You are pregnant! Congratulations! Here’s a list of first time pregnancy tips to help you with every stage of your pregnancy and get you ready for the birth of your first baby.
First time pregnancy tips
Finding out you are pregnant is an amazing thing.
But then what?
You’ve never been pregnant before!
You’ve heard a bunch of stuff from mums who have been.
You’ve read up on it loads.
But now it’s your turn…
It’s all a bit out of the ordinary and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed… not to mention nauseous…
What you need is a list of pregnancy tips that tells you everything you need to know about being pregnant.
So here it is, my big list of pregnancy tips for first time mums-to-be.
Super useful tips for first time mums-to-be
Morning sickness is thought to be caused by pregnancy hormones.
It is most likely to strike during the first trimester and clear up by weeks 12 to 14.
For some of us it’s simply feeling nauseous and for others it means plenty of vomiting.
I’ve put together a post on natural remedies for morning sickness.
In short, it is trial and error. But once you find the thing that works for you, stick with it.
I used to have a banana by the side of my bed, so I could eat it just before I got up.
That’s what got me out the door to work every morning during the early weeks!
Mums Make Lists contributing editor Alice Thompson experienced
Alice has also written a useful post on how to cope with this extreme morning sickness condition.
Your changing body
The changing shape of your body can bring with it all sorts of delights.
Simply click on each link to find useful information on the following body related pregnancy issues:
- Itchy nipples
- Sore breasts
- Leaky nipples
- Itchy skin on your bump
- Stretch marks
- ‘Outty’ bellybutton
- Linea Nigra
Photo source: J.K Califf
Bumps come in different shapes and sizes.
The shape of your baby bump will depend on your height, your shape, the tone of your tummy muscles (that’s why second time mums often get a bump more quickly) and the size and shape of your baby.
The amount of amniotic fluid also contributes to the size of your bump.
“My much longed for baby bump wasn’t really noticeable until well into my pregnancy, one guy at work didn’t even realise I was heavily pregnant, until he saw me turn sideways! But then I’m tall, so there was more space for my baby inside my tum.” Luci x
Exercise during pregnancy
Yes you may want to take it a little easier during pregnancy.
But no, this isn’t the time to put your feet up altogether.
Yoga and Pilates are brilliant for keeping your body healthy and preparing you for pregnancy.
But you can pretty much carry on with whatever your usual exercise routine is as long as you’ve checked in with your doctor / midwife.
This Life Hacker post, the truth about exercising during pregnancy, has loads of useful info on the realities of exercising whilst pregnant.
There is something really important to bear in mind though, how to avoid permanent diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is the separation of the stomach muscles that occurs during pregnancy and affects a great many women after pregnancy, often without them realising that they have it.
Check out this post for the kind of exercise moves you should avoid.
And then there’s your pelvic floor.
Whatever you do, do make sure you exercise your pelvic floor.
You can exercise the pelvic floor muscles through yoga or pilates, or you can choose to do special pelvic floor exercises.
But whatever you do, do them!
Here’s a guide to the pelvic floor during pregnancy.
And here’s a great video from Jessica Valant Pilates on how to exercise your pelvic floor during pregnancy
There is a lot of talk about how giving birth can ruin your lady parts.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a lot of damage can also happen during pregnancy.
Here’s a great post on how to use exercise and healthy eating to ensure that you keep your vagina in tip top health during pregnancy.
The post also tells you how to prepare your vagina for the birth of your baby.
Sex during pregnancy
To shag or not to shag, that is the question.
Well just know this, in general it is totally fine to get it on during pregnancy, you won’t hurt your baby.
But at the same time, if you’re really not in the mood for the whole nine months or find the thought of it a bit, well, eeuuwww, well it’s fine to not.
The choice is yours.
Here’s a great post on sex during pregnancy by Super Nanny.
Pregnancy can be the cause of all sorts of extra bonus body issues that can really get your down.
Here’s a list of some of the main ones, each ailment can be clicked to find information on how to cope with it.
