Top Pregnancy Tips

by Fluffleberry on August 14, 2012

Whilst pregnancy is fresh in my mind and more and more of my friends seem to be having babies, I thought I’d let you know what I found helpful along the way.

When I was pregnant my boyfriend called me a “ball thing” so here are my top tips for all you beautiful ball things out there…

1. Pregnancy Yoga

Most importantly, if you only do one thing for yourself and your baby I highly recommend you take up pregnancy yoga. I really enjoyed it as it helped me to stay calm and connected to my body and my baby, what’s more I learned so much about pregnancy and birth. I went from knowing very little, feeling anxious and imagining my babies birth as a medical procedure involving drugs, to booking myself into the natural birthing centre. After my yoga classes and a workshop for couples run by my teacher my boyfriend and I were prepared and confident and we had a truly bonding experience of labour and birth. Of course it was unbelievably hard and didn’t go according to my wish list but it was amazing and it’s all down to pregnancy yoga classes with Lulu Windfield at The Power Yoga Centre in Parsons Green, London.

2. Self Care

Pregnancy is hard work and it’s pretty uncomfortable so remember to be kind to yourself and practise good self care. My friend Emily took me on my last holiday pre motherhood and whilst I was there I had pregnancy massages. It feels so lovely on your achy muscles and a pregnancy massage table allows you to lye on your tummy for the first time in months. Bliss!

Massage

For a fantastic pregnancy massage and help with back and neck pain go to Isabel Diaz who is a sports therapist, osteopath and midwife and works from her lovely home in Fulham. Great for baby cranial when your little one arrives too!

Reflexology

I took my tired feet for a treat at the walk in massage and reflexology shop Reflexions off Sydney Street. It feels amazing and it’s so easy, you just walk in and float out right into a yummy noodle bar just outside!

Acupuncture

For all my acupuncture needs I go to Ross Barr He’s brilliant. I found I became very run down as my pregnancy went on and he helped to boost my immune system and keep my mood on an even keel. Plus, he looks a bit like Christian Bale, so enjoy!

Food

Now this is personal but what I would advise is roll with your body. If you want to eat eat, if you want to sleep sleep. Don’t second guess your body even if it doesn’t fit into your idea of “healthy eating” or your schedule. At the end of my pregnancy I had an urge to have a nap at lunch time which I ignored as I had a guest coming. I also wanted two suppers, which I though was too excessive, even for me! It was that night I went into labour and from the moment it started there was no food or sleep to be had. I listened to my body during my pregnancy but if I ever have another baby I’m going to listen harder!

It’s important to eat healthily and to have a lot of variety in your diet so that your little one is exposed to all sorts of different nutrients and tastes however, if you fancy some junk just go for it. Cravings are primal and must be obeyed! Place trust in your body, it knows what it’s doing even if you don’t. Plus, a lesser known fact is that babies born to women with low body fat tend to be over weight as adults as their bodies think they were born into famine. Therefore, they retain fat throughout their lives. Suddenly posh spice doesn’t look so great right? Putting on weight is a small price to pay, so help your body along with the awesome task it’s performing.

During my pregnancy I became obsessed with Japanese chicken noodle soup. The best in London can be had at Koya, 49 Frith Street. The last place in London where the noodles are handmade every day.

Water

Just drink loads! 2-3 litres a day ladies.

Sleep

Resting and sleeping are essential for making babies. This gets more and more difficult as pregnancy goes on. Being a ball thing can be very uncomfortable and some people say that the sleeplessness in the latter stages of pregnancy is your body preparing for the sleep deprivation you’ll experience when your baby comes. Whatever the reason, it’s very frustrating as pregnancy is very tiring. I found the Dreamgenii pillow an essential addition to my bed. It helped me to get comfortable on my left side and I was extremely grateful to my boyfriend for buying it for me. A very good investment.

3. Treats

Pedicure

Being huge made my favourite pastime of clothes shopping a drag, I couldn’t even fit into my shoes in the end! For this reason I found I was more cheered up by looking at accessories, getting my hair done, or going for my very favourite pregnancy treat, the pedicure. The days of reaching your feet are over honey, and it’s all too easy to feel large and unattractive. Keeping your tootsies pretty and having a little massage on a regular basis works wonders for tired feet. For a pedicure in a lovely environment that doesn’t honk of chemicals go to Minx, on Stratford Road.

