Sh*t new mums say

“Seriously? I JUST changed your nappy.”

“She’s teething.”

“F*ck you, Wonder Weeks.”

“Seriously? Another poo?”

“Is she breathing?”

“It’s definitely teeth.”

Daytime: “I’m so happy my baby takes a dummy. It makes life SOOO much easier.”
Nighttime: “If I have to get up to pick that dummy back in ONE MORE TIME…”

“She’s SO cute.”

“What day is it again?”

“I literally JUST changed your nappy.”

“She’s 22 weeks and 4 days. Almost 23 weeks.”

“Was that you or her?”

7pm: “Please, PLEASE just go to sleep.”
8pm: “Awwww, I miss her.”

“Where the F is her other sock?!”

“I JUST fed you.”

“She is NOT sleeping in our bed again tonight.”

“How on earth did it get all the way up your back?”

First 3 months: “My baby’s a great sleeper. I’m surprised how much sleep we’re getting!”
Next 3 months: “My baby is an asshole”

“I’m calling Healthdirect.”

“I just need to pop into Target.”

“Didn’t we just buy nappies?”

“Seriously, another poo?!”

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Bringing on labour

‘She’ll come when she is ready’.

I heard this SO MANY TIMES towards the very end of pregnancy. I was SO fat and swollen and uncomfortable and SO ready for her to come, but people just kept telling me to be patient.

I really, REALLY didn’t want to be patient. I’d heard of all those people who go to 42 weeks and have to get induced so I spent hours on pinterest looking at ‘natural induction techniques’ and ‘ways to induce labour naturally’.

There are millions of theories about what helps push baby along and I’m pretty sure I tried them all. I even found this random blog online where the woman pretty-much assured me that if I ate a plate of spicy wings and had a pint of Guinness the baby would come.

I tried it. She didn’t.

Heres what else I tried. Be warned, the list is long.

  • Sex
    My midwifes told me this one would help, as apparently semen contains prostaglandins, which help to ‘ripen the cervix’. It didn’t seem to work however there is no harm it trying! (And I figured we wouldn’t be able to do it for a while so why not.)
  • Hand expressing
    I was told to start doing this from 36 weeks. Whether or not it helped, it meant I could save the colostrum to give to baby if she needed it when she arrived; and (apparently) it’s a good way to get to ‘know’ your boobs before baby arrives.
  • Bouncing on a fitball
    My midwife said it definitely helps baby get into position… however I bounced on that bloody ball for SO MANY HOURS and she never properly engaged until I was in labour!
  • Walking
    I figure this one is good for you either way. Plus, it gets you out of the house and might just help by taking your mind off baby and when she will come.
  • Walking sideways up/down stairs
    Another one my midwife swore would help (especially after my waters broke and baby didn’t want to come). I personally just found it dangerous (Have you tried walking sideways down stairs at 40 weeks pregnant?!). Apparently you can walk around the street with one foot up on the footpath for the same effect, but with the added benefit of your neighbourhood thinking you’re a crazy pregnant lady.
  • Pineapple
    I upped my intake of pineapple towards the end of pregnancy, however one day (when I got really desperate) I decided I would sit there and eat a WHOLE pineapple. It burnt the inside of my mouth so bad I couldn’t eat anything else the rest of the day and it hurt like hell!
  • Spicy food
    I am sure this does not work, and if you’re suffering from heartburn it’ll only make things worse, don’t bother.
  • Eggplant Parmesan
    There’s this restaurant in America that swears they have brought on over 300 women’s labours through this eggplant parmesan dish (something to do with the basil and oregano?). Didn’t work for me, but it was yum!
  • Castor oil
    I would highly recommend NOT doing  this one. I literally had to move the TV into the bathroom and just ‘hang out’ there ALL day. I was so sick… and I was so dehydrated and felt like bloody CRAP! (PLUS: IT DIDN’t WORK))
  • Giving the baby a firm talking to
    Ha, I tried!
  • Plan something important
    Seriously, I flew from the bottom of Australia to the top of Australia at 38.5 weeks pregnant for my best friend’s wedding. If that’s not planning something important, I don’t know what is!
  • Evening Primrose Oil & Raspberry Leaf Tea
    Apparently these both help to ‘ripen your cervix’. Jury is still out.
  • Acupuncture and Acupressure:
    Tried both. And I actually got so upset at one of the appointments (“she’s not going to come, ever”) that I cried. The poor male therapist.
  • Gardening
    I left this one to last as my waters actually broke after a day full of gardening. However, I was 40+ weeks pregnant so who knows?

