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Top Pregnancy Tips For Mums-to-be - Real Mums Give Real Advice

Dr Adam Simon

Pregnancy can be an intimidating experience and new mums need all the advice they can get. To help mums-to-be prepare for maternity, we've picked the brains of some top pregnancy bloggers.

Top pregnancy tips for mums to be

Pregnancy can be an intimidating experience.

Especially if it’s your first time.

To help newly-minted mums-to-be, we picked the brains of some of the top pregnancy bloggers on the internet.

These mums have been there before and want to share their top tips on preparing for pregnancy.

They also talk about dealing with the variety of issues that can crop up during the course of maternity.

 

Meet the mums

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top pregnancy tip I wish I'd known would be to always trust your gut. If you feel unwell in any way, don't dismiss it. Seek medical support and a second opinion if you are still not satisfied.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My top gadget while pregnant would be my iPhone, I was then and am now, lost without my portal to the online world both in work and in life. There are lots of fab pregnancy apps available at the touch of a button too and I used to love to follow the growth of my baby week by week.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Some great advice from Vicki and really simple! If you're unwell or don't feel quite yourself, speak to a doctor or your midwife. We can get to the bottom of your symptoms and put your mind at rest.



 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top pregnancy tip is to take it easy. Your body is working hard and you might need to chill out and sleep more than you used to do. So it's good to let yourself have that down time and take help when it's offered.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My favorite pregnancy gadget was my breastfeeding pillow. It's a boomerang shape & I used it to sleep during all 3 pregnancies. It was so comfy tucked between my legs & under my bump. The same pillow was used to breastfeed my three kiddies & I also used to place it behind them while they were learning to sit! It's probably the one item I bought that I got the most use out of.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Your body will go through a whirlwind of changes as you gear up for childbirth, so getting plenty of rest and relaxation is a must.

This is particularly common during the first and third trimesters, so be sure to take plenty of time for yourself and avoid over-exertion.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Always bring a small (preferably healthy) snack with you and a bottle of water - you'll never know when you'll start to get peckish.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

I am all for breastfeeding, but sometimes life gets tough and to me pumping and bottle-feeding breast milk is also fine. There is no right or wrong way. I used a hand held breast pump, but if I was going to have another one - I would definitely use an electric pump.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Although it's an old wives' tale that you should 'eat for two' during pregnancy, you'll definitely notice yourself get hungrier. 

You should try and maintain a balanced diet throughout and steer clear of mouldy cheeses, raw meat and too much overly-starchy foods like potatoes.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top pregnancy tip is to accept any help offered. Being a mum of two girls whilst I was pregnant with my third was really exhausting. Having to do three school runs twice a week and two school runs the rest of the week whilst pregnant was really difficult, especially closer to the end.

When you're pregnant, you never know what happens. You may have a good and healthy pregnancy, or you may have some problems which you may need go to hospital or appointments for. When I was pregnant, I had to visit the hospital twice a week and I had to accept help off people to babysit my girls and pick them up from school.

You should also ask for help if needed. If you feel like you want to rest, or if you just don't feel up for doing something, just ask someone for help. I always say "you will never get if you never ask".

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My top gadget whilst I was pregnant was a contraction timer app on my iPhone. It was a free app, but I updated it to the full version for just £0.79p. I downloaded it the week I had my sweep.

I went into labour a day after my third sweep and the contraction timer app really helped me keep on top of how long my contractions were and how many minutes apart they were.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

It's important for mums-to-be to plan ahead - you won't be able to take as much on, especially during the latter stages of pregnancy and trying to maintain your usual routine is a recipe for exhaustion.

If you've got access to a support network of friends and family, you should absolutely take advantage of this.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Pregnancy is such an exciting time and full of unknowns when it's your first. My advice would be to not become too fixated on the 'perfect birth'.

Have faith in yourself and your midwife, if you need painkillers have them, if it doesn't go how you want it to, focus on what you have achieved and the birth of your new baby and your own health.

I think it takes a while to get back to being yourself after having a child. Your life has changed forever and that's ok. But also remember that you are still important too. Even if it's snippets of 'you time' at first, make sure you try and do little things for you.

For me it was reading, I love to read and when I worked out how to read on my Kindle (which I could do one handed, which you can't do with a traditional book) and breastfeed at the same time I suddenly felt so much happier. I got a little piece of something for me back.

But most importantly, enjoy the time. The newborn days are over in a flash and they are wonderful, as much as they are exhausting.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

I suffered from terrible insomnia when I was pregnant, in both pregnancies. Which is something I have never experienced before, I can normally sleep anywhere. Two things helped me get through this.

The first was my Dream Genii pillow. I refused to buy one at first as I thought they were expensive and then after one particularly bad night, my husband bought me one as a surprise and it made such a difference, I wish I had bought one sooner.

