You have peed on the stick (or 10) and it is positive. You have been to the doctors and weed (again) and its confirmed – your pregnant! Now what do you do after the initial excitement, fear, shock, morning sickness wears off? There is an abundance of information out there for expectant mums and everyone (I mean everyone) will want to give you their two cents worth. Many of my girlfriends are now falling pregnant too and just like I did with my dear friend who had a baby a year before me, they are reaching out for some realistic advice. She was definitely not one to sugar coat it and I greatly appreciated the valuable advice on pregnancy and motherhood that she gave me. I have never been overly maternal – I did not rush out and buy a wardrobe full of pink filly dresses when we found out we were having a girl. I packed my hospital bag the morning I went into labor and over a year later, my daughter’s bedroom is still only half finished – Sorry Mack. So if you are anything like me i.e. somewhat in denial and have no idea what you should be doing, here are my top 10 tips towards enjoying a happy and healthy pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Vitamins | My doctor in Australia advised that I should take Elevit. It is recommended that you take these vitamins whilst you are trying to fall pregnant, during pregnancy and also whilst you are breastfeeding. They contain lots of vitamins which are required during pregnancy and they importantly contain folic acid which can reduce the risk of of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. They are readily available at pharmacies in Australia and I was able to find them on Amazon in the UK (click here). Note – you must always seek medical advice before taking anything during pregnancy.
- Benefibre | Unfortunately one side effect of pregnancy is that you can become a little ‘clogged up’ and no one wants to deal with that or the subsequent side effects. Benefibre is great as you just add it to your morning beverage, it has zero taste or texture and helps to keep you regular. I took this all the way through my pregnancy and for a little while after the birth whilst my body was still getting back to normal.
- Compression Socks | Some women struggle with swollen feet and legs later in their pregnancy because your body is retaining more fluid as you grow your tiny human. It can be quite uncomfortable, so each morning when I woke up I would wear compression socks for half an hour as soon as I got out of bed. My shoes fitted for my entire pregnancy and my feet did not grow a size like I have heard from some people. I don’t know what I would have done if my Jimmy Choos no longer fit me – yes I am that vein!
- Exercise | I am not an expert in this field and you need to do your own research. However the advice I have been given is that you can generally maintain the level of exercise that you are used to pre-pregnancy (assuming you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy). If you are fit and healthy during your pregnancy then you will find it easier to manage your growing baby bump, birth and the recovery after birth. I did a lot of walking whilst pregnant as well as attending pregnancy Pilates and yoga classes. In the last few weeks I attended aqua-natal classes and I wish I had done this earlier and it was really soothing on my body.
- Oils for your Tummy | I believe the earlier you start using products on your growing belly, the better. It will get to a point that your skin is so itchy from the growing bump and you will just want to lather yourself in something 5 times a day. I am proud to say that I have zero stretch marks and I am not sure if this is due to luck or my rigorous beauty regime. I highly recommend Mama Mio – The Tummy Rub Oil and Go-To Exceptionoil – I applied these morning and night without fail from about 14 weeks. I also used Bio Oil and a Lush Massage Bar which were good alternatives when we were travelling.
- Hello, Bump Podcast | This is an Australian podcast which was launched right before my pregnancy which was perfect timing. I found the advice from the mixture of experts and other mums to be excellent and hilarious. A refreshing and realistic take on pregnancy – definitely worth tuning in for those expecting or trying for a baby. Click here to download.
- Books | I didn’t purchase a book until I arrived in England at 20 weeks pregnant. Partly because I was in denial and partly because once I arrived, I had no idea how the system worked or how / where I was going to have the baby. In hindsight, it was slightly crazy. I loved the book by Clemmie Hooper – How to Grow a Baby (and push it out). The illustrations appealed to me and it just seemed a bit more realistic than some of the other books on offer. If I was in Australia now I would try the book by Bec Judd – The Baby Bible. I haven’t read it but she has 4 children, looks incredible and provided great advice in the Hello, Bump Podcast.
- Baby Moon | This is a very modern fad and you often see pics on Instagram of people holidaying in Maldives and rocking their baby bump, looking all glowing and glamorous. We didn’t have a specific ‘baby moon’ but we traveled A LOT during my pregnancy as we had just arrived in the UK and wanted to make the most of the close proximity to Europe. It was amazing as we walked lots (maintaining my exercise), ate even more and had plenty of afternoon naps. Holidays and travel will never be the same once the baby arrives, so make the most of your time together as a twosome.
- Clothing | Its important that you still feel good about yourself during your pregnancy as your body changes. I recommend buying some basics that you feel comfortable in such as black tops, dresses, singlets that you can then layer with your normal clothes such as a blazer or a chunky necklace or some bright lippy. I also couldn’t have lived without my maternity jeans and leggings (my favorite brand was Seraphine) – I know it might seem like a bit of a waste of money but a few solid pieces to see you through the pregnancy will be worth it. I wore my Valentino flats a lot during my pregnancy too – a fab pair of shoes can turn around any ordinary outfit.
- Carry On | This will be easier said than done when you are battling morning sickness early on or the pure exhaustion later on in pregnancy. But do your best to just carry on as usual and not focus too much on being pregnant. The time will fly by and before you know it your little bundle of joy will be here. Nothing can really prepare you for what happens when the baby arrives and completely turns your world upside down, so carry on and enjoy life as you know it.
Disclaimer: I am not a health or fitness professional and all opinions are based on my own thoughts and experiences. It is imperative that you seek advice from your doctor, midwife or obstetrician before taking any medications or undertaking any exercise.
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