Good luck and remember: The baby WILL come… when she is ready 😉

ask

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Postpartum recovery

You’ve probably heard about that 6 week appointment after you give birth, You go to your GP, get a quick check-up and get the ‘good to go’ (in more ways than one). Right?

Thats what I thought too… but it turns out that it takes a LOT longer to recover from both the pregnancy and birth, for most women.

Did you know that the Relaxin hormone (the hormone that causes softening of the ligaments) takes up to a year after weaning to leave your body?

And thats just the start of it.

  • Your stomach muscles will likely still be separated, causing pain and discomfort in your lower back (not to mention the mum belly it causes)
  • Your fitness levels will likely have dropped during the course of your pregnancy, and you may feel frustrated at how ‘unfit’ you are
  • You will very likely be carrying around some extra kilos, making everything just a little harder
  • The exhaustion (you are probably getting a lot less sleep) and changes related to having a new baby will be taking it’s toll on your body
  • Sex will likely not feel as comfortable (for a lot of women, it continues to be uncomfortable until you have finished breastfeeding!)
  • Your pelvic floor muscles will be WEAK.

So what can you do to help your body ‘recover’ more quickly?

  • See a physio to help with any issues you may be having
  • Try some (low impact) exercise regularly such as swimming or walking
  • Get as much sleep as possible
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. But DON’T DIET
  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air every day
  • Have some lube handy for sex
  • DO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES.

Most importantly, be kind and lenient on yourself, remembering that it took 9 months to grow that baby and it’ll likely take at least as long to get back to your old self.

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

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Top places to buy Maternity wear and how to start your maternity wardrobe

Ahhhh, dressing your bump, sounds fun right? I thought so too… but in fact, I found it very difficult. Especially when living in Australia.

When buying maternity wear, my suggestion is to stick to simple basics that you feel comfortable in (if you have to live in that one black dress, so be it, you can dress it up with a fun cardigan or necklace).

Also, try not buy too much. Whilst it may seem like pregnancy will last forever, you really will only be wearing this stuff for about 6 months.

So here is my list of where to shop:

  1. ASOS – online store. Shipping is generally free, they often have big sales, and if you don’t like what you’ve ordered, you can ship it back (small cost) for a full refund.
  2. Target – Target was probably my favourite place for maternity gear. They don’t have a lot, but they have some great basic tops, dresses and comfy pants (and nice comfy knickers!) They have also recently released a Danni Minogue maternity collection which looks especially good.
  3. Topshop – Before becoming pregnant I wore a lot of topshop’s jeans so I bought some of the maternity ones. Again, well priced, good fit and nice and comfy. If you don’t have a local topshop you can shop online.
  4. Bonds – I found bonds to be by far the comfiest and best priced maternity bra’s. Plus, they are comfy enough to sleep in. Try and hang out for a sale, they generally have up to 40% off
  5. H&M – You can’t shop H&M online, so you’ll have to actually visit the store. I did so on a trip to Melbourne
  6. Jeans West – I never personally shopped here for maternity wear but a lot of my friends swore by it.
  7. Sussan – Again, I never personally shopped here but they have a small, but nice maternity range at reasonable prices.
  8. Peter Alexander – they do a few nice nightys and PJ’s if you want to splurge for something nice to wear to bed.

