by Lottie Keble-Wyatt
You gaze adoringly down at your neat, stretch-free bump, in awe of the gentle kicks that charmingly remind you of your growing bubba, your husband walks in with your ultimate food craving piled high on a plate, complimenting you on your glowing pregnancy skin, and incredible boobs, which: 'babe have never looked so good'...
Sound dreamy? That’s because sadly it is...
Instead, you just managed to beat the third-trimester insomnia, had nodded off for 10, and have been woken up by the horrific heartburn you‘ve been drowning in Gaviscon, which has somehow managed to butterfly stroke itself right back up your oesophagus.
Sometimes it feels like we've been sold a myth. Pregnancy isn't all floaty dresses, and serenity like they'd have you believe. I'm not denying for the very lucky few it may be the most joyous time, but for the majority it‘s just not all its cracked up to be. So in the vein of keeping it real, let’s look at what you can REALLY expect, and how to try to hold on to those precious moments and appreciate the miracle of new life when 'the growing gets tough'. Here's my fantastic four:
If Insomnia were a person they'd be that clingy friend that never picks up on the social cues to leave when the party is over. As soon as darkness descends pregnancy can leave you exhausted but unable to get those much needed zzzzz's. Perhaps its the struggle to find a comfortable position with the size and weight of bump, or onset of muscles cramps, and restless legs, or just racing thoughts about the ultimate upcoming event... birth. Whatever the reason how can you increase your chances of a good nights kip?
Firstly get relaxed... now is the one time you can really invest in an indulgent sleep hygiene before little one arrives to turn that upside down.
Think about running a gorgeous long bath using Mum Bub Hub’s soothing Coconut Milk Bath Soak to nourish your skin and calm your senses. Just the ritual of pouring the silky, soft powder into the water can transport you away from your anxious thoughts, and allow you space to really focus on some essential self care.Why not take a pause to breathe in the 'coconutty' scent' so synonymous with holidaying and convince yourself you're 'Babymooning' in some foreign paradise?
Joking aside the power of your mind to transform negative thoughts into positives really cannot be underestimated. Treat your body with kindness and your mind will follow.
Another top tip is to stretch out your legs just before bed to try and prevent night cramps. You could even use a body oil, such as Mum Bub Hub’s luxurious Nourishing Skin Oil for a bit of muscle massage to ease achiness. Better still, get your partner (under the guise of feeling more 'couply' and connected) to give you a lower back and leg massage- its a win win ... he'll feel like he's doing something to help, you'll bond as a couple, and your legs, well they're going to feel light as a fluffy chick's first feather.
You're a lioness, you earn those stripes but boy they might make you want to growl when you first see them. So many things change in your body when you're pregnant, it takes a while to adjust and be content with your new YOU. Whilst pregnancy may be temporary the kid and the stretch marks are lifers. Again, this is where a good scattering of self-care and compassion is needed, as well as a bottle of Nourishing Skin Oil, which will help improve your skin's elasticity and moisture. Massaging your bump can also be a great way to connect with that small miracle inside and as you get nearer to the end you may even be able to identify little legs and arms!
Oh my goodness, the itching... why for the love of an already suffering lady must we feel like we have become the latest Ant Housing Estate and the entire colony picked the same moving in dates?
The super-irritating itch is caused by your skin stretching. Your growing uterus causes the skin around your tummy to stretch yet the oil glands cannot meet their normal moisture requirement. That’s why you’ll find you have dry and itchy skin that’s often worse on your tummy and legs. Try our Coconut Milk Bath Soak which is packed with ingredients designed to calm dehydrated, itchy and inflamed skin, and will do wonders for your sanity too!
Don't even get me started with this one, this just feels cruel, with everything else going on, why does your digestive system have to start a hate campaign on you too? It might be reassuring to know there can be many different reasons your food is trolling you. Firstly it could just be down to changing levels of hormones. For example a rise in the hormone progesterone can relax smooth muscle in the body meaning your food may digest slower, and may flow upward leading to the beastly burn. Or, it could be the pressure that your growing uterus places on the stomach and other parts of the digestive tract causing stomach acid to flow in reverse, Finally, it can also be medication taken to alleviate one condition causing another, as some anti-nausea medicine can have the side effect of causing or increasing heartburn. The irony.
So what can be done?
Try to log what you eat and see if there are any culprits that really make it flare up - avoid acidic foods at all costs.
Eat small and frequently so as to not overload your system.
Try sleeping with a raised pillow to encourage a downward flow.
Or my personal favourite, but definitely not recommended or endorsed by any medical person just a desperate and rather stupid preggo: down vast quantities of Gaviscon like it’s a beloved bottle of Red and you're having a rocking Friday evening out with your besties.
It‘s natural to feel nervous and worried about how life with a newborn will be and about the process of birth itself. This is undoubtedly amplified tenfold if you are a first-time mumma, because quite frankly it’s never been done before. Now is not the best time for friends to share their horrific birth stories with you, I don’t know why women do, but we just can’t help ourselves! Instead, arm yourself with expert knowledge and look at attending a course of Antenatal Classes; it’s essentially parenting school.
Another top tip would be to buy yourself some Pregnancy Affirmation Cards and choose some daily that you feel resonate with you best. Quotes such as “all the strength I need is within me”, “I believe in myself,” and “be flexible and go with the flow,” can sometimes just be that little nudge you need to keep you going. Again, it’s all about transforming your mindset and harnessing the power of positive programming to help start each day with strength and self-assurance.
Whilst I may have put a serious downer on this being pregnant job, time to bring it back to why we all signed up to this in the first place though. Yes its tough, but we are women, we are tough and we are miracles. Who else gets to say they made a person, like a real, life, breathing person; pretty impressive on the CV right?