My second was a subscription to Audible. When I couldn't sleep at night, instead of getting cross and tossing and turning I would listen to audiobooks in bed. It helped me relax and stopped me from being so frustrated, it didn't wake me up as much a reading seemed to as well. I would go as far as saying it saved my sanity a little bit.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy make it really common for expecting mums to have bouts of sleeplessness, which can add to the exhaustion of maternity.

Fortunately, there's a range of steps you can take to address this, from dietary changes to relaxation and improving your 'sleep hygiene'.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top tip has to be preparation. Before each of my pregnancies I made sure I was physically very fit and healthy. I found my third pregnancy incredibly physically demanding because I had two young children to look after, but I am so glad I made the effort beforehand, and I'm convinced it made a huge difference. It also did a lot for my confidence.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

For me it has to be clothing that you feel comfortable in - maternity leggings were definitely my favourite item. Having a 'mini capsule' wardrobe is a good idea so everything can be mixed and matched, and a dress that you feel fantastic in too. I struggled with my changing body, so these things really helped me.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Getting in shape is good for your overall health and will serve you well during pregnancy. You can also maintain your fitness during pregnancy with gentle exercises.

Lots of expecting mums find yoga, aqua aerobics and even light jogging to be useful. But be sure to avoid anything too strenuous, especially during the third trimester.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Eat plenty of red meat and green vegetables. With both my pregnancies, my iron levels were really low and I ended up taking iron tablets, which can be hard on the stomach for some mums-to-be.

You hear a lot of mums-to-be having bad morning sickness. That doesn't have to be you. I was lucky enough I never had it.

The tiredness really hits you during the first and third trimester. I am not going to lie, I was really hit hard with it and wanted to go to sleep at 8pm every night.

When you carry a baby around in your tummy, it's really hard to stay on your feet and the pain in your sides are really sharp. You wobble around basically.

I only had carpal tunnel syndrome in my first pregnancy, I think mainly because I was going through a summer pregnancy. The elephant feet is another one you might want to look out for and the puffy face!

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

I had a pregnancy journal for both my pregnancies. I recorded each week how I felt, if I had any movements, sickness or cravings. Leggings (not even maternity ones) are the most comfortable thing in the world during pregnancy. Stock up on them.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

No two pregnancies are the same and mums-to-be will face a variety of physical changes as their maternity progresses.

You can minimise their effects by maintaining a healthy diet, doing gentle exercise and getting plenty of rest throughout your pregnancy. And if you do encounter any symptoms that are concerning you, don't hesitate to talk to a doctor or midwife.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

One of the things I always tell mums to be is to cherish their bump, and savour every last moment. It's an experience like no other, and once your baby is born you quickly forget what it feels like. So take as many pictures and videos as possible, the more the better!

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My top gadget to get when pregnant is a pregnancy app. You get weekly updates where you can see what baby looks like, symptoms you might be experiencing and quite often they have forums, where you can chat to fellow mums-to-be!

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

The dawn of the digital age has been a boon for mums-to-be, providing access to a range of resources on every aspect of maternity.

But if you're experiencing symptoms that are concerning you, don't rely on Googling potential conditions - speak  to a doctor or midwife as soon as possible.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

When I was pregnant with Sophia, my first child, I was very nervous about giving birth to her. I watched a few calming births on YouTube and tried to visualise this for us.

What I didn't expect was by the time I reached 38 weeks that I would be more than ready for her to come out, my nerves seemed to disappear. I wish I had known how important the visualisations were and to trust in my body, it knows what it is doing.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My must have item durning my pregnancy and postpartum with my son Archie was this nursing bra from Rigby and Peller. A friend of mine actually recommend it to me.

It is so comfortable, washes well and keeps an excellent fit. Worth every penny. I think your comfort during pregnancy is extremely important and this nursing bra helps tremendously.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

It's common to experience nerves during pregnancy, especially if it's your first time. 

While there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, listening to the experiences of other mums who've been through it, as well as other mums-to-be can be immensely useful.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top tip for expecting mums is to get a good quality prenatal supplement and fish oil. Solgar vitamins contain a form of iron that doesn't leave you constipated, unlike some other high street brands I tried.

It may seem like a small detail, but once you get haemmeroids they are a recurring problem, even post pregnancy - so look after your bum! Fish oils are wonderful for a baby's cognitive development and beneficial for mum too (as well as while breastfeeding).

However, make sure they are made by a reputable brand to avoid dangerous levels of mercury.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

The app I mainly referred to while pregnant (and still do) is "What to Expect". The Ovia app always gave me a giggle - comparing the size of the developing foetus to weird animals, items in a French boulangerie and toys!

As your due date approaches you'll have different lists coming out your ears. I find the app "Swipes" really useful for keeping on top of appointments and for helping my never ending to-do list feel more manageable.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Sadly, haemmorhoids are an unglamorous reality for many mums-to-be, but there's a range of steps you can take to minimise their impact.

