We Are Having A Baby!
How exciting, you have just found out you are pregnant! You are either about to become a mum for the first time or you have experienced this before. No matter if it's your 1st, 2nd or 3rd, with that comes a whole lot of responsibility and changes that are yet to come.
Now that you have found out that you are pregnant, and the excitement and maybe the shock have all calmed down. It’s time to start thinking about what really is important, not just what the nursery is going to look like. It’s about keeping you and your unborn baby as healthy as possible.
In this blog, I have outlined some of the changes that will happen in your day to day life whilst you are pregnant. These tips and tricks can help you have an enjoyable and stress-free pregnancy.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
😴 Getting enough sleep
Having enough sleep during pregnancy is important for your health, as getting enough sleep helps you to keep you energised throughout the day.
It is suggested that 8 hours of sleep a night is what is recommended for pregnant women. However, as your stomach starts to grow and stretch, it may become very uncomfortable and you may find it difficult to get a full night sleep.
I suggest investing in a pregnancy support pillow, as it may help you combat those sleepless nights, providing support as your body changes throughout pregnancy.
Another tip to help you to fall asleep easier is by having a cup of camomile tea before bed as it's calming effects can help initiate sleep. It is often recommended to help with insomnia, anxiety and nausea. However, be careful not to drink too much, as it may do the opposite and keep you wide awake.
If you need some more information on helping with those sleep disturbances, we have a created a blog dedicated to everything you need to know about sleep.
👩🏽🤝👩🏼 Make friends with other parents or mums to be
Becoming a mum comes with many positives but it also may come with some difficulties. Some say that they find it a lonely place as they have no friends or family who have children or is also expecting, as they have no one to relate to during this time.
Making friends with other parents or mums to be can give you the opportunity to relate to them and talk all things parenthood.
You can find mum and baby groups in and around the community, often held somewhere the mums can catch up, discuss and vent all things family and babies. If there are not any groups already where you are, reach out to other mums online who may be interested in meeting up.
It’s a good social activity that may become a regular occurrence and help in forming new friendships during what can sometimes be a difficult time.
Who knows, they could become friends for life?
Keeping motivated to stay active during pregnancy is hard, and even harder when battling all the changes with your body.
With that said, 30 minutes of physical activity a day, can have many benefits on your physical and mental health. You don’t have to be an athlete to move your body and take part in some gentle exercise.
Here is a list of some fun and exciting exercises that are all pregnancy-friendly:
- Swimming in a pool can make you feel weightless while giving you a break from your aching joints and compressed organs. Try out gentle laps or a basic water aerobics class.
- Yoga is not only good for your body, but it helps you to relax and control your breathing, which may become more difficult as your pregnancy moves forward.
- How about trying out birthing ball exercises? Here at BABYGO we have our very own much-loved birthing ball. It can become part of your daily routine from the first trimester and onwards.
🍏 Changing Those Bad Eating Habits
When you are pregnant it is important to make sure you are eating safe and nutritious food, as what you are consuming so is your baby. They rely on getting the right balance of nutrients from you to help them grow and develop properly.
A big myth that comes with being pregnant is that you have to eat for two. This is untrue, you will inevitably be hungrier than you would usually be, however, it's in the final 3 months of your pregnancy that you need an extra 200 calories a day.
If you struggle to eat healthily, a tip of mine is to start a food diary. It will keep track of all your food intake throughout the day, and to make sure you start your day off with a healthy breakfast. This will help you snack less between meals.
Also, don’t forget to give in to those food cravings, sometimes the more you restrict yourself the harder it is to avoid overeating or binging on unhealthy snacks.
⚖️ Weight Gain
Managing your weight during pregnancy does not mean to lose weight or start dieting, it is to give you the best chance of a healthy pregnancy and safe birth.
Weight gain is different from every woman during her pregnancy. You can expect to gain between 10kg to 12.5kg, putting on most after week 20.
Much of the extra weight is due to your baby growing and also your body will be storing fat ready to make breastmilk after your baby is born.
If you are aware of what you should be eating and exercising daily you will lessen the risk of complications at birth.
Always speak to your GP/midwife if you have any concerns about losing or gaining weight throughout your pregnancy.
Having a safe and healthy pregnancy is so important to every woman. When it comes to taking vitamins, it can be quite overwhelming when it comes to what to take and what to avoid.
We have created a blog dedicated to all things vitamin, to help lessen the stress and worry about the right ones to take.
Taking vitamins can be very overwhelming, our best tips would be:
- To consult with your doctor.
- Set an alarm on your phone 📲 to remind you to take your vitamins.
- Don't take them on an empty stomach
- Try to include a lot of them into your daily food intake.
