If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now. The list of dos and don’ts, the advice from well-meaning family members, and the differing tips that you’ll come across online are all likely to make you feel like you don’t know where to start.
To help you feel more in control, we’ve created an overview of the main things to think about now and as your pregnancy progresses. This is designed to deliver essential information in bitesize chunks so that you can take each stage in your stride.
Tip 1: Think about food and drink
One of the first things you’ll be aware of is that you will need to rethink your diet. We know to avoid alcohol in pregnancy and it’s likely you’ll be aware that caffeine intake should be monitored and reduced, but there are different foods to steer clear of in the coming months, too.
If you love prawns, camembert, or homemade hollandaise sauce, for instance, you will need to cut these out of your diet for now. The NHS guidelines offer the most up to date guidance and this is constantly being reviewed.
Tip 2: Stay away from saunas
It can be tempting to go for a sauna or slip into a hot tub, especially if you’re experiencing back ache or other aches as your bump gets bigger. However, these hot conditions can reach temperatures of 40C, putting you at risk of fainting, feeling dizzy, and overheating. So, if you’re taking a spa day as a pre-baby treat with friends, opt for a swim in a cooler pool and have a warm bath afterwards to ease your muscles.
Tip 3: Rethink the babymoon
Flying when you’re pregnant is usually fine in your second trimester. The morning sickness of those early months is hopefully behind you and you have more energy now, so if you’re thinking of going away on a final pre-baby trip, check with your doctor and aim to go at this time.
Once you reach your third trimester, you’re better off staying put and leaving the holiday until after baby arrives. This is because you can go into labour at any time once you get to the final few weeks, so it’s best to wait until you’re not at risk of your waters breaking mid-flight.
Instead, you could plan a lovely family getaway with your new family. This gives you time to budget for a lovely break and plan your finances after the baby arrives.
Tip 4: Postpone the DIY
You might want to get on with painting the baby’s nursery or maybe as you settle into maternity leave you’ve noticed areas around the home that could do with a lick of paint, but it might be worth putting the paint job on pause until after the baby arrives.
While it’s unlikely that your unborn baby will be affected by paint fumes, there’s a slightly greater risk if you’re using solvent-based paints or if you’re working with old paintwork, which might contain lead traces. Therefore, you should avoid using solvent-based paint and stripping walls when pregnant.
Tip 5: Only buy what you need
It can be tempting to buy everything that’s marketed at new parents, but there are a lot of items that are simply nice to have rather than must-haves. For instance, your little one might be just as happy in the budget price bouncer as they are in the fancy swinging chair. Each baby is different, so buying gadgets before they’re here might be a waste of money.
Instead, hold off buying big items that look fun and go for a simple bouncer to begin with. Then, when they’re born, your baby can try some swinging chairs and bouncers that belong to your friends or you could try out the tester ones in the shops to see if your baby likes them.
There is a lot to consider when you’re pregnant. But take it day by day and speak to your midwife if you have any questions.