There's a range of topical treatments that can provide relief from unpleasant symptoms, while dietary and lifestyle changes can also reduce their effects.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

My top tips would be that in the hot weather, being pregnant can be awful. Having a summer baby myself, in the last few weeks before he arrived, I used to take myself off solo to the cinema to enjoy a film, but also the air conditioning!

The air conditioning in cinemas is always too cool for me as a non-pregnant person, but as a pregnant mum it was perfect to sit, have snacks and enjoy some precious me time before the bump arrived. Once they arrive, the cinema seems near on impossible to arrange!

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My top gadget whilst pregnant would have to be an app to show you what happens week by week with the baby. It’s hard to imagine what is going on inside at times but with an app to remind you it really helps you visualise the little person growing inside.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

Keeping cool while pregnant can be a trial, especially in the summer. Your core temperature increases and your body has to work harder to pump extra blood around your system.

Be sure to stay hydrated and it can be well worth investing in a fan or some other apparatus to help keep cool during the summer months.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Keep busy and active when you get nearer your due date. I got told a few times to put my feet up and use the time to prepare for the baby when I started my maternity leave, and I am glad I didn’t listen to them.

I found that by keeping busy and active not only made the time go quicker, but also helped me feel better. I made sure I went for a walk at least once a day to get some fresh air and exercise and also tried to swim once a week on the lead up to my due date.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

My top app was definitely 'What to expect.' It gives you daily and weekly updates of how big your baby is, the countdown to the due date and how many weeks/months pregnant you are. It also gives you a detailed weekly update of what your baby is up to in your tummy.

You can also capture memories by attaching a photo to each week. Once your baby is born it also shares their key milestones and developments to look out for so you don't feel completely lost and unsure about what to expect.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

You can keep active with gentle exercises throughout your pregnancy, but don't be afraid to take a well-deserved rest whenever you need it.

No two pregnancies are exactly alike, so some mums may feel energetic throughout, while others will regularly feel wiped out. If you're experiencing constant exhaustion and low-energy, talk to a doctor or midwife.

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Take pictures of your bump, your child will be fascinated to look at them as they get older. And you will remember what it was like to be pregnant. It's amazing how your brain forgets the whole experience. After three babies, I still struggle to remember what it feels like to be kicked!

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

Invest in a poncho. They are stylish, warm and can hide a growing bump from your boss!

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says.

Being kicked by the baby is a natural part of a pregnancy for a mum-to-be and a good sign!

 

 

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

I would say that my top pregnancy tip is not to google anything about your pregnancy. If you're unsure, then speak to your midwife or GP. I did this when I was pregnant and most the outcomes were miscarriage, which scared me to death.

I did have a happy and healthy little girl so all those sites were just wrong in my opinion. Also I wouldn't look at your due date as the final date, as if you go over you will be very disheartened like I was and did find myself in a down patch at times.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

The best app I used was Wonder List, which is an app that enables you to create lists in. You are able to share this list with others and they can also add to it. This was amazing whenever I had baby brain moment and forgot completely what it was I went to the shop for! This still happens now and I have continued to use the app to make lists to everything.

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

While there's a lot of medical issues that can arise during pregnancy, don't scare yourself by Googling worst-case scenarios.

If you experience worries or symptoms that are concerning for you - talk to a doctor or midwife. They're there for this exact reason and you shouldn't feel like you'd be wasting their time with trivial concerns.

 
Natasha

Natasha

diaryofamum2be

What’s your top pregnancy tip that mums-to-be should know?

Eat what you can when you can. There is so much advice on what healthy foods to eat, what provides the best nutrients to your baby, how many extra calories you should be eating a day and how much weight you should be putting on, when in reality if you suffer from morning sickness, the first trimester will be met with the inability to stomach ANY FOOD at all.

So forget about feeling guilty if you can no longer stomach fruit or the thought of oily fish makes you turn green, simply eat what you can to cope. The sickness is, in most cases, fleeting and you can undo your bad work in the second trimester, but at the beginning, try not to worry about only being able to face crisps or peanut butter toast. After all, eating something is better than eating absolutely nothing.

What’s your top item or gadget to get while pregnant?

A long, snake-like pregnancy pillow. As many people will tell you while you're expecting, you will not sleep once the baby is born, so you might as well make the most of it while you can and invest in a comfortable pregnancy pillow that supports your growing bump. Plus, it totally enables you to have a bigger portion of the bed, which you'll need when you're about to pop!

And maternity leggings - you'll be wearing them long after the baby is born as well, let me tell you!

Dr Simon    

Dr Simon

What our doctor says:

That’s correct Natasha, if you suffer from morning sickness it can be hard to eat much food. Keeping your energy up during your pregnancy is really important.

Mums can use home remedies such as ginger to help, but if you are concerned you can see a doctor.

 

And You?

If you've got any tips of your own to share, be sure to leave us a comment below - or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter - we always love to hear from you.

And if you're looking for advice on staying healthy during pregnancy, or want to discuss any concerns, you can talk to a doctor online now.

Topics: Baby, Pregnancy