My Baby and I

Pregnancy, Birth, Baby and Toddler

Furry Birthing Balls

October 18, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

A recent episode of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den included a pitch by a company that sell furry covers for birthing balls and gym balls. I thought it was a bit gimmicky at first, but, having used a birthing ball frequently in the last few months of pregnancy I realised that the covers could make the balls much more comfortable to sit and lean on. The ball could also be covered to match one’s décor so it wouldn’t look out of place in your living room.

‘Waiting for the Baby’

June 18, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

As I prepare to become a Mum for the first time I was recently thinking about the hopes and dreams I had had for this last part of my pregnancy; what I was hoping to achieve with my free time on maternity leave, and how different it actually is in reality. Oh how naïve I was!

I thought: On maternity leave I would have loads of time to complete all those household chores that have needed doing for ages.

In reality: Who was I kidding, I am too tired, have very little physical energy to do much and need to lie down regularly.

I thought: I can drive lots of places - go shopping, meet friends and try out all the local coffee shops.

In reality: Driving is uncomfortable and the way the seats are designed they do not encourage the baby to get into a good position for birth.

I thought: I can get a load of my filing and home paper work done and learn more about the accounting side of business (which my husband currently deals with).

In reality: I have no mental energy and can’t focus on anything else except for the baby and its arrival.

I thought: I can go on nice long walks with the dog, in the warm summer weather.

In reality: I can’t walk for more than about 10 minutes without needing a sit down or to go to the toilet. And this is British summer weather we are talking about.

I thought: I could go to the cinema to watch some of the latest films.

In reality: There’s no way I can go that long without going to the toilet, and as for sitting in one position for more than about 30 minutes - forget it.

So instead, I seem to be spending my last few weeks in a state of boredom and my whole life at the moment can be summed up as ‘waiting for the baby’.

Baby Gender Predictor

June 6, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

The idea of trying to predict a baby’s gender whilst it is still in the womb has been around for thousands of years. We now have the technology to find out what the gender is, but even if you decide not to find out and wait for the surprise, it can still be fun trying to guess what sex your baby will be.

I have had many people commenting during my pregnancy on what sex they think our baby is, from looking at my bump and a ‘feeling’ that they have. Although I believe there is little truth to the old wives tales and other methods, my curiosity recently got the better of me and I came across this baby gender predictor website.

It has a range of different, fun ways to ‘predict’ the sex of your baby. It includes a Chinese Gender Chart, a quiz based on some of the old wives tales, and various other (equally unreliable!) methods.

There are also a number of articles about gender prediction on the site - some are specifically scientific and others are just very interesting to read.

I used the old wives tale prediction method on the site to ‘predict’ the gender of our baby, and it predicted we would have a girl. I will let you know if it was correct when our baby is born!

Let Me Have My Own Pregnancy Experience Please!

June 4, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

With my due date fast approaching I am obviously looking very pregnant, yet some people seem to talk to me as though I hadn’t realised this small fact!

I don’t mind (and often quite enjoy) discussing my pregnancy and my bump with friends and family and answering their endless stream of questions, but why, oh why, do strangers feel the need to comment on it and discuss it?!

Everywhere I go people (shopkeepers, passers by, random strangers…) constantly ask me:

‘how long have you got to go now dear?’
‘do you know what you are having?’
‘have you thought of any names yet’

To which I reply (yet again) ‘not long now’, ‘no, we don’t know what we are having’, and ‘yes, we have chosen names’.

Well, in truth we do know what we are having, we are having a BABY and of course we have thought of names but there is no way we are going to share them with friends and family yet, let alone complete strangers.

For some time now I have been considering getting a t-shirt printed with these answers on, or carrying a dictaphone with me whenever I go out to save me repeating the same thing over and over.

But, what is really starting to annoy me is how complete strangers feel the need to comment on my bump and waffle on about their own experiences, when all I want to do is purchase my coffee or whatever and go about my business.

I hear stories of how small or large my bump is compared to how many weeks I have got left, how they think they know what sex it will be, how the baby will be here soon as the bump is so low, how my bump compares to their husband’s sister’s friend’s, and how big their bump was with all of their three kids and what pain relief they used during labour.

Having a child is a wonderful experience, but I am looking forward to having my own experiences, not re-living ones by complete strangers!

UK Issues New Alcohol Guidelines for Pregnant Women

May 25, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

The Department of Health has released revised guidelines for women and alcohol during pregnancy. The new guidelines, issued today, recommend that women do not drink any alcohol whilst trying to conceive and when pregnant.

