Planning your day when pregnant

From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed, here’s our pregnancy timetable for your day to keep you and your baby blooming…

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7.45am – Sleep easy

A regular sleep routine will help you and your body perform at your best throughout the day, so, if you’ve snoozed well, you’ll be helping your baby before you even get up!

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In your later stages of pregnancy, you may find your sleep is disrupted as your bump grows and your baby starts moving around more. Try using a pillow to take the pressure off your tum. As you get out of bed, roll onto your side and push yourself up with your arms to reduce the strain on your back and bump.

Try this

Pregnancy Support & Feeding Pillow, £45.99, Dream Genii.

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7.50am – Beat morning sickness

Hunger seems to be a main influence on morning sickness,” explains Fiona Ford from www.eatingforpregnancy.org.uk. “If you wake in the night, try having a midnight snack such as a banana, cracker or digestive biscuit to help.”

If it’s possible, have breakfast before you get going in the morning, and if you’re really not hungry straightaway, have a graze or nibble on something such as a plain biscuit early on before your main breakfast.

“My morning sickness seemed to last all day and was a lot worse when I was hungry, so I made sure I ate little and often to try and keep it at bay. Plain baked potatoes and a few salt and vinegar crisps really did the trick during the day,” said Charlotte Stedman, 27, from Cornwall, mum to Maisie, 17 months and Emilia, 10 weeks.

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8am – Refresh your body

If your usual shower products start to aggravate your skin, switch to ones suitable for sensitivities. You may also want to consider organic and chemical-free alternatives.

Try this

Nourishing Body Wash, £1.99, Simple.

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8.10am – Be a natural dresser

Dress in natural fibres such as cotton to let your skin breathe and keep yourself cool, particularly in the final months of pregnancy where you’ll find you’ll overheat more easily. This can also help relieve any pregnancy-related sensitivity on your skin.

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Try cereal for supper to fill your baby up for the night

8.15am – Stock up on fuel

Tuck into a healthy breakfast to give you energy for the day ahead and help your little one thrive. “Go for slow-release carbs to help release energy throughout the day and to regulate your blood sugar levels,” suggests Fiona. “Oats or high-fibre cereals with fruit and milk are great.” Both skimmed and semi-skimmed milk have as much calcium as full fat, and a variety of different fruit will help make up your five a day. “Get a rainbow intake with lots of different kinds and colour every day,” says Fiona. If you don’t fancy cereal, then wholemeal toast, with marmite or bananas, is an energy-boosting start to the day.

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8.25am – Supplement your diet

Time to pop some pills! If you eat well, your baby will get just about everything she requires from your diet, but there are two supplements you need to take: 400 micrograms of folic acid a day for the first three months, and 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day throughout your pregnancy.

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Walk your way to pregnancy fitness and a smooth birth

8.30am – Go for a walk

The Department of Health recommends half an hour a day, but if you can’t manage that, anything is better than nothing. If you’re working, try getting off the bus a few stops early (yes, we know it’s hard, but it’s really worth it) or parking the car further away than normal and walking the rest of the way.

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9am – Exercise your pelvic floor

“Working your pelvic floor is really important,” says Janie Pearman, head of Midwifery at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. “The more you do before and during pregnancy, the easier the outcome after the birth.” Create a regular routine for squeezing and releasing at the same point every day, for example when you make a phone call at work or boil the kettle.

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9.15am – Stay hydrated

Drink a glass of water. You’re likely to become more dehydrated than normal when pregnant, so try to manage six to eight glasses a day.

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9.30am – Get comfy at work

You can ask for your working conditions to be assessed to make sure they aren’t potentially damaging to your baby. Making sure your desk and chair are at the right height can reduce backache, a common problem with a growing bump.

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10am – Go herbal

Guidelines on caffeine while pregnant say 200 micrograms a day is fine, which works out at around two or three cups (not mugs!) of tea or coffee. Switching to herbal is even better, but go for tea bag form, not pick-and mix-style leaves, so you’ll be sure of what you’re getting from the label.

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11am – Do some leg work

Improve circulation, reduce swelling in your ankles and prevent cramp in your calf muscles by exercising your ankles. Bend and stretch your foot up and down 30 times, then rotate your foot eight times in both directions.

“I’ve suffered from bad leg cramps during my second pregnancy, and I’ve found that doing calf stretches really helps. I stand up on my toes and then lower my heels down, and repeat this 10 or 15 times. I then sit down and circle my feet clockwise and then anti-clockwise. I’ve also found drinking lots of water helps ease these too,” said Claire Law, 31, from Preston, mum to Mark, 2, and 39 weeks pregnant

12pm – Get active

Make sure you and your baby are in tip-top condition with some pre-lunch exercise. “Think about what you were doing before – pregnancy is not the time to start something strenuous that your body’s not used to,” says Janie. Try a walk or gentle swim to keep active. Limit contact sports, and if you’re a regular at the gym, ask whoever’s overseeing your training for advice.

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1pm – Take a fuel stop

Enjoy a healthy lunch to keep your energy levels up throughout the afternoon. “Vary your diet to get the best nutrients,” says Fiona. “If you’re out or at work and going for a sandwich, you might want to take your own so you know exactly what you’re getting. If in doubt, go for a hot sandwich as any bugs will be killed by the cooking.”

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2pm – Put your feet up

Apply some cooling leg gel to relieve swollen ankles. You might also want to try elevating your feet for a bit too to help with water retention.

Try this 

Mama Bee Leg and Foot Creme, £12.99, Burts Bees.

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3pm – Snack break

Snacking throughout the day can help you beat afternoon morning sickness, and will regulate your blood sugar levels. Graze throughout the day on healthy snacks, such as dried fruit, to help with this.

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3.30pm – Make time for you

Take time out to relax and pamper yourself a little. Unwinding (even just a little) will benefit you and your baby.  If you’re at work, apply a little handcream slowly for a self-massage, or do the same with your favourite moisturiser to your neck. At home? Time for a 15-minute soak in the tub we think!

Try this   

Prenatal Body & Bath Oil, £8.25, Vital Touch.

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A quick and easy dinner

6.30pm – Have an early dinner

In later stages of pregnancy, when you might be suffering from heartburn, try eating earlier in the evening, sitting up when you eat and keeping mobile after eating to help things move around easier. “In the evening, go for starchy foods such as jacket potatoes, pasta, rice or noodles with lots of veg for a nutritious end to the day,” says Fiona.

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8pm – Plan to eat well

Sit down in front of your fave programme or put some music on the stereo, open the cookbooks and plan meals to titillate your taste buds across the next week. This will make it much easier to eat well and ensure you have a good mix of variety in the food you eat.

Try this 

The Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Cookbook by Hope Ricciotti, £7.18

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9pm – Work on your love life

After a day bonding with your baby, why not get down to some serious bonding with your partner? “Sex during pregnancy is perfectly healthy and safe, unless you have a medical problem, but this is tailored to each woman,” reassures Janie. In the later stages of pregnancy, be prepared to be creative with positions due to changes in your shape.

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10pm – Get an early night

Shuteye is the best way to beat pregnancy exhaustion. “How much sleep you need depends on what you were getting before,” says Janie. “Listen to your body, if you feel more tired, don’t be afraid to admit it and get some more time in bed.”

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