Are you a new mummy to be? Or do you just need a little reminder on what to expect whist pregnant? These pregnancy tips I have gathered from everywhere and consolidated into this one blog for you, it should save you some time! Also, I would be interested to know which pregnancy tips you thought were the best for you so do drop me a message on the ‘Contact Us’ form and let me know!
First Trimester Pregnancy Tips
- Arrange your first appointment with your midwife ideally between 8-12 weeks.
- Take a daily folic acid supplement. This is an essential nutrient that your baby needs to avoid brain and spinal cord problems. (This often comes in a pregnancy multivitamin)
- Any medication you take, want to take you must make sure is ok for pregnant women. (Ask a pharmacist if you are unsure)
- If you smoke, you really should give up. Smoking is very dangerous whilst pregnant. If you need help to quit head along to your local stop smoking group. (Usually at your local GP surgery)
- Experts have advised you give up alcohol completely as there is no evidence to know whether any amount of alcohol is safe.
- You should cut down on your caffeine intake. A safe amount of caffeine is 200mg per day. This is just 2 cups of instant coffee or 1 cup of brewed coffee.
- Try and ensure you have a healthy, balanced diet. It is very important you have all the nutrients you need to support yourself and a growing baby. Have a look at the NHS recommendations on food that should be avoided whilst pregnant. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/foods-to-avoid-pregnant/
- If you suffer from morning sickness then try to eat little and often. Plain biscuits, crackers or even bread sticks may help you, especially when you first wake up and don’t fancy anything to eat! Your morning sickness should ease between 16 and 20 weeks.
- You should learn the danger signs of pregnancy. Whilst most mild cramps and twinges are perfectly normal you should be aware of the signs in which you should call a healthcare professional. This could be your midwife, GP or your local hospitals ADAU (Antenatal day assessment unit). Here is the NHS website on health problems whilst pregnant and when you should contact someone. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/common-pregnancy-problems/
- Book in your first scan. This will be the first time you get to see your baby. It is usually between 10 and 14 weeks. You will find out at this scan the due date of your baby. It will usually last around 20 minutes.
- You should stay active throughout your pregnancy, this will help with the physical and mental demands of being pregnant as well as helping with managing your weight gain.
- You do not need to eat any more calories during your first and second trimester. Even in the third trimester you only need to up your calories by about 200 calories. https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/new-weight-advice-for-pregnancy/
- Wear gloves when using cleaning products such as bleach. Also ensure if you are using any of these products to make sure you ventilate the room by opening the windows etc.
- You should start your pelvic floor exercises too. This will help avoid any incontinence. Ask your midwife if you are unsure how to do this. Otherwise check out the NHS website here https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/
- Don’t forget to book your antenatal class/ course as early as possible as these can get booked up very early.
- Get your partner involved. This will help them to bond with the baby also. Bounty have some ways in which this can help. http://www.bounty.com/pregnancy-and-birth/pregnancy/tips-for-dads-to-be-on-bonding-with-their-unborn-baby
- If you are not too tired and feel up to it, then enjoy some romantic fun time with your partner. There is no reason you cannot enjoy yourself in the bedroom whilst pregnant.
- Get yourself a good, well fitted maternity bra. Your breasts will start to get sore so this is important.
- Have a think about how you are going to budget for your baby. When kitting out for your baby you will find some larger items can be pricey.
- Download an app which will help you track the progress of your baby. Both Bounty and Emma’s Diary have apps available.
- Prenatal tests. Your midwife can do tests to see if there are any problems with your baby from the first trimester of your pregnancy. If you decide to have the tests then your options are left open. Even just to prepare you if there are any problems.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Tips
- If you are after a ‘Babymoon’ this is the time to go. You will be feeling a lot more energised than in the first trimester.
- Start planning your maternity leave. This will differ with different employers. If you are self-employed then you may need to head to your local citizens advice to see if you are entitled to any maternity allowance which may help you take some time off.
- It is recommended you sleep on your left side at this stage as it improves blood flow to your baby.
- Premature labour warning signs. You should be aware of what these are so you know when you need to seek help. Check out the NHS foundation trust website here. https://www.medway.nhs.uk/services/maternity/what-to-do-in-early-stages-of-labour.htm
- You should eat foods high in fibre and ensure you stay hydrated as constipation is a common pregnancy symptom which you will want to avoid. Exercise can also assist with this.
- You should now be adjusting your seat belt once you start getting a bump. The shoulder strap should be between your breasts and the lap belt should be under your bump.
- You may want to start thinking about baby names. I have previously written a blog that can help you with this. Click here.
- Try moisturising your breasts, stomach, hips and thighs every day with a hydrating cream like cocoa butter or an oil such as bio oil.
- You should now start to be thinking about what it is you will be entitled to as a new family. Check out my Pregnancy Freebies blog and see what you are entitled to.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Tips
- By this point you will start to recognise the regular movement patterns of your baby. If this changes it is very important you get this seen to immediately. It could be nothing and your baby may just be having a lazy day but you should most certainly get checked out.
- Ensure you have your hospital bag all ready for you to pick up and head to the hospital if needed. Use this hospital bag checklist (There is a downloadable checklist on this blog) to ensure you are well prepared.
- Do some stretches. This will help your body prepare for what’s next whilst helping relieve your aches and pains. https://www.babycentre.co.uk/l1027236/how-to-get-relief-from-late-pregnancy-aches-and-pains-photos
- Talk to your baby. Your baby can hear your voice now! Fantastic way to start the bonding process.
- If you would like to create a birth plan, now is the time. However, you may find that your birth ends up to be nothing how you had hoped. The doctors and midwives will do everything they can to follow your plan but their first priority is keeping you and your baby safe.
- Braxton Hicks contractions may occur in your third trimester. Not everyone has them but you should keep an eye on them and take note in order to distinguish them from real contractions.
- If you haven’t got enough already then you should ensure you have enough clothes for your baby. Check out my baby essentials list. This will ensure you have everything you need for the arrival of your baby.
- If you are tired then sleep. You need to get as much in as you can now because you may find your baby is not the biggest sleeper! And even if they are nothing can prepare you for the amount of time a baby takes at first.
- Make sure you have fitted the baby’s car seat ready for when you leave the hospital. This is very important to ensure your baby is safe in the car.
I hope these pregnancy tips have really shed light on what you should expect and what you should be sure to look out for whilst you are pregnant.
As explained above I have sourced this information from multiple sites and consolidated it all into this blog. Please see the links below for more information.