Products

Now everyone knows that pregnancy can cause stretch marks. Unfortunately this is mostly down to the skin type you have and your genetics however, there is no harm in using products to help your skin through it’s most challenging job. Plus rubbing oil into yourself every day feels great and I’m sure my baby liked it too.

By far my favourite product range for mummy’s to be is Mama Mio. They offer a really wide range of pregnancy friendly products and have covered all your maternal needs. My favourite was the “Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil”. I feel this product gives the best value for money, it’s richer than the creams and lasts much longer. I liked the effect that the oil had on my skin so much that I am going to keep body oil in my beauty repertoire forever.

Having baths is another little luxury whilst pregnant. Sooth your muscles with Neals Yard Seaweed and Arnica Foaming Bath.

I also love Clarins for body products and they do a delicious body oil called Contour Body Treatment Oil that draws out toxins and helps with water retention. Great for pregnancy and beyond as it’s advisable to continue your heightened skin care for 12 weeks following the birth. Also, an absolute essential is the Clarins Energizing Emulsion for tired legs. The best thing ever for sore legs and feet, it feels like an easy DIY spa treatment.

4. Baby Moon

If you’re having your first baby and can afford it go on a holiday with your partner before the third trimester. Enjoy your last months together as a couple before you become a family. Have lots of lie ins and lots of sex! If the latter is in short supply however, don’t panic. Your partners oestrogen levels are rising. No one knows why, they think it maybe through pheromones but it is thought men’s oestrogen levels rise whilst you’re pregnant and are at their highest point for four weeks after your baby is born. It’s thought to help fathers bond with their baby as they become more sensitive. So don’t worry, he still fancies you. You are the most beautiful and powerful you can be.

Lingerie

You are supposed to have your boobs measured every 6 weeks during pregnancy as they are always changing and small bras/under wires prevent the development of your milk ducts. Not very sexy but never fear attractive maternity underwear actually does exist. Hot Milk has a very affordable range of maternity lingerie but investigate your favourite brand, a great many leading brands offer at least one or two styles.

If you are a larger breasted lady like me you’ll find the best measurement experts and bras at Rigby and Peller. They are a little bit on the simple side but what they lack in lacy bits they make up for in support and shape. It really is worth investing in your bosoms, you’ve only got one pair and you wouldn’t want them to head south!

5. Be Prepared

Birth

The best way to ease your nerves and boost your confidence is to prepare yourself. I highly recommend anti natal classes and workshops for couples. My boyfriend attended them with me, plus a dad’s anti natal night that is run for free at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He became the best birthing partner I could hope for. Very reassuring on the day.

Don’t panic if your man is not that way inclined, everyone has to roll how they wanna roll. It’s your journey, just make sure you pack well for it. Of all the numerous (everything but the kitchen sink) things I took to the hospital only 3 were invaluable…

Tens Machine

This wonderful little device, available to buy or hire, single handedly got me through the first 14 hours. I thought I would want massage but contractions made me so hot I could not have human hands on my back. I became unhealthily attached to my tens machine. It was the most fabulous distraction.

Coconut Water

I couldn’t eat or drink when I was in labour but my boyfriend brought along some Vita Coco and small sips made the world of difference.

Evian Facial Spray

I got teased when I spent £7 on a water spray but it was the best £7 I’ve ever spent! Very helpful in 2nd stage labour.

 

Parenthood

I found reading about childcare and all the different theories on attachment very stressful when I was pregnant so I avoided books and Internet sites like the plague as it was too overwhelming. It’s a good idea however to have a vague idea of the kind of parent you want to be so you can hit the ground running, and possibly employ some help to do so. For example, I knew that I wanted to establish a routine early on. It’s not for everyone but I felt it would help me remain calm and be the best mummy I could be. I hired someone to educate me and show me how to do the basics and took it from there. I’ve only used occasional telephone consultations and it’s the best thing I ever did, it’s allowed us to do everything ourselves and build our confidence and connection with our baby.

If you want to hire some help look to Cocoon UK. They will meet your childcare needs with anything from night nannies to super nannies, and if you book something before your baby is born it will offer you peace of mind.

If you can’t afford it don’t panic, the most useful book I have is “The Contented Little Baby Book” by Gina Ford. She spells everything out and is a great comfort when you need a quick answer to any of your baby questions along the way.

All these things worked wonders for me and I hope you like them too x

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