If you are reading this blog, it is likely you have recently found out you are expecting, Congratulations!!
What an exciting journey you have ahead, lots to look forward to and lots to think about.
As usual at Mumbler, we try to make parenting that little bit easier, so we have put together a Pregnancy Countdown. This includes reminders of things to think about, things to get booked/organised/bought and Mumbler tips along the way from those who have learnt from their own experiences. Bear in mind this is a flexible guide and some of these tasks can be completed at any stage of pregnancy, so don’t feel compelled to follow any rigid order!!
Take a look at the NHS website for advice about the do’s and don’t in pregnancy, this ensures you are well informed with the latest advice and can make the right choices for you and your baby.
If you work, depending on how you are feeling and the sort of job you have, it may be an idea to inform your manager about your recent findings. This could be required to ensure you are not put in any situations that could be harmful for you or baby. Some people find it helpful to have someone at work who’s ‘in the know’ especially if sickness has taken hold and you require frequent loo/fresh air breaks.
7 months to go
You will tend to have your initial appointmentwith the midwife at approximately 9 weeks pregnant (give or take a week or so). This is a booking in appointment lasting about an hour, so lots of questions about your health, family history and previous pregnancies/children will be asked and documented in your green notes. You will usually be weighed and have your BP and blood taken. The amount of times you see a midwife (or doctor) will depend on how many times you have been pregnant before, any risk factors that may be present and you and your baby’s health as your pregnancy progresses, your midwife will discuss your unique situation with you.
6 months to go
You will have a scan around 12 weeks. This makes it all seem much more real as it’s the first time (usually) you would get a glimpse of your new baby! The scan can obviously be an anxious but exciting time. You will have the choice to have blood tests at the time of the scan to calculate the likelihood of your baby having certain health conditions, your midwife should have given you some information about these tests to help you make an informed choice about whether you wish to have them.
A lot of couples decide to share their happy news with friends and family following the reassurance of a healthy 12 week scan. Of course, it is entirely up to you when you choose to do so. Some will tell people as soon as the test says positive and others may choose to keep their secret for as long as they are able, there is no right or wrong.
5 months to go
Depending on your shape and size pre pregnancy, how your body is changing and how many times you have been pregnant before will all influence when you might need to consider getting some maternity clothes. Comfort is key in pregnancy!!! But that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t dress to impress and embrace your ever growing bump! There’s lots of choice and options when it comes to maternity wear, and what it right for one person isn’t for another. The Mumbler community has been a great help in gathering advice and options when shopping for maternity wear.
The 20 week scan is another key pregnancy mile stone. The aim of this scan is to try to identify any health issues that baby may have that can be detected this early via ultrasound. Once again, you should have been provided with some more specific information about what the sonographer is checking for to allow you to decide to go ahead. It’s also another opportunity to see your wiggling baby and hopefully gain the reassurance that all is progressing well. If all progresses smoothly this could be the last time you see your baby before they actually arrive!!! Some parents choose to find out the sex of their little one during this scan, it’s not always possible and not everyone wants to know at this stage, but if you can’t wait any longer then do ask and they will tell you if they can!
4 months to go
It could be the time to start buying things for baby.
It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed with all of the items you can be made to feel you “need”. Here’s some Mumbler advice regarding what’s really essential:
“Somewhere to sleep, something to wear, a method of feeding – nothing else is essential. We loved our cheap Moses basket.”
“My midwife told me for my first when I was an anxious beast that babies need to be: warm, dry & fed. So you need clothes, nappies and boob/bottle”
“You only really need, for when your baby is born; A car seat – it’s a legal requirement – look at Which etc and safety reviews – best not to rush this. A pram/stroller (may be one to incorporate car seat??) Somewhere for baby to sleep – a cot of some sort. Nappies of some kind and a change mat.”
“Just get the basic essentials to start with. Don’t get loads of clothes as they soon grow!!! I didn’t realise what I ‘really needed’ in terms of other bits until my lb was here and we got bits as we went along”
It’s also time to start thinking about Baby Names – it’s never too early to start these discussions (bonus points if you’ve already come up with some!). It’s a tough decision, but there’s a Mumbler blog to help you out with this one too. Click HERE for the link to the Baby Name Ideas blog.
Whether it’s to maintain your fitness level, help to control your weight during pregnancy or another way to socialise and meet other expectant mums, there’s plenty of Antenatal fitness options across Norwich to get involved in.
So, in reality, no one quite knows how their birth will go, and what route it will take. However, something you do have a lot of control over is how well informed you are as you approach your labour. Information is power as they say. There’s a lot of options out there to ensure there’s an accessible way for you to leanr what you wish to learn to enable you to feel empowered and ready. Birth preparation classes are also another great way to meet others on the same journey to parenthood and to hopefully make some great friends who you can potentially look forward to years of playdates with! Here’s the Mumbler Website links to the Birth Preparation Classes and the Mumbler Birth Stories.
3 months to go
Are you looking for some extra support either before, during or after labour? The Mumbler website has a page for you:Midwives & Doulas. Here you can browse the different services and support available to find what’s right for you.
Treatments & Spas – Can you still reach your toes?! Pregnancy pedicures are a popular choice to combat this logistical issue! Also, if you can’t pamper yourself in pregnancy, when can you?! How about a pregnancy massage, or other relaxing treatment? Make sure you visit someone who specialises in treating pregnant women so you know you will be well looked after.
As Michaela Scott from York Mother Nuture puts it: “When you are growing a whole new human you need some extra nurturing”
2 months to go
Have you thought about how you will keep busy during maternity leave? Lots of groups do welcome mums with bumps, however even if you wish to wait until you have baby to take along, before you start to go to groups and classes, it’s well worth getting organised. The Groups and classes pages on the Mumbler Website are organised into days of the week so its easy to find something that fits in with your schedule. Some classes have waiting lists, so if there is something you are really keen on attending then get your name down. Having a browse and finding out what groups are on when near you is a great thing to do before baby arrives. Sometimes when baby is little, motivating yourself to get out and about can be hard, especially if little one hasn’t had the best night. So knowing what’s going on, or even having yourself already booked in can really help with getting you and baby out and about.
1 month to go:
It’s definitely time to start gathering items ready for your Hospital Bag. Once again, we have brought together lots of Mumbler advice, hints and tips ready to assist you with packing.
Having a Newborn is one giant learning curve. For breastfeeding advice & support, first aid courses, sling advice and more see the Mumbler Newborn page.
Be it a scan, cast or photo, there’s various ways to capture the moment on this most special journey and treasure the Newborn moments forever. They go way too quickly!!!
Hopefully that countdown has been helpful to allow you to feel as prepared as you can for your upcoming arrival. All that’s left is for us to wish you the best of luck and remind you that Mumbler will continue to be here to offer you support, advice and a listening ear whenever you need it.
We’ll finish with some wise words from Mumbler SK:
“Whatever you do will be right for you and your baby. You’ll come across many many opinions, and people very willing to give their opinions when it comes to motherhood. Yes, there’s all the guidelines out there, the safest and best method for this, that and the other so do read lots but when you’ve read it, make your own mind up. You and your baby will find YOUR right.”