Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Pregnancy Essentials

I thought I'd take a moment - while it's all still fresh in my memory - to share a few things that I think are pregnancy essentials. I'm not just talking products, but things you need to plan for if you're 'up the duff'! 

1. Nutrition
I believe that good food choices are the most important thing we can do for our health. I've had Feeding the Bump for all of my pregnancies and just love it. It's a cookbook arranged in trimesters as the recipes feature particular nutrients that are essential for that particular stage of pregnancy. And they're delicious - we've used this book non-stop for ten years - especially the Spice-crusted Salmon with White Bean Puree. Plan your meals and make sure you have everything on hand to prepare yourself lots of healthy snacks too.

2. Sleep
This gets harder as time progresses and your belly increases but the best way to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep is to be comfortable. Now, this will vary from person to person and, I've found, from pregnancy to pregnancy. With one baby I liked a body pillow, another a Belly Bean and this time around very flat regular pillows (on each side for if I rolled over) and one between my legs helped take the pressure off. Plus another pillow under my head to help ease the indigestion! Experiment and see.  

3.  Exercise
Keep it gentle and don't increase the intensity of your current workout. If you don't exercise regularly try adding in gentle walks in the fresh air or try a prenatal yoga class (led by an expert!) 

Sadly, due to sacro-illiac joint disfunction, I wasn't allowed to exercise this time around and it was really awful! Mentally, as well as physically, gentle exercise helps a lot.

4. Skin Care
Moisturising the bump every day can help prevent stretch marks and help your skin bounce back. All of my stretch marks are from puberty and I wish I'd moisturised regularly then! For this pregnancy I used Vanessa Megan's Mumma's Bubba Bump Oil. It felt and smelt just divine and I'm even using the little bit I have left on Evie's dry skin too. 

Also, exposing your skin to gentle morning or afternoon sun is a great way of getting the Vitamin D you need too.

5. Knowledge
Knowledge is power. Read as much as you can about childbirth, recovery, baby care and breastfeeding. I think this book about birth skills is amazing and would have made my first, natural birth - and therefore further births - very different had it been around before hand. 

If you know someone with a baby - or someone who has successfully breastfed their bub - talk to them or watch them feed if you can. It's a skill that takes a lot of practice and the more you know about correct attachment the more chance you have of succeeding. 

6. Photos!
Take lots of bump pics - even if they're dodgy bathroom selfies and even if they're just for you. You'll regret not having documented this special time if you don't. This was my biggest belly yet...

So, tell me! What are your expert tips? Are you currently expecting?