It’s an exciting but daunting time. But as soon as the pregnancy test gives a positive result, you are on the path to parenthood. With so many myths and misconceptions, it’s hard to know what or who to believe. Here are some tried and tested tips and tricks for new time mums.
#1 Your body will change in ways you don’t expect
And it isn’t just about the expanding waistline but some of the other weird stuff that goes on. From pregnancy hormones rendering control of your bladder useless and the need for incontinence pads to horrible dreams when you sleep, being prepared for the unexpected is key throughout the three trimesters.
#2 Question where information is coming from
The web is a hive of information but not all of it is a. true or b. accurate.
And this is certainly true when it comes to pregnancy and birth. And so, question where and who information and advice are coming from. If you are in doubt about anything, ask your midwife.
#3 There are pockets of important advice
There are some aspects of being pregnant that do warrant changes in lifestyle. For example, some foods are not safe to eat during pregnancy. From soft cheeses to processed meats, it pays to know the latest updates on what not to eat during pregnancy from reputable sources and authoritative websites.
But some things are just hype – yes, it is safe to continue to go to the gym when pregnant, just make sure you get plenty rest too.
#4 Eating for two is a myth
Whilst on the subject of food and drink, it is important to also understand that the phrase ‘eating for two’ is an old wives tales from long, long ago when our diets were not as varied nor as plentiful as they are today.
Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat everything and anything because any weight you gain will still be there, waiting for your after you have given birth. And doesn’t it pay to look after your body by not carrying extra weight at a time when your body is already under increasing pressure?
#5 Do your pelvic floor muscles exercises
The pelvic floor is the muscle that helps you control when you urinate. From the moment of conception to labour, birth and in the first weeks of being a new mum, your pelvic muscle is being bombarded with pregnancy hormones that weaken it.
This, along with the growing weight of the baby on your bladder, the hard work of labour and pushing, along with a vaginal delivery all add up to the possibility of stress incontinence.
A stray leak of urine every now and then needs to be managed and so investing in incontinence pads would be an ideal addition to your bathroom cabinet.
#6 Yes, you can exercise
Staying active is important in pregnancy for many reasons from managing your weight to bolstering your emotional health.
Post-natal depressions – or ‘baby blues’ – is something many mums suffer from and not just new mums. Staying active, taking in the fresh air and the like all help to bolster our physical and emotional well-being.
So yes, you can continue to swim, walk, run, do yoga, cycle or whatever it is you like to do. Just be aware that as your bump grows, your balance shifts too.
#7 Daytime power naps are acceptable and essential
Your body is under increasing pressure from nurturing your growing to dealing with releases of powerful hormones.
Some women find that from early pregnancy, a daytime nap or ‘down time’ is essential for their well-being.
Learn to listen to your body – the sooner you do this the better! – and taking a nap is not a sign that you are weak or struggling to cope with pregnancy. It’s a sign you are growing a tiny human.
#8 Do what feels right for you!
Every pregnancy is different, just as we are all different. What worked for your next door neighbour when she was pregnant, your sister, your best friend, your mum or your mum’s best friends’ daughter doesn’t mean it is right for you.
They may have eaten a ginger biscuit and never had morning sickness, but it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Your morning sickness may be in the evening…
Pregnancy is a time when everyone, from relatives to complete strangers will have an opinion about what you do – and won’t have any compunction in telling you so. Learn to smile sweetly and still do it your own way!
HARTMANN Direct is a well-known online stocking of incontinence products suitable for use throughout pregnancy and after birth too.