If you’re wondering how to get your maternity wardrobe started, i’ve listed my suggestions below for a good, basic maternity wardrobe:

  • 2 x maternity bras. I would suggest going with bonds, one black, one white.
  • Some maternity crop tops to sleep in or workout in. I liked the bonds and the target ones.
  • Some maternity undies, because your normal undies just aren’t going to be comfy anymore! I liked the target ones and the H&M ones
  • A dress you can wear somewhere nice (eg. baby shower, birthday party, etc). I got the plain black 3/4 sleeve dress from target and almost lived in it.
  • 2 x pairs of jeans (one black, one in your favourite denim colour). I chose the Target denim jeans and the Topshop black jeans.
  • 2 x singlets (black and white). Again, I chose target as they were so cheap!
  • 2 x t-shirts (black and white). Target, again.
  • Some tights / leggings / thick leggings. You can wear these under dresses or long tops, or just around the house. You’ll want something comfy. Trust me.
  • A jumper or two. I got a great black one from ASOS.
  • An extra dress or two. I got a lovely stripey one from Target and also a (non-maternity) stretchy one in a few sizes up from Cotton On!

From here, you can add in cardigans and jewellery for the cooler months or grab a pair of shorts and some more dresses for the warmer months!

Good luck and happy shopping 🙂

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the second trimester of pregnancy

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

 

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Here is a list of my top ten must have supplies for a new mum. I’d suggest preparing these before the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

  1. Breast pads. I don’t know about others, but I had really leaky boobs, especially in the first three months. The material breast pads definitely didn’t cut it! My favourites were the Johnson&Johnsons branded ones. They seem to be slightly more expensive than others, but definitely worth it!
  2. Panadol. Because everywhere hurt.
  3. A good water bottle. Especially if you plan to breastfeed. I was so thirsty all the time and it would come on instantaneously. You want to make sure you have a water bottle with you everywhere you go.
  4. Maternity pads. And lots. Its gross. You want to change them often.
  5. Comfy undies. For those big maternity pads. I went to target and got some that were about 4 sizes bigger than my normal ones.
  6. Maternity bras. Remember you’ll likely want to wear something day and night. And you’ll probably get milk all over them, so make sure you have enough (I found Bonds to be the best).
  7. Nipple cream. Because, ouch.
  8. Movicol (or other safe stool softener / laxative of choice). Why? because the first time after birth is scary enough as it is.
  9. Clothes that you can wear and breast feed in if you are out and about. Think button down tops and dresses. Or T’shirts you can lift up (with a singlet underneath).
  10. Lots of laundry detergent. Because there will be a whole lot of washing!

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

 

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

3 months to go! hoorah!

You might be starting to get over it at this stage, but hang in there, you’ll have your sweet little cherub in your arms before you know it! (easy for me to say, right?)

You’ll probably start going into ‘nesting mode’ now (if you hadn’t already) and have millions of lists floating around and a million projects on the go (I successfully put in a new kitchen and new floors during this time!). Remember to take some time to rest, the tupperware cupboard doesn’t need to be re-organised for the 15th time.

If you are racing around trying to get everything done, here are some of the things I suggest having on your list:

  1. Get your car seat fitted: We used a professional service (Kidsafe) and they were fantastic! They fitted both the seats, showed us how to use them and change them, and gave us useful suggestions for things we wouldn’t have even though about. Once bub was born we even went back to check we were doing everything right as well.
  2. Test everything out: You do not want to be the new mum sitting on the ground in the carpark of your local shopping centre crying because you can’t work out how to collapse your fancy new pram. TEST EVERYTHING OUT. Make sure you know how to use the carseats/capsule, how to tighten them and get them in and out of the car, make sure you can collapse the pram and put it back up again, and work out the best way to put it in the car. Test out the baby carrier, learn how to tighten the straps and how you’ll put baby in. Youtube is your friend!
  3. Preparation(food etc): I spent a day cooking up my favourite meals and freezing them. People told me these would be really useful for dinners in those first few weeks but when I really found them useful was for lunches when daddy went back to work! Bub was on the boob almost 24×7 and i found it difficult to even go to the loo let alone cook, so being able to quickly heat these up and eat something healthy and hearty was a blessing.
  4. Pack your bags: I packed my bags SUPER early, which seemed a little silly, but it was one less thing playing on my mind! (I’ll do a post about what I packed if your are interested). I found that packing a few different bags helped so that i didn’t arrive in the maternity suite with a million bags in tow (one for me for labour, one for bub once she arrived, and one for the hospital stay)
  5. Prepare for labour: I don’t necessarily mean having a birth plan (I didn’t), but at least have some strategies you’d like to use/try for the labour and discuss them with your partner / support person (eg. Shower or bath, music, noise, meditation, activity, etc). Also make sure they know what your view is on drugs and interventions (although that may all change once you are in the delivery room!)

