‘You’re pregnant!’ Yep, it’s without doubt the most exciting news a doctor could deliver to any woman trying to conceive. And while your caregiver and textbooks will be a wealth of info to help you through your pregnancy, there may be a few things they forget to mention, as I quickly discovered when i fell pregnant… By Victoria Kingsbury.
“I’ll have 200 onesies in pink please!”
Like most women when they find out they’re pregnant, I rushed out to some very expensive baby stores and bought up big. When my baby was born, she was way too small for the stuff I’d bought her and by the time she was big enough to wear it, it was the wrong season. I bought her a beautiful cashmere/Angora onesie and she’s literally worn it once for a photo!
Do… stock up on basic singlets (I like the ones with poppers at the bottom so they don’t ride up), socks, bibs and burp cloths/muslins. You’ll get through a ton of these whatever the weather. You’ll also get a heap of fancy clothes as gifts, so make the most of it and save your own cash for other things you’ll need like nappies and feeding equipment.
Don’t… buy dresses, jeans, hoodies and sweaters. They might look adorable, but they’re not comfy or practical for newborns who spend most of their time sleeping, so don’t spend a fortune and save it for when they’re a bit older and more mobile. And don’t get me started on baby headbands (cute, but they look very uncomfortable)!
Tip: When you need to keep bubby cool in summer, they really only need to be dressed in a singlet, but nappy bums look a bit scruffy, so have a few pairs of cute nappy pants handy. In winter, leggings work in the same way.
Food for thought:
“Hold the vegies … I’m going to puke!”
I tried to eat healthily during pregnancy, but was surprised that I was completely off any cooked vegies. The smell, taste, texture of them made me gag! I was OK with salad though and pretty much lived on chicken and salad rolls. I soon discovered that carbs were the way forward and became a much happier person once I ate a slice (or two or four!) of toast.
Do… eat little and often and let yourself give in to those cravings. Your body is going to change no matter what, so why stress about it. There will be plenty of time to get back in shape later. This is a time in your life when you can be proud of your body and what it’s capable of. If you suffer morning sickness like I did, it can be hard to keep anything down, so even if you manage a doughnut, it’s better than nothing, right?
Don’t… eat too late at night. Not only will you be starving, but it’s also a recipe for heartburn. I had to prop myself up on two pillows at night for most of my pregnancy to keep it at bay – it worked quite well actually.
Tip: To satisfy cravings for ham or soft cheese (both not allowed when preg), I used to heat ham up in a frying pan and I would grill soft cheeses (cooked at high temperature to kill bacteria) on bruschetta or pizza just to get my fix. Sadly there’s no way around it with sushi though!
“There’s something fishy going on here…!”
I swear I could even smell the paintwork on our windows during pregnancy and when someone walked by wearing perfume, it was like they’d bathed in the stuff. My sense of smell was so strong and unfortunately this just made me feel even more sick!
Do… try to avoid places that you know will smell bad, such as the fish or meat section at the supermarket or try carrying a hanky with a few drops of essential oils on it to sniff as you walk by smelly bins on bin day.
Don’t… let it get you down. The nausea, smells and strange moods will pass and you’ll have the most perfect reward at the end. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but visualising the end was the only thing that got me through those tough times.
Tip: Sucking on a mint or boiled lolly helped stave off feelings of nausea in a public place – usually when I was on a bus!
“RSVP yes, yes, yes and yes….!”
I didn’t realise quite how much my life would change once baby came along, so I really wish I’d spent more time socialising and catching up with friends while I was pregnant.
Do… carry on nurturing your friendships, even if you don’t feel like it. You’re going to need your friends more than ever once the baby is born and you don’t want to realise in a year’s time that you’ve lost friends because you haven’t had any time for them.
Don’t… take on too much. It’s great to stay social, but don’t commit to too many engagements. You’ll need your strength for the birth, so try and get your friends and family to come to you for visits towards the end of your pregnancy.
Tip: If you feel your non-mum friends are already distancing themselves, don’t worry, you’ll become part of a whole new network of new-mum friends soon.
“Ooh, where did these aches and pains come from…?”
I was very ill with morning sickness, so it was hard to exercise. I did try to walk a lot, but that became more and more difficult towards the end of pregnancy due to problems with painful joints. Looking back, I wish I’d been to visit a physio instead of suffering in silence. It would have helped with the continuing aches and pains after the birth too.
Do… take things at your own pace. Some people have wonderful pregnancies and Pilates and yoga pose no problem for them, but don’t beat yourself up if you’re just not up to this type of exercise.
Don’t… give up. Even when you’re feeling your worst, getting out for a breath of fresh air can really help lift your mood. Spending long periods in a sitting position can actually make you feel worse. I found a little trip to the beach after work would make me feel so much better.
Tip: Ask your partner to take a few bump pics of you. It will help you embrace your new shape and remind you of the end goal – a beautiful baby!
Victoria is a writer and was Acting Deputy Editor at Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazine before falling pregnant with baby Emily.