7 Pregnancy Tips Only Mums Know
Whether you’re in your first or third trimester, chances are you’ve already spent hours Googling, scrolling, reading and listening to advice from baby experts. You want the best tips to navigate mum-hood? Read on, for 7 Pregnancy Tips Only Mums Know, from our panel of mums who’ve been there.
1. Spend wisely.
Pregnancy lasts for nine months. Babydom and toddlerhood lasts for years. So when buying maternity and baby gear, spend wisely - sure, you could buy every baby gadget under the sun and fill your house with contraptions you never knew existed before you peed on a stick, but you’ll soon discover the invaluable purchases you use every day, and those that looked great in the catalogue and were soon relegated to a cupboard.
Our tips for must-have purchases?
- Muslin wraps - lightweight to snuggle bub whatever the weather, perfect for covering the pram (and keeping prying fingers and faces away from your baby!), useful as a breastfeeding cover on the go, and you have no idea how many times you’ll use it as a burp cloth, soft wipe, all-round everything.
- Wire-free, stretchy, comfy nursing bra - that doesn’t look like grandma’s relic. Your lacy lingerie will be retired for months, so choose something that makes you feel good, looks good, and supports your shape. You’re having a baby, not turning invisible - take pride in your bump and your curves and invest in bras that make you feel good.
- DoTerra Easy Air oil blend for colds - babies get snuffly. A blocked-up baby doesn’t always feed well, adding extra stress when you’re already overtired and riddled with mum-worry. The DoTerra Easy Air oil blend smells great, can be used in a diffuser, rubbed on little feet (watch for skin sensitivities though) or even rubbed on your chest or shirt so that a snuggling bub gets the breathe-easy benefit of this gorgeous oil. (Tip for thumb-sucking bubs - rub a little oil on the sleeve of their grosuit. As they suck their thumb, they’ll breathe in this sinus-clearing oil.)
- Quality pregnancy pillow - a good maternity pillow will support your growing bump through every trimester and beyond, doing double-duty as a breastfeeding support. The Butterfly Maternity Pillow is our top pregnancy tip. It’s small enough that it won’t take over the whole bed, it supports side-sleeping whichever side you prefer to rest on, is easy to reposition in bed and supports both your back and your bump.
- A nappy bag that fits all.the.things - your nappy bag will be your home on a strap for months (if not years). Baby wipes, nappies, breast pads, muslin wraps, spare clothes, deodorant, hand sanitiser . . . the list goes on and on. A great nappy bag has an easy-care wipeable liner, a removable water-proof compartment (for baby-bum explosions!) and pockets to securely stow your stash.
2. Sleep now. Yes, now.
Sleep when the baby sleeps, they say. Except that when you’re a mum, you’ll find a million things to do while the baby sleeps. Or you’ll be on high alert, listening for every whimper. While pregnant, get as much sleep as you possibly can. You are creating a whole new life, mama, you deserve a rest!
If insomnia strikes or your body is aching in the midnight hours and you just can’t get comfy, invest in a quality maternity pillow. Settling in to restful sleep, not waking every time you turn and taking some of the pressure off your hips or lower back can be key to blissful slumber.
3. It’s not sunshine and roses all the time - and that’s OK.
Motherhood sometimes sucks. And that’s OK. It’s OK for you to feel it, and to say it. Parenthood is just like any other relationship - you’ll get frustrated, angry, impatient and resentful. Don’t feel guilty about it and don’t gloss over those emotions. Only mums know the exquisite torture of loving a little being until your heart explodes - and at the same time wishing you could get just.one.minute to yourself.
4. Get - or stay - fit for parenthood.
Pregnancy and motherhood is a physical challenge - your centre of gravity changes, your joints loosen, your back and hips ache, your shoulders roll forward in breastfeeding, you push your weight onto one hip when holding a baby, and the list goes on and on.
You’ll need core strength and endurance as a new mum - don’t ditch your fitness routine as your belly swells. Under doctor’s advice, continue moving and exercising throughout pregnancy and beyond.
5. Don’t share your baby name ideas until you’ve locked it in.
For every name you consider, someone will have a story. Karen in HR went to school with someone with that name - “and he was awful”. Jo at the coffee shop called her kid that name and he’s a little monster. D-List Celebrity called her child that name with the funny spelling - so basic.
Everyone will weigh in with opinions, suggestions and stories. Keep your cards close to your chest and only reveal the baby names when you’re firm on your shortlist. (And top tip from mums who know - make sure you consider how your chosen name can be turned into dodgy nicknames, abbreviations, school-yard rhyming potential and unintentional words spelled from your bub’s full initials!)
6. Focus only on today. And when the baby comes, focus only on right now.
Don’t get hung up on routine. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t stress that tonight’s insomnia will set you up for a week of bone-aching tiredness.
Motherhood changes minute by minute. Babies change second by second. Just focus on the moment right in front of you, and everything else will sort itself out. Promise.
7. It takes a village to raise a child - use your tribe!
No mum ever does it all herself. You simply can’t - there’s too much to do, too many things to remember, too many jobs to complete. And did we mention you are growing and fostering an entire new soul? This is the most important job you’ll ever have and it’s the most challenging endurance race ever created (a lifelong marathon? What even . . . ) Don’t attempt it solo.
During pregnancy, take the help. Get the sleep, let others collect and construct the cot, pram and baby carrier, accept the offers of meals and massages. During early parenthood, take every opportunity to rest and restore - even if that means having someone else hold the baby while you shower or sit in the sun.Top tip from mums who know: playgroups, mama meetups and Facebook forums can be lifesavers. At 3am when you don’t think you’ll ever sleep again, knowing there’s another mama rocking her bub and scrolling social media one-handed can help you feel less alone.
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