💻 Working during pregnancy
When it comes to working during pregnancy, everyone is different because not everyone has the same career or experiences. One woman could work in a fast-paced environment, where she is on her feet all day and may not be able to carry on working till late in her pregnancy. Whilst another could be in an office seated all day and work until she is well into her 3rd trimester.
Ideally, it is suggested you let your boss know that you are pregnant 15 weeks before your due date. Understandably it is completely up to you when you do tell them, but its best to do it sooner as they will need to work out your maternity leave, any sick days you have due to being pregnant and if they have to do a workplace risk assessment, to make sure your working environment is a safe place for you to work in.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to telling your boss you are pregnant:
- Your career goals and aspirations
- Your legal rights
- Your options to be flexible for working
- All your important dates like appointments and your due date
💭 Prenatal/ Postnatal depression
Prenatal depression is experienced during pregnancy, while postnatal depression is after childbirth. Prenatal depression is less commonly known about. You can experience depression during pregnancy as well as after, which is why a lot of women who do experience this, feel like they cannot talk about it.
If you are showing signs or experiencing prenatal/postnatal depression, it’s always best to speak to your midwife/GP. They are there to help you every single step of the way and will find a solution as to how they can help you.
Suffering from prenatal/postnatal depression is something that is hard to come to terms with. Below are some helpful tips that can help you get back some control into your life.
Meditation gives you time for you to really focus on how and what you are feeling in the present moment. Try not worrying about things you cannot change or worry about the future, sometimes this is easier said than done. You can meditate for as long or as little as you want.
The key benefits of meditating are:
- A greater sense of self-awareness
- Reduces stress and anxiety which are common symptoms you experience with prenatal/postnatal depression.
- An increase in mental clarity, when your mind is in overdrive, it cannot judge or make decisions as easily as you would if you had a clear mind.
- Understanding your emotions will help you overcome what you are feeling in the current moment, instead of trying to avoid those certain emotions.
Leading on from meditation, journaling is another way to keep track of what can be a rollercoaster of emotions. If you journal your thoughts, how your feeling and what you would like to get done that week. You can look back at how you were feeling at that moment and reflect at how you've overcome every emotion you've faced.
Doing this activity either in the morning or before bed can help change your mindset drastically.
🤱🏼 Connect with your baby
You don't have to wait until your baby is born to bond with them. There are many ways to do so before they enter this world, making your bond even stronger when they are ready to arrive. Here are some simple bonding activities you can do either by yourself or with your partner.
- Talking or singing to your baby can help them notice your voice
- Gently touch or rub your belly. Did you know, at 26 weeks your baby can respond to a gentle hand touch or rub on your belly?
- Play music to your baby, such as lullabies that mimic the sound of a heartbeat.
- Partners can read stories to the baby to help them bond as well.
Activities to help bond with your baby after birth
Regular touch and cuddles with your baby, skin to skin is the best way to create that physical bond with your newborn.
- Responding to your babies’ cries
- Talking or singing to them
- Making sure that they feel physically safe
If you are pregnant or have just become a new mum, please remember you are not alone with what you are experiencing. 1 in 7 women is affected by postnatal depression. You do not need to suffer alone, there are many women out there who are feeling the exact same way as you. By speaking out about this you could not only help yourself but other women around you.
Mind at Ease
📝 Create a birth plan
A birth plan is a great way to let people know your wishes on how you would like your labour/birth to be. For instance, some women would like a water birth or an all-natural birth with no pain relief whatsoever.
Your birth plan is personal to you and everyone's is different as one birth plan might be safe for you, but not for all. You don't have to have one, although if you and your partner do not want certain things to take place during your birth, it is always a good idea to jot down and discuss with your midwife your plans on how you want your labour and birth to be.
Remember, to be flexible when it comes to your birth plan. If complications arise with you or your baby, it is up to your midwifery team to do what is best for you and your babies health at the time.
👜 What to pack in your hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag can be a daunting task as you've never packed for an experience like this before. Here are what we think are the most essential items that you shouldn't pack last minute!
- Pregnancy notes
- Your BABYGO® birthing ball
- Loose and comfortable clothing
- Underwear for pregnancy
- Sanitary items/maternity pads
- Your wash bag which would include things like toothpaste/toothbrush, hairbrush, lip balm, body wash and deodorant
- Nipple cream
- Comfortable footwear like slippers that are easy to slide on
- And don't forget those all-important things for your new arrival; Nappies, wipes/cotton wool, vests and baby grows
The best thing you can do before going into labour is having your hospital bag ready, as not all babies like to arrive on their due date. Packing your bag 4 weeks prior to your due date is plenty of time to make sure you have all the necessities that will be useful for the time you spend in hospital.