Okay, so pregnancy is a minefield in itself, more so when you don’t really know what to expect as a first-time mum.
One thing you can expect is a ton of (often unsolicited) advice. However, no one really goes into the weird (and dare we say at times wonderful) parts of pregnancy.
Hello morning sickness
Firstly, you’ll welcome the most well-known symptom of pregnancy, morning sickness. Sickness and nausea will plague your first trimester. Let’s be honest, there is nothing pleasant about feeling sick for weeks straight.
However, if you’re lucky, you won’t experience physical sickness and constant nausea in tandem.
To ease sickness and nausea in pregnancy:
- Eat little and often
- Make sure to keep hydrated
- Rest when your body needs it
- Avoid foods that make you feel unwell
- Avoid strong smells that make you feel unwell
You’re going to feel tired a lot and you need to just roll with it and listen to your body. In your first trimester, you’ll likely fall asleep every few hours (for a few hours). Most people find they can not physically stay awake.
Your boobs are going to change – a lot
Nothing prepares you for the changes you will see in your breasts.
They’re going to get bigger and your areola is going to change shape, size and colour. It’s normal, please don’t panic.
Aches and pains
This is a given. You’re growing a tiny human that is stretching your body in ways it’s never had to comprehend. Be kind to yourself, rest often and be sure to unwind.
Massages and soaking in the tub (being careful not to overheat) really helps to naturally ease aches and pains.
Constantly needing the bathroom
You’ll need to pee constantly. As for pooping, that’s going to be a lot more difficult. Be sure to continue to eat well and if you need some additional support to go – liquorice is a lifesaver.
The feeling of seeing your ultrasound scans
Nothing can really prepare you for seeing your baby during your ultrasound scans. It’s shocking to see how much they can wriggle despite you not feeling anything in the earlier stages.
You can expect to have a minimum of two ultrasound scans throughout your pregnancy. However, some women have three.
Here’s what each ultrasound scan means:
- 12-week ultrasound scan – Your dating scan predicts your little one’s arrival, looks at their development and screens for possible conditions
- 20-week ultrasound scan – This scan will check the development of the baby (you may also request the sex of your baby)
- 36-week ultrasound scan – This scan will check that the baby is in the correct position for delivery
How scary it is to be pregnant during Covid-19
Being pregnant or a first-time mum during a global pandemic isn’t easy. Many women have missed out on face-to-face interaction and reassurance from their midwives and doctors, as well as appointments you’d usually get under the NHS.
At times, it can be quite isolating, so do your research and most importantly, don’t worry about leaning on others with experience.
The amount of clothes and toys people will buy/gift you
Everyone says, do not buy loads of things. Do mums-to-be listen? No.
You can expect lots of kind family members and friends to buy/gift you clothes and will have a fully prepared wardrobe by the time the little one comes.
Further resources to support first-time mums in the UK
Here are some useful websites and apps you can download for first-time mums:
- NHS – The NHS website is brimming with healthcare advice for mums-to-be
- GOV.UK – For pregnancy rights in the UK
- Peanut – it’s like a platonic Tinder for mums-to-be and mums with discussion boards, private chats and plenty of advice
- BabyCentre – Baby and pregnancy advice for mums-to-be and mums
- Emma’s Diary – Baby and pregnancy advice for mums-to-be and mums, as well as baby gift packs
- Bounty – Baby and pregnancy advice for mums-to-be and mums, as well as baby gift packs