- swollen ankles
- back pain
- bleeding gums
- vaginal discharge
- leg cramps
- pregnancy sciatica
- constantly needing to pee
“I got dreadful leg cramps during mid and late pregnancy. It was my husband’s job to massage them and generally help the agony to subside.” Luci x
Nutrition during pregnancy
Photo source: Mike Haufe
For starters here’s a big list of food you’re meant to avoid.
However, there is also a whole bunch of foods that are really good to eat during pregnancy.
Try and eat a well balanced diet and try not to overeat – which won’t be difficult once the heartburn kicks in!!
“I remember sitting in a restaurant in France, and a couple of older ladies sitting at the next table, marvelling at how I was avoiding the seafood. Apparently they ate oysters, seafood and all manor of soft cheeses during their pregnancies and no-one thought anything of it.” Luci x
Folic acid – if you were planning to conceive, you’ve no doubt been taking folic acid since before you got pregnant.
The NHS advice is to carry on taking folic acid until you are 12 weeks pregnant, as it helps prevent neural tube defects.
The NHS also recommend taking Vitamin D to help regulate the amount of calcium in your teeth and bones during pregnancy.
Find out more about recommended daily amounts on the NHS site.
Ah sleep… that thing you once got eight hours of each night if you put your mind to it.
Not so much now there’s a growing baby in your tum.
Sleep can be disturbed in early pregnancy due to the progesterone hormone and in late pregnancy due to the baby raving whilst you sleep.
Then there’s the fact you need to sleep on your side.
If you are a face down in the pillow sleeper or a lie on your back sleeper, sideways sleeping takes some getting used to.
Try using pillows to prop your body into a comfortable sideways position.
I found the Dreamgenii maternity and nursing pillow really helpful, as it gives front and back support when you sleep.
Dreamgenii maternity and nursing pillow | Amazon
Do also take a look at this super useful post for 10 tips for sleeping like a baby during pregnancy.
There’s a whole bunch of just plain weird stuff that can happen to you and your body during pregnancy.
Click the links on the list for information on each of these weird phenomena.
Some of these weird things are summed up so well in this brilliant spoof of Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’… ‘I’m So Pregnant’ by one of my favourite parenting blogs, What’s Up Moms.
It’s not your pregnancy, it’s mine!
So you’re happily browsing in a shop / heading to the water cooler at work / bump into a distant friend of your parents, when it happens.. the bump lunge.
Never for one moment does a bump lunger imagine that they’re invading your personal space.
Then there’s the bump experts.. “ooh you’re definitely having a boy because, blah blah blah…” “Due any day now I see” (you’re barely six months gone).
And then there’s the baby name obsessives… “so what’re your names then?”… “Oooh no, you can’t call a baby that…”
I wish I could give you a wand to magic these people away, but I can’t.
So the best I can suggest is this… it’s fine to step back from a bump lunger and reassert your personal space.
It’s fine to chant “la la la I can’t hear you” in your head whilst a bump expert shares their knowledge.
And it’s totally fine to say a firm, “We’re not discussing baby names” to a baby name obsessives.
FOPO: Fear of pushing out
You’ve no doubt heard of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Well FOPO is the pregnant woman version… Fear of Pushing Out!!
It’s ok to admit you’re worried.
Working out your birth plan is a big help.
The birth may well not go to plan, so take time to think about your ideals and also plan B options.
I have a post on how to put together your birth plan.
Plus Mums Make Lists contributor, Alice Thompson, who had an emergency C-Section, has also written a post on everything you need to know about having a C-Section.
You should also check out this brilliant post on fear of giving birth over on NetMums and this wonderful blog, Birth Without Fear, dedicated to telling birth stories to reassure and inform mums-to-be.
It’s all about you
Pamper yourself.. treat yourself… or drop large hints for someone else to treat you to a spa day.
Even consider going on a spa day alone – you won’t truly appreciate how precious time to yourself is until you’re a mum, but trust me, make the most of it whilst you can!!
Some skin is more prone to stretch marks than other skin.
Make sure to read up on ways to prevent stretch marks, prevention is easier than cure!
Dressing the bump
You don’t need to spend a fortune on maternity wear.
In fact, unless money is no object, it’s best not to spend a fortune on maternity clothes, because even if you go onto have further pregnancies, you may not be able to wear the clothes you buy again.