I also urge you, if possible, to finish work with enough time to allow you to spend some time enjoying maternity leave before bub arrives. Working out WHEN to finish up can be a difficult one; Do you finish a bit earlier and run the risk of going ‘overdue’ or do you finish a little later and run the risk of going early? Personally, I finished up at 37 weeks, and my waters broke at 40+2 (bub was born at 40+4).
Once you are on mat leave, I urge you to PLEASE try and enjoy it. Sleep late, stay in bed all day watching Gilmore Girls or Sex and the City. Take a bath. Get a massage everyday if you feel like it! Get your nails done, your hair done, enjoyyyyyyyyy this time!

Once you are all prepared and relaxed (hopefully) you’ll probably be thinking, now how on earth do I get this baby to come? There are millions of theories about what helps and what doesn’t and I’m pretty sure I tried them all, even this random one about eating a plate of spicy wings and having a pint of Guinness (hmmm). I’ve made a list of all the other (crazy) things I tried over here Bringing on labour.

Good luck!

Other posts that might interest you?

 

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

 

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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the second trimester of pregnancy

You made it through that first queasy trimester, Congratulations!

Throughout pregnancy, I heard a lot of people call the 2nd trimester the ‘easy’ trimester, the ‘honeymoon’ trimester or the ‘best’ trimester. ha!

Don’t get me wrong, it was probably the ‘better’ of the trimesters; you’ve had your 12 week scan, you’ve seen your little baby growing, some of the anxiety starts to ease (and hopefully the ‘morning’ sickness). But in no way would I call anything relating to pregnancy easy! After all, you are growing a human inside your body!

So, what did I enjoy about the second trimester?

  1. Being in the ‘safe‘ period! You’ve had that ultrasound, and your little baby growing! Some of that anxiety about the safety of the baby can finally leave you.
  2. Feeling ‘OK’ about sharing the news with everyone. Whether or not you told people the exciting news prior to now or not, you’ll generally feel a bit more excited and at ease about sharing it now. I waited until here to tell work (although most people had probably figured it out by then anyway!)
  3. The eventual subduing of morning sickness. Don’t be fooled by people who say it only lasts for the first trimester though, because for the majority of people it will continue to linger for a while (mine hung around till about week 16 / 17 ). Hang in there, the end is near!
  4. THE KICKS!!! I think I felt my first one about week 18. It was a sunday night and I was lying on the couch. I remember not being sure whether or not it WAS a kick, but they increased in frequency and intensity over the coming weeks, so looking back I can say it was the first of many. (note. Sometimes you’ll feel them much earlier or later, often later if your placenta is sitting at the front).
  5. 20 week scan. Its so lovely to see your baby again and get the full A-OK! Plus… you have the option of finding out the sex (if thats what you and your partner want to do)! We did, I’m too bloody organised to have not found out.
  6. Babymoon! I urge you and your partner to take a baby moon. After all,  you deserve it. Think: relaxation and luxury. We took a trip up to Byron Bay and stayed at ‘The Byron at Byron’. We spent our days lounging by the pool and reading books. It was heaven.

The not-so greats?

