1) Telling your boss the news
“Take details of your due date with you and be prepared to say when you would like to start maternity leave. You can change this later but need to give your employer 28 days notice, and be prepared to give the details in writing.”
“I waited until 12 weeks to share the news of my pregnancy,” says Anna Hargreaves 33, from London, mum to Isla, 22 months, and 30 weeks pregnant.
“My boss and I were on our way to a client lunch when I told her my news. I had had my 12-week scan the previous week so I thought it was a good time to let her know. Doing it away from the office made me feel more comfortable with sharing, and she was genuinely delighted and gave me a big hug, which was really sweet!” says Anna.
2) Maternity clothes for your bump
Generally it’s in the second trimester that you start to show and things start to get tight, and by waiting until now you’ll be shopping in the season you will be wearing the clothes. Stephanie McDowell, head of maternity for Blooming Marvellous (www.bloomingmarvellous.co.uk) shares her secrets for a stylish nine months.
What should you buy?
- Comfortable and versatile pieces you can use from early on until after the birth. A long cardigan is essential for layering, easy to throw on and perfect for breastfeeding discreetly later on.
- Black trousers are smart and structured but also loose and easy to wear at work too. Leggings are perfect as they’re versatile enough to change outfits in a flash.
- Invest in a stylish set of nightwear to wear through your pregnancy and in hospital when visitors flock in.
Go for over-or under- the-bump?
Over-the-bump jeans offer comfort and security, while under-the-bump jeans are a little less supportive, but less bulky when layering fabric over the waist.
3) Maternity Bras
“Generally it’s around 3-4 months when most women will require their first maternity bra. Traditionally women have been advised to wear non-underwired bras, but if this isn’t for you, try a soft, flexible wired maternity bra that won’t sit as tightly against the chest but will still provide that flattering shape and comfort.”
4) Key dates for your diary
Around this time, you’ll have your anomaly scan, which will give you a more detailed look at your baby. You can also choose to find out the sex.
You need to tell your employer that you’re expecting by the 15th week before the week your baby is due, i.e. around 25 weeks pregnant.
5) How to cope with cravings
“Cravings can develop at any stage of pregnancy and are normally the result of the body’s need for additional calories, or due to nutritional deficiencies,” explains Emma Day, a midwife at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital and reflexologist (www.peace-of-mind.me.uk).
“The cravings are not really for the food itself, they’re more for what it contains and its effect on your body. Typical cravings can include chocolate for Vitamin B and steak and red meat for added iron. If you’re a veggie and craving this, try to find suitable alternatives to red meat such as leafy vegetables, or drink orange juice, which is rich in vitamin C and helps the body absorb iron.”
While you might find it easy to indulge a choccie craving, watch out for an odd desire for non-food materials, known as ‘pica’. “Pica, from the Latin word for magpie, is a compulsive eating disorder and is a pattern of eating non-food materials such as coal and paint chippings,” explains Emma Day.
“It’s very rare, but is linked to iron deficiency during pregnancy,” says Emma. If you think you’re suffering with pica, don’t be afraid to ask your GP or midwife about it. Try chewing on sugar-free gum until the ‘pica’ cravings pass”.
6) Energy boosters during your pregnancy
High in fibre to help sluggish digestion, and rich in immune-boosting Vitamin C.
Packed with protective antibodies to stimulate the brain and keep you awake.
Contains Vitamin B6 to produce serotonin, which helps balance mood swings.
Being just 2% dehydrated can leave you around 25% weaker, so keep topped up.
A juicy steak, or yummy roast, boosts energy what’s more, the amino acids in the meat help your baby’s cell development.