Pregnancy is certainly not an illness, but as you reach your third trimester your lifestyle will become more of a balancing act as you accommodate your growing bump.
For expert advice from midwives on staying healthy during pregnancy visit www.tommys.org.uk. The baby charity runs several annual family-friendly events such as Tommy’s Danceathon and Splashathon to raise money for vital research, and brothers and sisters-to-be join in the fun.
Here're some tips for those big body changes as you blossom…
Baby on board
By law, your employer has to allow you reasonable time off for essential antenatal checks, so don’t let guilt creep into your daily commute. You’re only likely to spend a small fraction of your life pregnant so prioritise essential appointments to give your baby the best start.
Rather than eating for two, pregnant women only need an extra 200 calories per day in the final three months. Weight gain varies greatly between women, but excessive calories can lead to complications. So this is a good time to source healthy snacks, research alternatives to alcohol and teach yourself some new tricks in the kitchen.
Styling the bump
Buying maternity clothes is a great excuse to update your wardrobe, but there’s no need to go overboard. Think about loose fitting nursing tops or a tankini rather than a restricting swimsuit. Getting fitted for underwear is important for your growing shape and you can wear bands that help support your back and your bump while wearing a seatbelt.
Slow the pace
It’s important to get adequate sleep and you will find yourself needing regular early nights, so check safe sleeping positions for pregnancy. Don’t feel pressured to carry on as before. Busy events like baby showers are your choice and don’t skimp on time to yourself or cram your diary full of commitments before the baby comes. Having your phone charged at all times and keeping your medical notes on you when you’re out will help you relax in the final weeks.
An active pregnancy is beneficial to your baby and helps your body prepare for birth, but seek medical advice on the safety of sports. Yoga offers a gentle workout and pelvic floor exercises are particularly beneficial as your growing bump puts pressure on your bladder. Wearing a small sanitary pad can give peace of mind against leaking urine and waters breaking. Some women experience discomfort in the urethra as your baby’s head becomes engaged and pushes down on this area. Your midwife can advise you on this and all unusual pains, as well as the importance of observing regular fetal movement. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.