  1. Theres no nice way to put this, but constipation. Your tummy is starting to get squished, your organs are moving around and pregnancy is causing your ‘system’ to slow down. You already probably feel big and uncomfortable enough as it is, without the added joys of constipation. I tried EVERYTHING that was pregnancy safe, and the thing that worked for me was Movicol (keep increasing until you get the right balance). Regular exercise and lots of water  helps too!
  2. Stretch Marks: NOW is the time to start thinking about doing all you can to help prevent those pesky stretch marks. While i’m not sure that anything can actually prevent them (or that anything has been proven to work), I think keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturised has surely got to help. And if nothing else, it will help with the itch! I used ‘Mother’s special blend: all natural skin toning all’. You can get it from iherb.com. It’s well priced, smells good, doesn’t get on your clothes and I managed to walk away unscathed (mostly)!
  3. People’s comments: I’ve spoken to some of my friends about this and they didn’t have the same experience (not to the degree I did anyway), but for me, every single person I knew (or didn’t know) started to comment about my belly and its size. It was like my body all of a sudden wasn’t mine and people felt they had free-range to tell me how ‘huge’ I was. I got everything from “WOW”, “Are you SURE you have your dates right?”, “You’re going to need a bigger car space soon”; oh and my personal favourite “Are you sure its not twins?!!!”. I use to cry about these comments, a lot. If you get anything of similar nature, I urge you to prepare some amazingly witty comeback and throw those comments back in people’s face. Do it for my sake!

On that note, its probably about time to start to thinking about clothing to dress that growing bump of yours. I’ve got a whole post about it here but my short advice? Stick to simple basics that you are comfortable in (if you have to live in that one black dress, so be it) and try not to buy too much.

You’re almost into the third trimester, and shit’s about to get REAL!

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

Bringing on labour

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy

Well, here you are. Pregnant.

Scared? Excited? Nervous? Sick? All of the above?

My pregnancy was 100% unplanned, so when I took that first pregnancy test (mostly just to prove to myself that my late period was nothing to ‘worry about’) it came as a bit of a shock to me when a second line showed! Did I mention this was taken in the bathroom stall at WORK?!

After a quick phone call to my sister (WTF should I DO?!) I managed to calm myself down enough to get myself off to a doctor to get a proper checkup (of course my normal GP was away and I ended up being assessed by a lady I could barely understand let alone talk to)!

From there, it was a total whirlwind. Everything from “Am I ready for this?!” to “What do all these blood test results even mean??!!!”. All of this whilst ‘not being allowed’ to tell anyone about the pregnancy! (I’ve covered that topic below)

So what do you do now? Where do you start? I’ve listed the things I might have found useful in the first trimester in the hope that they can help you!

What do I do first?

  1. See your doctor: Pop to your doctor and have a check-up! Take a list of any medication you currently take (including vitamins, etc) to check that they are still OK to take during pregnancy. Ask all the questions you can while you are there and don’t feel embarrassed about anything. It’s all very new and better to be safe.
  2. Pregnancy book: Get yourself a good pregnancy book (I liked ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ and ‘Up the duff’) and try to limit the amount of googling you do. I found that reading only the information that readily applied to me at the time or immediate future helped me to not feel overwhelmed.
  3. Habits: Re-assess any ‘bad’ habits you may have (drinking, smoking, taking recreational drugs, etc). You may also want to think about your diet.
  4. Vitamins: Pop out and buy yourself some pregnancy multivitamins and start taking them (perhaps only buy a small packet to start with as you may want to experiment with different brands). You may also need to experiment with what time of day you take them; I could only take them at night as they’d make me sick.
  5. Assess your care options: Whilst this can be super overwhelming at this stage, start to think about where you want to have the baby and what sort of care you would like to receive. If you decide on a hospital, you can generally jump on their website and see what sort of options they have available. If its available, id suggest some sort of continuous care (i.e., seeing the same person each time). whether that be an obstetrician, a midwife program or even getting yourself a student midwife. (we had a 3rd year student midwife and she was wonderful.

Body Changes

I don’t know about you but my body started to change pretty quickly once pregnancy was upon me. My belly popped almost instantly and I felt bloated all the time, my boobs started growing at a rapid rate and my skin BROKE OUT! My ‘best’ advice?

