Mums’ top tips on pregnancy life

Mums’ share their best bits of advice with mums-to-be on being pregnant

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You may need some alone time to deal with mood swings!

Preparing for parenthood

“When I was pregnant I read books and articles on things to do with new babies as well as pregnancy, looking at topics like breastfeeding weaning and crawling, so I had an idea of what to expect in the first year. By the time Elijah came I felt really well prepared.”

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Carla Newey, 29, from Haywards Heath, mum to Elijah, 23 months

Asking for help is good

“Don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. As a mother and psychologist I often see many mums who are parenting in isolation, and fear being judged if they admit they’re not coping. Being a mum is one of the biggest events a woman will go through. We’re not meant to go it alone.”

Alyson Officer, 35, from Cardiff, mum to Jake, 3, and Louisa, 2

To stop people touching your bump

“I’ve discovered that wearing something substantial over your bump, like a mac or a poncho, stops unwanted hands stroking it. If you wear a tight top the bump is more appealing to touch and people can’t resist it. Now it’s coming up to summer I’m going to wear a lightweight shawl or sarong over a lighter top to keep hands away.”

Jenny Cole, 33, from Leicestershire, 30 weeks pregnant

“I hate people touching my bump, so when people try to I take a step back, smile and say, ‘I think it must be my wild hormone levels, but I’m finding it really uncomfortable having my belly touched – even my husband isn’t allowed!’ The best thing about pregnancy is you can blame everything on your hormones!”

Rachel Hughes, 28, from London, 32 weeks pregnant

For handling a toddler when pregnant

“My little boy is very active and at 30 weeks I’m getting worn out chasing him everywhere! I’ve found taking him for a walk on reins, as opposed to keeping him in his pushchair, really helps. It means I still have control of him without having to chase him and it gives him some exercise too.”

Simone Pollock, 25, from Cambridgeshire, mum to Kayllum, 2, and 30 weeks pregnant

Keeping fit with a bump

“During my first pregnancy I gained quite a bit of weight so, during my second one I made sure I kept fit. I would recommend swimming – as well as keeping me fit it was very relaxing and the water also helped to carry my extra weight too. It’s also great if you’re pregnant and have a toddler as you can take him with you too.”

Holly Fowler, 20, from Liverpool, mum to Louis, nearly 2, and Isaac, 2 weeks

“I wasn’t the most active person before pregnancy, so I didn’t want to start something strenuous during my nine months, but was determined not to be a couch potato. My friend, who was also expecting, lives close by and twice a week we went walking around our park, then we’d go back to each other’s houses for tea. It kept us fit and social as neither or us were going to pubs or for meals very much.”

Sally Brown, 29, from Wigan, mum to Willow, 3 months

For a calm pregnancy

“I chilled out during my second and third pregnancies by going to antenatal yoga classes. They gave me time to relax and to connect with my baby, which was difficult to do at home while I was running round after my toddlers. The classes also helped me to stay calm during labour, which benefited me and the babies.” 

Kirsty Dickson, 34, from Aberdeenshire, mum to Andrew, 5, James, 2, and Rory, 8 months

 “I absolutely love the Sanctuary Mum-to-be Soft Skin Bath Soak, £8.99 (www.thesanctuary.co.uk), for a relaxing half hour in the tub. I’ve suffered from itchy skin during this pregnancy and it’s really soothing and smells lovely too, which helps the chilling out process no end.”

Rachel Jones, 33, from Chester, mum to Tom, 3, Joseff, 2, and 22 weeks pregnant

For pregnancy panics

“I was a bag of nerves throughout my pregnancy, worrying if my baby was OK, panicking when I didn’t feel a kick for a while. It helped to write down everything I was worried about and take it to my midwife appointments. She was really sweet about it and reassured me every time.”

Jessica Harold, 34, from Lincoln, mum to Ellen, 8 weeks

For celebrating your pregnancy

“A few weeks before my due date, my hubby John and I threw a baby shower, but for us both, not just for me. We invited all our friends and family round, asked them to bring some food and a bottle of fizz, and had a little party before our baby made three. It was fantastic to get everybody together, and with each person helping out, it was pretty much stress-free.”

Abbie Brown, 33, from Kent, mum to Josh, 2 months

For pregnancy mood swings

“I’ve been trying two things to help my partner and I cope with my up-and-down mood swings. The first is to always try to make a joke out of my moods and not take them too seriously. If that doesn’t work I’ve found that escaping to my bedroom when I feel a ‘mood’ brewing is the best way to avoid any conflict!”

Sharon Birch, 33, from Surrey, 30 weeks pregnant

When you’re feeling blue

“I found having a good cry made me feel a bit better when I was feeling down. But if things are getting too much, talk to someone. Writing your feelings down helps, and Internet forums are useful too because there are lots of mums feeling the same who can give you advice.”

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Holly Fowler, 20, from Liverpool, mum to Louis, 18 months, and 30 weeks pregnant

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