldn’t beat yourself up to be perfect as it may take a few months… the average is 1 year of trying to get pregnant before getting the Two Lines.
- Holidays – if you have one booked, just look into things like what medical care you can get in that country if you need it. Also make sure you have travel insurance and a medical card if required. After 28 weeks most airlines aren’t keen on passengers flying who are this pregnant without a letter from your GP, so check with specific airlines.
- Take bump photos – because your bump will start changing a lot now!
- Buy a Sleep bra -Breast tenderness is very common in pregnancy and having them supported whilst your sleep can help especially if they feel sensitive, heavy or painful.
- Get measured for a new maternity bra – although its annoying buying something that will only last weeks, it makes your day-to-day life better so I would recommend getting fitted properly and again towards the end of your pregnancy when this one doesn’t fit. (great info at http://www.mothercare.com/maternity-bra-buying-guide/buyersguide-ms-maternity-sub2,default,pg.html)
- Write a list of baby products needed – and start ticking off the big ticket items. It helps to talk to family so you know early on if a relative had an item in mind.
- Look at baby names – there are baby books and websites galore so I would try do lots of research and check off what the initials would look like too. Remember if you tell people your chosen names whilst you are still pregnant, be prepared you might not like their opinions! (It’s much harder to say you don’t like a name to the actual baby’s face!)
- Look at Classes – do you want to aquanatal, or pregnancy yoga…. or do you fancy doing NCT parenting classes? Around 13 weeks is a good time to start pondering as some book up early.
- Risk assessment at work – Although all employers have to conduct risk assessments on safety for their employees, they don’t have to do one specifically for pregnant workers. Most do though. Either way, you might want to be aware of your office and things to stop or start doing… like not over stretching or balancing one legged on a stool to reach the coffee jar, inhaling dangerous chemicals, squeezing your giant bump under the steering wheel in the tiny company car…
- Sign up for baby newsletters – some of the ones the Mumma Says ladies used were;
- Cow and Cate
- Supermarket Baby Clubs
- Babies R Us
- Emma’s Diary
- Car check – Is your car and/or your partner’s car practical for your new arrival? Will it happily fit the car seat (this will need to be actually checked) and pushchair (check this too) and baby things in? It’s worth thinking about this ahead of time in case a new car purchase is on the cards.
- Discuss baby shower – a friend or family member may be planning to do this, but if you’re a control freak (not talking from experience 😀 ) or have certain things you really hate or have been dreaming of it may be worthwhile opening talking about baby showers.
- Go to a baby show – these will give you great ideas for your new arrival, as well as more info on certain products. It may be a bit exhausting as days out go, but try turn it into a positive bonding experience with the people close in your life and I’m sure you’ll find it worthwhile. (http://babyandtoddlershow.co.uk/ has more info on some, as does http://www.ukbabyshows.co.uk/find-a-baby-show/)
- Plan the nursery – this is a fun one… you can research themes, colours, furniture – there’s a lot of ideas on Pinterest too.
- Labour plan – It’s recommended to do a birth plan and think about different pain relief and delivery options etc so you are aware of what’s available. Just bear in mind it may change when you’re actually in Labour. And that’s OK too!
- Treat yourself – Very important one. No matter how big or small the treat, pregnancy is an amazing thing and therefore you are amazing too…and deserve a treat here and there.
- Preparation around pets (if applicable) – If you have a pet it’s worth reading Leyton’s Mumma’s story on having pets and a newborn incase there’s any tips on preparation that might help.
- Maternity rights – there’s lots of websites with information on this dependent on the type of work you do, but it is important to know your rights during pregnancy and also what to expect financially when you are off. https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/overview is a good place to start.
- Hospital choice and ‘dry run’ – ties in with your birth plan but if you are hoping for a hospital birth its worth looking into which one, and doing a test drive so you’re familiar with the route and aware of any longterm road closures, for example. If it’s the same one you are having scans at then I’m sure you’ve got this point covered!
- Pack your Labour bag – at 36 weeks your labour bag should be ready and packed with whatever essentials you deem important for you, your birthing partner and your new arrival. Leyton’s Mumma has noted what she took on her birth story blog but there’s also good list on the babycenter website http://www.babycentre.co.uk/what-to-pack-in-your-hospital-bag
- Involve your family – your family is about to get bigger but remember this little person will mean a lot to more than just you, so where possible try involve your family during your pregnancy. As well as form special memories and strengthen relationships, it can help take the pressure off yourself if family can help out too….but also give yourself some breathing space as you can have too much of a good thing 😉
- Register the birth
- Sort Wills out in case the worst should happen…. if you and your partner pass away you now have a dependent to consider, so as horrible as this thought is, its worth giving good thought as to who would be guardian and making it official.
- Start a Baby ISA. There’s loads of good ones out there, and even just putting £10 a month away from your baby’s birth will generate a considerable amount when they turn 21 and asking you to contribute to expensive things.
- Write your baby’s birth story before you forget. Those first few weeks do actually fly by.
- Register your new baby at your doctors, this makes it much easier when you go for your first visit
- Enjoy your new bundle! The minutes and hours may sometimes drag or be a struggle but you never get the time back with your baby, so try take a few minutes every now and again to tell yourself what a great job you are doing, and just watch your new baby. Ahh.