Some women manage to get through pregnancy without buying any maternity wear, choosing instead to get creative with dressing their bump.
In fact there’s a myriad ways to dress that bump!
Check out Joy Cho, from US uber blog, Oh Joy, and her Dressing The Bump series for inspiration.
One item of maternity wear that I can highly recommend is a bump band.
It will give you and your bump extra support once your bump starts to get heavy.
This extra support will help with your overall body wellbeing, plus help guard against diastasis recti and pelvic floor issues.
Amazon has a good selection of bump bands to choose from.
It really is down to personal choice, body shape and your needs based on bump size.
So just what exactly do you need to put in your hospital bag?
Check out my hospital bag essentials post to find out… then get packing!
Baby Shopping List
And then there’s all the things you need to buy for your new baby.
Fear not, I’ve put together a list for you.
Pop over now and read my The complete essential newborn baby shopping list.
I’ve included a FREE downloadable version of it that you can save and print out.
Use the Amazon baby wishlist
You will never be more appreciative of online shopping and super fast delivery than when you are heavily pregnant.
Oh wait… you will also find that online shopping is a TOTAL LIFE SAVER when you are a new mum.
You don’t have to be part of Amazon Prime to use the Wishlist, but it will give you super fast delivery plus a whole bunch of other Prime benefits.
The most brilliant things about the Wishlist are that you can…
- add things from ANY website, not just Amazon
- keep track of what you’ve bought and what you need to buy in one place
- share the list with friends and family or for a baby shower
- save up to 20% on baby stuff
- get a free gift when you sign up
I can’t tell you the number of times Amazon Prime has saved my sanity over the years.
So if you want to be the most organised new mum in the world ever…. try Amazon Prime for 30 days for FREE
No pregnant woman is an island… though you may feel like one by your third trimester.
So, accept help when it’s offered.
Take advantage of being able to rest whilst someone else cooks, cleans, nips out to get you lunch, does the ironing…
Connect with your community
This is also the time to connect with your local community.
Get involved in an ante-natal group to find out about helpful doctors and great doulas, breastfeeding support, or great childcare.
Driving whilst pregnant… think about using a seat belt extender during the latter stages of pregnancy, it prevents the seat belt from riding up over your bump, fixing it instead to sit safely – and comfortably – below your bump.
The Clippasafe Seatbelt Extender has some good reviews.
Walking – it’s a great form of gentle exercise and it’s free! Try and maintain good posture and avoid slumping into your hips, that way you’ll save your back.
No matter whether you’re feeling queasy in your first trimester or like you’ve swallowed a boulder in your third, having a seat on a bus or train is always nicer than having to stand.
But it’s not always easy to find a seat or find someone will to offer you the seat they’re sitting in.
If you live in London, you can get a Baby on Board badge from Transport for London, so that your fellow city-dwellers can be nothing less of 100% sure that you’re pregnant.
“I remember the early stages of my pregnancy, when I didn’t have a bump, but boy oh boy was I tired and nauseous. It’s hard to feel confident enough to ask for a seat on the tube or a bus when you’re feeling under the weather.” Luci x
Record the magic moments
And lastly… a friend did this for me and I treasure it to this day….
Buy yourself a pregnancy journal.
Finding out you are pregnant is the first magic moment.
Others biggies include the 12 week scan, as long as everything is ok.
Then there’s that super special moment… the one when you feel your baby move for the first time.
“I remember the moment I felt M move for the first time. I was driving back through East London and I felt something akin to butterfly kisses in my stomach. That was it. A moment I’ll remember forever.” Luci x
If you want to be able to savour your pregnancy forever and share them with your future child, treat yourself to a pregnancy journal.
Go for a personalised pregnancy journal to make it extra special. I love this journal with wooden covers by Tillie Mint Loves.
Personalised wooden cover pregnancy journal | Tillie Mint Loves on Notonthehighstreet.com
So there you have it. The mother of all lists to help you deal with every aspect of being pregnant with your first baby.
I really hope you’ve found the list useful. Don’t forget to pin it and share it if you have.
I’ve put together a new mum and baby section with a bunch of useful posts for pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenting.
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