Thursday, 9 August 2012

Top Tips for Glamorous Mums-to-Be

I'll let you into a little secret - pregnancy is one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. I'm 35 weeks pregnant today, and I've found that over the past eight months, both myself and my body have been tested in ways I never even knew were possible.
Constant exhaustion? Check. Utterly ridiculous baby brain? Check. Stupidly clumsy? Check. Back pain, breathlessness, stomach ache, the inability to walk to the end of the road? Check, check, check, check.

But despite all that, I know that a big part of me will miss being pregnant. Every little milestone, every little kick and hiccup, the excitement of watching my body slowly change and develop - nothing quite compares to that ever-growing anticipation.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with some of you mums-to-be the pearls of wisdom which I've picked up along the way. And let's face it, anything which can make our lives easier (and slightly more glamorous!) can only be a good thing, right ladies?

Do you have any top tips for surviving pregnancy?

Sam x

Pamper Yourself

This is my favourite tip of them all - you need to kick back and pamper and spoil yourself! In fact, I demand it! Put your feet up with a cup of tea and your favourite magazine, book yourself a pedicure, or simply run a bath with your favourite oils. Every mum-to-be needs to indulge - you have the perfect excuse to! You won't get much of a chance to really spoil yourself when baby is here, so now is the ideal time.

My biggest tip for pampering is to invest in an Abahna bath will never look back!

Consider an Early Scan

Baby H at 12 weeks
Hubby and I suffered the heartbreak of a miscarriage late last year, which meant for the first 12 weeks or so of this pregnancy, I was constantly on edge. Every cramp, every pain, every last twinge, I would run to the bathroom in fear.

If, like me, you find yourself feeling anxious, why not consider booking an early scan? For as little as £50, you can put your mind at ease and enjoy your pregnancy. It was one of the best things we ever did - as soon as I heard Baby H's heartbeat at 9 weeks (there wasn't much to see - he looked like a peanut), I could feel my whole body relax.

Find a Great Stretch Mark Cream

For me, this was a bit like finding 'The One' all over again. But as soon as I used Emily Evans' Mother Super Stretch Mark Cream and Dr Hauschka's Blackthorn Oil, I felt that I'd struck gold - they just left my skin feeling super, super soft and glowing. Nobody knows if creams actually do work, but I'm yet to get a stretch mark, so I cannot recommend them enough!

Eat Healthily (but enjoy the treats!)

Sadly, we all know that eating for two is a big, fat myth - you're only supposed to have a few hundred extra calories a day, and that's not until you hit your third trimester!

Anyway, I know that it seems like such obvious advice, but try and maintain a heathy, balanced diet. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as a LOT of fibre (you know why!) and keep small snacks, such as nuts and seeds, close to hand to boost your energy. My favourite snacks include Bounce Protein Balls and oatcakes with almond butter - yummy and healthy!

My biggest tip though is to drink, drink and drink some more. Sadly, I don't mean Mojitos, but you need to be consuming at least eight glasses of water a day - I am yet to suffer from the dreaded puffy ankles and joints, and I'm sure that this is why!

Of course, if you want a Magnum ice cream, then have one. You need treats too!

Keep Fit

As a bit of a fitness freak, I was keen to keep on exercising throughout pregnancy - so far, so good! And since it's proven to shorten your labour, boost your energy levels AND help you to get you your body back quicker, then what can possibly be bad about that?!

Of course, I've toned it down (no more late night runs for me!) and I've found that two mini half-hour workouts a day have really helped...I do a spot of cardio in the morning, then light weights and Pilates in the afternoon.

I've also found some of the pregnancy workout DVDs to be brilliant! My favourites? This boxset from Amazon is a bargain at just £15.99  - the Pilates and Prenatal Fitness Fix sections are especially great. Of course, you must clear any fitness regime with your doctor or midwife first and always, always rest when you need it!

Indulge in a New Wardrobe

This is probably the one time in your life where you can shop completely and utterly guilt-free. Yes, you heard me, guilt-free - so make the most of it! When nothing else in your wardrobe fits, what else is a girl to do? You can't wander around naked for nine months.

If you're fashion conscious, don't worry - a lifetime of dungarees and shapeless men's t-shirts does not await. ASOS and Topshop have a fantastic range of maternity clothes, while brands like Isabella Oliver and Vanessa Knox have some stunning dresses for special occasions. If you're worried about workwear, try Zoe Alexander - they tailor-make every single item to fit you, so you know you can look fab in the boardroom and beyond!

Sign Up to Classes

I found myself desperate to meet other mums-to-be to share in those joys and moans - I felt like I was boring my other friends with my talk of cramps, restless legs and other aches and pains! Pregnancy Yoga and Antenatal Classes (for other Midlands-based mums-to-be, I cannot recommend Baby Dolly classes enough) were a great way to meet other Ms2B, and I now have a fab new group of friends.

Know Your Own Body (and Advice)

I've had someone say to me, "If my bump was that small, I'd be worried about the baby" (!) whereas I know other mums-to-be who have been called "fatty" at work!

Sadly, pregnancy seems to bring out those "well-meaning" nutcases who can both offend and upset you on an ENORMOUS scale. As hard as it may be, try to ignore them - every pregnancy and every baby is different, and only you know what's right for you. Don't ever let yourself be bullied into something which you're not happy with. Now is the time to start standing up for baby and you!

Date Nights

Don't neglect your hubby or partner and try and involve them as much as you can! Make the most of your last few months alone and go on plenty of date nights, even if it's just a trip to the cinema, or snuggling up in front of the telly with a pretend picnic. Relax and enjoy the quality time together!

Changing Bags
Honestly, I hated most changing bags on the market. I've always had a certain style, and nothing (except the changing bags which cost hundreds of pounds) seemed to match it. So, instead, I ordered a leather shopper bag from Zara (this one to be precise) and bought a separate changing mat, VIP bag liners and bottle warmer - et voila, a fashionable changing bag, all for less than £110.

My advice? Shop around and don't feel pressured into ordering something you don't like!