Clothing: Wear comfy clothes as much as you can. Think flowing dresses, stretchy skirts or pants, loose tops, etc. There are also a few options to give you some more room in your pants including:

  • simply undoing the top button,
  • the belly belt (button extender),
  • the bump band (goes over your pants) and
  • the old hairtie trick (google it!)

My other suggestion? don’t invest in maternity wear yet. You’ll be wearing it the rest of your pregnancy (which trust me, will feel like forever) and you can get away without it now

Bras: Invest in some COMFY, stretchy, seam-free crop-top type bras that will grow with you. There is no point going out and buying expensive maternity bras at this stage as you have NO IDEA how much or little your boobs will change. Go somewhere like Kmart or Target and get a a multi-pack. They’ll be useful to sleep in as well

Break-outs: I struggled a lot with this one and you’ve got to be really careful about what you can use during pregnancy. I got a benzyl peroxide treatment cream (which is considered safe to use in pregnancy) and I also treated myself to a good, proper facial by someone who had also studied naturopathy. She  recommend some things that would help with my skin including increasing my intake of healthy oils in my diet.

Morning sickness

Ahhh, the dreaded morning sickness. I seriously have no idea why someone named it that. From about 7 weeks I felt sick from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to bed. You know that lingering, hangover type feeling? Thats what it feels like. I don’t think anything can really make it go away, but there are a few things that tended to help me:

  1. Drink as much as you can. Water is best, but if you can’t stomach it, perhaps try weak lemon cordial. Never leave home without your water bottle.
  2. Eat lots of small meals across the day / night and try to keep them as healthy as possible. Never leave home without snacks in your handbag. Where you can, avoid large heavy meals. They will only make you feel worse.
  3. Ginger tablets: try taking some ginger tablets or eating ginger biscuits.
  4. Tea: Try teas that are used to settle the stomach, eg. Lemon and Ginger, Peppermint.

Extreme fatigue

I almost forgot about this one. But it was like a whole new level of being tired you will have never experienced before. I urge you to (if possible) REST, REST, REST. Go to bed early, sleep late, let your partner pick up the slack. Remember, your body is growing a whole new organ (the placenta) and creating a baby. Give your body the rest it needs!

The anxiety

Once the reality of pregnancy hits you’ll probably start to worry. ‘What about all those drinks I had last weekend?’, ‘omg, I did Bikram yoga yesterday’, etc etc. Honestly, it happens to most of us and our babies are OK so try not to stress so much.
I personally also worried (constantly) about whether or not the baby was OK. And when I say constantly, I mean constantly. Unfortunately, there’s not much advice I can give you on this one however one thing my doctor told me that resinated was “You’re young, you’re healthy and you live in one of the best countries in the world.” I tried tot remember that as much as possible.

Hiding it (or not…)

Ahh, the old ‘Don’t tell anyone until 12 week’ thing. This was a difficult one for me and I ended up telling people earlier than that 3 month mark. Like I mentioned earlier, the pregnancy was a complete surprise so I felt I needed to talk to some people about it in order to help clear my head, understand what to do next and just for general support and advice.
My other issue was that my 30th birthday was coming up and i’d already organised a party (with a healthy bar-tab).  I stressed and stressed about how I was going to hide it from everyone at the party. I contemplated drinking mocktails all night but worried people would hear me order them, or putting a non-alcoholic champagne behind the bar but worried the bartender would accidentally serve me real champagne, etc. In the end, we announced the pregnancy on the night. And you know what? It was such a relief! But I do understand thats not for everyone. So, heres a list of things to think about if you are contemplating when to tell people:

  1. The big, yucky one. Will you feel comfortable with people knowing if the pregnancy doesn’t continue? (But on the flip-side, would they be good support if something did happen?)
  2. If you tell someone, I can almost guarantee they will tell someone else (whether it be their partner, their best friend, someone you don’t know, etc). Would that bother you?
  3. Do you / you and your partner want to share this special time with only yourselves?
  4. How will your work handle the news? (sometimes telling your boss will help with their understanding as to why you may be late, always running off to the bathroom, etc)

Continue reading “A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy”