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Real advice from real people
You can read as many books about babies as you can, but it's always the tips from friends that prove the most valuable.
So we've asked the Heart listeners to give us the benefit of their wisdom and send us all the little helpful hints they've been given.
If you have swollen ankles, go and buy some Decleor foot spray - not cheap but worth every little penny!! I ended up buying it in bulk! It Worked a treat for me in the very hot summer of 2003 when I was expecting my first!
Take something to eat when you go to hospital. You'll be starving after you give birth and nothing is open at 2am! So don't forget to take along a snack - some nuts, fruit or biscuits perhaps.
When you are told to "put your feet up", make sure you do - but also make sure you put your feet higher than your heart - good for swelling legs and ankles, especially in the heat!
Book a massage/facial or something before you give birth for a couple of weeks after so you can have something to look forward to in those dark moments!
Practice putting the car seat in the car before you have the baby. I made the error of not having a clue and spent about half an hour trying to put it in with a screaming two-day-old baby in it as we were leaving hospital.
Think comfy shoes and comfy waistlines! Especially towards the end!
Have a good cook up and have your freezer full of stuff you just heat up in the microwave. You won't want to be cooking while working out how to be a mum.
Try not to eat ready made or processed foods as these contain too many additives and are not good for you or the baby. Eat a varied diet and drink lots of water. And make sure you exercise your back muscles in preparation for the weight gain!
Cat Naps... I try and get as many of those in as possible. Makes the world of difference, as it is becoming difficult to have a decent night's rest.
If you travel on the train with a season ticket, you may be eligible for a first class upgrade. Speak to your rail network for details (First Capital Connect offer this if you provide your MATB1 certificate).
When you're feeling dehydrated, crush loads of ice and take spoonfuls at a time. You could even flavour your ice cubes.
If you're having trouble sleeping at night, try putting a pillow between your legs.
It works for me!
Sarah Jane Plaice
As your bump gets bigger, make sure you have loads of extra pillows to hand to put under your bump at night! You can also take them on long car journeys and to other people's houses - especially if you suffer from back pain like me!
The best thing to avoid morning sickness is to make sure you have some food in your tummy all the time, as this helps to ease the nausea especially in the morning. Though this is not an excuse to binge, ladies!
Resting as much as possible. Us pregnant women get tired more easily, let alone when we have backaches!
Stay in your PJs for a week or so when you get home - it stops you overdoing it and makes visitors not outstay their welcome.
Get a maternity pillow so you can get comfy! It then doubles as a breast feeding pillow, and then triples up as a cushion to wrap around your five-monther when he/she is trying to sit up and keeps falling over.
Don't read too many books! It can make your head explode with all the info. Useful to remember IT'S NATURAL and in much of the world, babies are not even born in hospitals!
When someone you haven't told comes up to you and asks when the baby is due (if you don't have an obvious bump), say "what baby?" and watch them squirm. It's so much fun...
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