The new guidelines aim to simplify and clarify previous advice - that women may drink up to 1 or 2 units of alcohol once or twice a week during pregnancy. This advice was not considered helpful as many people are unclear about what exactly constitutes one unit measure.

The guidelines aim to reduce the risk of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which it is estimated affects more than 6,000 children in the UK each year.

However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists argue that there is no scientific evidence that drinking 1 or 2 units once or twice a week is harmful to a developing baby.

Pregnant women who have been following the previous advice should not start to panic and should not have done any harm to their baby as long as they have not got drunk.

For further information read the BBC News press release.

To drink or not to drink (alcohol that is)?

May 10, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

200px-Red Wine GlasIn the UK pregnant women are told that drinking 1 or 2 units of alcohol once or twice a week is safe and should not be harmful to the baby. However, it is not generally socially acceptable for a pregnant woman to drink and there are certain schools of thought that believe no alcohol is safe during pregnancy.

There is evidence that binge drinking and drinking excessively can affect the baby, and in extreme cases can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

But how much really is safe? After all, alcohol is a drug. Or are we being paranoid and should allow ourselves to drink in moderation, after all we can consume some other drugs, such as caffeine (albeit at lower levels), while pregnant, and some studies (on men and non-pregnant women) show that a certain amount of alcohol each week may have health benefits.

In the US the recommendation is that women should avoid alcohol altogether. However, in most of Western Europe, such as Spain, France and Italy it is socially acceptable, even encouraged, for a pregnant woman to drink a glass of red wine most days with her meal.

The truth is that no one really knows what a ’safe’ amount of alcohol is, as scientists are not keen to run real life studies on pregnant women, for obvious reasons.

I recently came across a useful and interesting discussion about drinking alcohol in pregnancy by women from different parts of the world.

Whatever you decide to do regarding drinking alcohol in your pregnancy I would recommend that you try to find out as much information as you can, then make up your own mind and don’t allow others to make you feel guilty if you do decide to have the occasional glass.

Pregnancy and Running

May 7, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comments (0)

While out shopping with my Mum recently she seemed slightly concerned and amazed at, being 8 months pregnant, how well I was coping physically with our shopping extravaganza. She went on to tell me how she would never have managed so well when she was pregnant and how attitudes to women, exercise and pregnancy have changed since ‘her day’.

Years ago women were encouraged to put their feet up and take it easy throughout their pregnancies. These days, although we are told to slow down, it is a well known fact that certain types of gentle or moderate exercise can be beneficial during pregnancy.

I am a keen runner but stopped running a few months into my pregnancy, mainly due to morning sickness and tiredness, but have replaced it with regular walking.

The latest medical evidence suggests it is okay to continue to do most forms of exercise to a certain degree during your pregnancy, but to not take up anything new. It is still quite amazing, however, to read about the likes of Paula Radcliffe, who managed to run throughout most of her pregnancy.

If you are interested in finding out more about running during pregnancy, Runner’s World provides some advice from mothers on their website.

NCT Antenatal Classes

May 5, 2007 - Tag: Pregnancy - Comment (1)

While some might believe that ignorance is bliss, I take the view that knowledge is power, and so have been busy finding out as much information as I can about pregnancy, birth, and babies right from the time we were trying to conceive. I found the Internet to be generally a good resource for finding information, although I found it also made me more of a worrier when I read about all the things that could go wrong! Magazines and books also provide a great source of information.

However, I would highly recommend the NCT’s (National Childbirth Trust) antenatal classes to any parents-to-be. It’s a great opportunity to learn about pregnancy, labour and coping with a new born in a supportive environment where there is no such thing as a stupid question. The classes are led by trained antenatal teachers who have usually been through the experience themselves a few times.

What I particularly liked about the sessions is that they focus not only on the physical and practical side of labour and birth, but also on the emotional and psychological parts of it, as well as giving really good advice to the fathers to be (or whoever your birth partner may be) about how they can be a help and support during labour and after the birth.

The sessions are usually held at the weekends and in the evenings so both parents can attend. The classes consist of a small number of couples, who attend each session so you can build up a rapport with the group and hopefully make some life long friends.

You normally have to pay for the classes but a year’s membership is included in the price, which allows you to attend NCT events such as coffee mornings and nearly new sales.

For more information visit the NCT’s website.

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