Now that my maternity leave is over and I’ve had a solid nine months of growing and then raising my little human I thought I would do a reflections series. Taking a look back at my experiences and highlighting some things I loved and some things I would definitely do differently.
I’m hoping to break this down in segments; pregnancy, birth, the new born phase and life with a baby.
Starting with my pregnancy I feel I do need to add a disclaimer here, I think I might have had the easiest pregnancy known to man other than maybe those women who don’t know they’re pregnant until they give birth. I’m not bragging here, it was the strangest thing, I simply didn’t have any of the nasty symptoms or side effects. Other than horrendous tiredness and swollen feet.
I loved being pregnant, it was the most confident I have ever felt in my whole adult life. I was proud of my body and it’s changing shape, I wore clothes I would never have dreamt of wearing before and don’t even talk to me about pregnancy hair. God I miss my pregnancy hair!
You might be thinking what could I do differently if it was so easy the first time around? Well really nine months of pregnancy is all in preparation for the day you give birth and this is where I would make some serious changes.
- You are not eating for two – whilst I don’t think I ever used the phrase to justify my eating because I know it’s got absolutely no basis in science, I pretty much did eat like I was eating for two. For the first trimester I was pretty good, I made fairly good choices and my weight gain was minimal. Maybe that made me a bit cocky and I went to town for the last two thirds of my pregnancy. I ate and ate and ate and all the while thinking, once the baby arrives it’ll all just drop off. HA! I sure as hell won’t be making that mistake if we are lucky enough to have another baby. It’s all fun and games until your baby arrives and you realise that losing weight after a baby is actually the hardest thing ever. Next time I will show some restraint because I understand the struggle is real.
- Do some yoga – a lady once told me that pregnancy yoga made all the difference to her birth and I sort of didn’t believe her but in hind sight she had no reason to lie to me. It probably would have helped, it would have help keep me in shape, perhaps kept the weight gain down a little and it might have made labour easier for me. Who knows, but if I get to do it all again you best believe I will be digging out my yoga mat and doing me some downward facing dog.
- Buy nursing friendly maternity wear – I didn’t really understand the whole need for nursing attire until I attempted to breast feed. If I had known how awkward it is to get your boobs out or how long I would be wearing my maternity clothes post birth for I would have definitely invested in some dual purpose clothes. Maternity friendly clothes that are also suitable for breast feeding. Why didn’t I know about this, I could have saved myself a fortune on nursing clothes.
- Try to bring on labour naturally rather than being induced – I had no ideas what being induced really meant, I didn’t know what was involved or the effect it has on your body. If I had known I would have done everything I possibly could in the 4 days I had to prepare to get labour started naturally so that I could have avoided the induction process all together.
- Join an NCT group – I didn’t find out about NCT until almost the end of my pregnancy and all the classes I could have attended were all after my due date. If I had known about them sooner I would have joined my local group, gone to all the classes even if just for the chance to meet some other mummies in my area before my baby arrived. It can be quite hard to get out in the first few weeks so making some friends beforehand would have been great. Also NCT do some great classes and sales that even the second time around can be really helpful.
- Book some groups – I would have loved to have done some of the course groups like baby sensory etc but I think it’s best to book these in advance so I would definitely get myself signed up to some groups in advance, even if only to encourage me to go once baby arrives.
Those are five things that I would do differently if I am lucky enough to have a second pregnancy. As I said before I was so lucky the first time to feel fantastic all the way through and I would pray that I am so lucky the second time.
I also hope this is helpful, if you’re an expectant mum or thinking about starting a family these are some things to consider that I have learnt from experience.
I do just want to clarify, I am not expecting again at the moment. This is just a post reflecting back on my experiences and the lessons I learnt the first time around.
What would you do differently? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.