9 things all mums-to-be should know about
Mummy blogger Chantelle Ellem started her blog, Fat Mum Slim, back in 2008, just after the birth of her first child. Since then Fat Mum Slim and her well-known Photo A Day challenge have grown in popularity. Below the lovely Chantelle shares her tips to help mums-to-be and new mums navigate pregnancy and those first few months with ease.
Being a mum is an exciting journey for everyone, but often it can mean putting everyone else first before you get time to think of yourself. The truth is though, that mamas should come first, at least some of the time. It's important that we look after ourselves so that we can take care of our family and create a caring, loving environment for everyone.
To help you take the best care of yourself through pregnancy and beyond, I'm sharing some of my favourite things – some things for mama and a few things for making the baby happy, too.
As your body grows and streeeeetches during pregnancy, your skin can be the one to suffer. Bio-Oil® to the rescue! Bio-Oil® helps reduce stretchmarks, and helps fade them if they've already appeared. It's good to keep using once baby has arrived, too; apply after a daily shower to help nourish while also keeping itchy skin at bay.
2. The sneaky massage
Particularly in those last weeks of pregnancy when you can't even see your feet, let alone touch them, I found a massage deliciously indulgent. It's also nice to take some time out for yourself before having the baby, when life becomes all about a little person (and less about you).
3. Easy, peasy dinners
The first thing to go once you have a new baby is often delicious dinners, because it's just too hard. I bought a whole heap of meals from Gourmet Dinner Service and stored them in the freezer so that I didn't even have to think about it. The bonus is that they're healthy, too, so you're still looking after your body. Phew.
This is going to sound silly, but I can't encourage new mamas enough to get a TV series they love watching and have it ready to go after the birth. I loved having something to look forward to each day for the breastfeeding sessions (marathons!) in those first six weeks. For me it was Friends. If you're not into TV shows, then make it a good book, or a podcast or another little treat. I also tried to make time for getting out and about with bub in the pram.
5. iPhone & Wonder Weeks App
No matter how many babies you have, you always seem to forget details. I forgot so much between having my daughters, but there was a five-year gap so maybe I'm excused. I loved the Wonder Weeks app on my iPhone, it tells you when your baby will be going through a wonder week (which will mean a pretty unhappy, unsettled baby! Gah!). I found it to be really spot on. I also loved my iPhone during those early months, because I could use the torch feature to check on my daughter Luella in the middle of the night without switching on the main light, and I could use Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter during the mega marathon feeding sessions.
6. The super sleep guru
My first daughter, Lacey, was not a good sleeper. At all. When my second daughter was born I thought I'd been through the hard yards and couldn't possibly have another non-sleeper on my hands. Turns out, I could. A few months into Luella's life I called in the big guns, a sleep guru. Yes, it was pricey. But I would go without new clothes/make-up/food for any period of time if I had to do it again. Best decision we ever made. Luella is happier. She sleeps through the night. And the whole family is just so much more content. Sleep is good!
7. Osteo treatments
Being born is pretty hard work for a baby, and often those first three months out of the womb aren't particularly peaceful ones. Well, not for my babies anyway. With Luella I discovered Osteo early on and it was such a big help. It helped with her colic, and also with her travelling in the car (which she wasn't a fan of). I used my local Osteo, but I'm sure if you ask around you can find one near you. It's also good for mamas too, because that whole birthing experience isn't easy for us either.
8. Baby wearing
I know baby wearing isn't for everyone, but it's one of the things I love most about having a baby (and the thing I'll miss the most about my baby growing up). I alternated between the Ergobaby and the Baby Bjorn. My kids just seem to love being carried on me.
9. Boobie Biscuits
I don't think they're really called Boobie Biscuits, but Lactation Cookies instead. Either way, they're delicious and are said to help boost your milk supply too if you're breastfeeding. Give a friend or family member the recipe and ask them to bake you a batch.
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The competition closes at midnight on Friday September 12th. We can’t wait to see your beautiful photos!
What was one of your favourite things about pregnancy and beyond? Which of Fat Mum Slim’s tips do you like the best?