Hi, I'm Maria - Mummy to Bobby (5) and Edward (3),
I've learnt a lot about being a mum these last few years, so I thought I'd share some advice I'd give to the first time mums out there....
Finding out you’re pregnant and the lead up to having your first born can be a daunting time. The experience will be unique for all women but something you will hopefully remember positively.
While no amount of research, reading, scrolling the internet will leave you feeling completely confident and ‘ready’, we are fortunate enough to have so many resources at our disposal to try and prepare and advise us for what’s about to come.
There are some women who have prepared for this for so long, dreaming about the day they can start buying those baby items and decorating a nursery, these women are more likely to have less anxiety and stress, but this isn’t the case for everyone. For many women this could come as a shock, be unplanned and the thought of how they’re going to juggle work, life and grow a human can be overwhelming.
Whichever category you fall into, what you’re feeling is normal, many women will have felt this way. Being prepared is the best thing you can do to reduce stress and anxiety, so arm yourself with as much information as possible, knowledge is key. To help I have pulled together my top tips for a first time mum, I’ve split the list into trimesters to make it easy to follow and check that you’re on the right path.
• Vitamins - start taking your prenatal vitamins and folic acid (most vitamins include folic acid but just double check this)
• Baby books and pregnancy reading materials - invest in some of these, you don’t have to take anything from them if they’re not for you, but it will be providing you with information, content for discussion with other pregnant ladies you will meet and food for thought. Plus it will ensure your taking that much needed down time every day.
• Skincare - there are so many available now, start using them ASAP to help increase the elasticity of your skin.
• Journal - again another exercise that will ensure you’re getting some rest, I also strongly advise you to do this if you’re planning multiple children.
• Pregnancy pillow - this will soon become your best friend!
• Maternity wear and nursery bras - this is the trimester you will start to really see a difference in your body and squeezing into those jeans really isn’t going to be comfortable! I also found it so much more comfortable to wear a none underwire nursing bra, this will be useful when baby arrives if you plan on breast feeding.
• Research baby items - start looking into items such as cribs, there is a lot of choice out there so make sure your investing in one that will last, is safe and will work for you and the space you live in.
• Nursery - I would also start looking at items for the nursery, such as cots/cotbeds, bedding, toys.
• Baby clothes - one of the best bits!! Start stocking up on your essential items, sleep suits, vests etc
• Shoes - getting around is going to start to be a little less comfortable, so make sure your feet are in something sturdy and that provides comfort. Any excuse for a new pair of shoes hey!?
• Nappies - you will go through an enormous amount of these! So now is not too early to start stocking up. Or alternatively look into cloth nappies if this is something you think could be of interest to you.
• Pack your hospital bag - please, don’t leave this until last minute! I packed and unpacked mine about 20 times, but I started early so I knew I had everything covered and felt so much better for it! I’m going to write another blog covering all items to include soon, so watch this space.
• Feeding equipment - if you’re bottle feeding you will need bottles, steriliser, teats, bottle brush. If you’re breast feeding you will need a pump, pads and milk storage bags).
• Baby bath
• Car seat
• Pram/travel system
• Sanitary pads - please don’t be like me the first time and totally underestimate this! It’s heavier then your normal period 9 times out of 10. You need big pants and big pads! The maternity pants are great (with the built in pads), they’re super soft and comfortable.
• Baby thermometer.
Post Birth / 4th Trimester
• Baby monitor
• Baby first aid kit
• Dummies - these are god sends. They are also recommended now and they have been proven to reduce the number of SIDS. My second born, Edward, didn’t like the first brand I tried. I didn’t give up on the dummy though and tried another brand and had success!
• Play mat - tummy time is extremely important and is now encouraged from the first day you bring your baby home, start slowly at 3-5 minutes a few times a day and build it up gradually.
• Baby proof your home!
• Teething toys, gels and granules
I hope you’ve found this list useful, please let me know! Keep posted for further blog posts coming soon.