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Things I’ve learnt…

Today, I’m 36 weeks pregnant, and I should have around four weeks to go. Why no-one properly explains that technically pregnancy lasts 10 months is beyond me. Pregnancy has definitely been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life, so I thought I’d put together a list of a few things I’ve learnt throughout my pregnancy, I’m sure they’re things most parents, or soon-to-be parents can relate to!

  • Trust your instincts – you know you and your body better than anyone.
  • Go swimming, do yoga, walk when you can, however you do it, just keep active. It makes such a difference to your mood and it definitely helped me sleep better – and I’m clinging onto the idea that it will make labour marginally easier.
  • NCT classes are worth doing. They’re really informative, but the chance to meet new parents in your local area who are all going through the exact same thing is priceless. Plus, you get to do some great artwork. IMG_20160801_192440This is what Sam and I created when asked to draw what we thought it would be like the first time we are alone with our baby.
  • Don’t try and do everything yourself – ask for help. There will be a point where you can’t do as much as you used to, and there are some things you won’t be able to do, you’re carrying a tiny human, it’s okay to admit you’re struggling to carry the bins out as well.
  • Sleep when you can. Naps are excellent things.
  • All my pregnancy books emphasise how important it is to rest, and I agree completely, but equally, while you feel up to it, go out for dinner, go and meet friends, because things will change completely once baby arrives.
  • Date nights. Personally I think these are hugely important. These are the last few weeks where it’s just the two of you, make the most of it.
  • Take photos. I love the idea of documenting pregnancy, plus there’s that whole pregnancy glow thing. I find it so bizarre looking at photos from early on in my pregnancy in comparison to now, absolutely crazy.
  • Cabbage leaves on swollen ankles really work. Honestly.
  • Try and avoid googling random symptoms. If you’re anxious about something, call your midwife and ask, otherwise you will convince yourself of the worst case scenario.
  • Count the kicks. You know your body and your baby, if you notice a decrease in baby movement, call or go to your midwife. It’s not overreacting, they won’t mind or think you’re being silly, it’s always, always better to check. I thought I was overreacting when I didn’t think I’d felt him move for a few hours, they hooked me straight up to a monitor to check his heartbeat and reassured me.
  • Pregnancy carpal tunnel is a thing! And it’s horrible. You may find yourself soaking your aching hands in cold water at 4am because the pain is keeping you awake.
  • Work out your maternity leave/pay as soon as you can. Ditto with paternity.
  • If you can, go away for a few days. We went to Portugal for a babymoon, but it doesn’t have to be a trip abroad. Just take some time with your partner or a friend and relax.
  • Crying can occur at any time, for any reason. I couldn’t find any flavoured water the other day, and so I promptly burst into tears in the shop. I think this was a completely reasonable reaction.
  • Ignore people who decide to give you opinions on your bump.
  • Smaller, more frequent meals are definitely better, particularly when you get to the last couple of months.
  • Don’t attempt a driving test at 8.5months pregnant in 31C heat with swollen feet and carpal tunnel syndrome. I wasn’t allowed to take it as I felt faint from the heat, such frustrating timing and a waste of money.
  • Every pregnancy is different. Just because something happened one way to your friend, doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.

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