How to sail through pregnancy

Being pregnant is an incredible experience but it’s not always quite as easy as TV shows make it look.

Be realistic

First off, all these stories of pregnancy glow are greatly exaggerated. You may be one of the lucky ones that sail through it all in total bliss looking fabulous or you may be like the other 99.99% of us who just have to wing it.

Buy all the baby books…and then burn them

Sometimes too much information is not a good thing. While it can help to read up a bit on pregnancy, don’t overdo it. You’ll figure it out as you go along. You’re better off investing in a few good paperbacks and enjoying a bit of uninterrupted reading while you can.

Look good without breaking the bank

You may think you need to rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but remember you’ll only be pregnant for 9 months and you may even get away with wearing your normal clothes for the first 3.

Invest in a good pair of maternity jeans but don’t go overboard. A brilliant hack for getting longer out of your normal jeans is to use a hair bobble to expand the waist. Google it – it’s genius!

Save money on expensive maternity clothes by looking out for tops a few sizes bigger in your normal stores. Wrap around tops and dresses are great.

Borrow maternity clothes from friends who have been pregnant. Chances are, they’ll be only too happy to part with them.

Make sure to eat well

Unfortunately eating for two doesn’t actually mean eating twice as much. You will need to eat about 300 extra calories a day but make them count.

Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients. Folic acid is a must to prevent neural tube defects in babies so take it before you even get pregnant and throughout and use prenatal vitamins to fill any gaps in your diet.

Eat a well balanced diet. You’ll need plenty of carbohydrates from bread, rice or pasta but try to choose wholegrain options where you can. Protein is important so eat plenty of red meat, chicken, fish and eggs. Calcium is essential for baby’s growing bones so include milk, cheese and yogurt.

Avoid raw fish, raw egg, homemade mayonnaise and ice cream and soft blue and white cheese. Caffeine and alcohol are not recommended but the odd cup of coffee or glass of wine won’t hurt.

You’re sure to have some weird and wonderful pregnancy cravings too - pickled onions, anyone? Indulge them if they’re safe. When else will you get away with sending your partner out for chocolate cake at 2am?

How to cope with morning sickness

About 50% of mums-to-be experience some morning sickness from about 6 weeks on. The name is a bit misleading and, while it’s usually worse in the morning, it can last all day. Fortunately, there are a few things that can help.

Keep food as plain as possible and eat little and often. Try eating plain crackers before you get up. Ginger can help with nausea – try ginger tea or munch on a few ginger nut biscuits. Avoid fatty and spicy foods, which can make it worse, and avoid strong smells, which can trigger it (it’s a good excuse for getting out of cooking).

Drink plenty of small sips of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. The good news is that it usually improves by week 14 so hang on in there.

Be nice to yourself

You’re doing a very important job so make sure you make time to treat yourself too. Splash out on a nice piece of jewellery, buy some good albums or books, eat cake, take a holiday, get your hair done, go for a pregnancy massage or facial. Do all the things you might not get a chance to do for a while and try to enjoy the experience as much as you can.