Taking care of you

Babies are amazing. They are cuddly, smiley, smell amazing, love to play, give you unconditional love and eventually turn into fully grown people that are part of your family. Getting them here though takes quite a bit of work and can take its toll on your body.

The first trimester was a constant battle of not being sick in the office and trying to stay awake after 4pm. It’s crazy how you go from being your normal self and having loads of energy then feeling like you have a three month hangover. This though, is one of the most important parts of pregnancy and it’s so important to rest. Some nights, I was in bed by 7pm feeling really lazy but looking back, I’d say that’s what helped me get through the next day and actually, it’s OK to go to bed early!

The second trimester was great, I felt like my normal self again and could manage to reach the 9pm watershed on TV!

The third trimester was over our hottest summer in 40 years and it was pretty tough at times. Being in work was great as we had the air conditioning on in the office all day but walking/ waddling home wasn’t the most fun. Swollen feet made getting shoes on pretty difficult so flip flops were the only option towards the end. Make sure you keep them elevated and drink as much water as you can – even though it means you’ll go to the loo every three minutes!

George ended up being 16 days late and weighed a whopping 10lbs so my back took quite a bit of strain, especially in the final weeks. You can’t lie on your front or back and research shows it’s best to sleep on your left side for blood circulation. I found this made my hips ache like crazy and would keep me awake at night. I’d recommend getting a memory foam mattress topper and a pregnancy pillow to keep your right leg raised – this helped me so, so much.

Due to complications in birth, I ended up having a cesarean section and I found the recovery quite difficult at times. Sitting up was by far the hardest thing, especially after leaving hospital and the help of the electric beds. The next to me crib didn’t help as I had to shuffle up and down the bed to get in and out. We ended up detaching it from the side of the bed and placing it around a foot away so I could get into bed easier – I’d recommend trying this yourself.

I found the worst thing after having George was my back. Lifting him and feeding him pulled so much on my right side to the point I was in agony. After a couple of weeks it was so bad I was taking six painkillers a day and there were tears some days. One of my friends bought me a feeding pillow which was such a big help – I wish I had got one straight after the birth so add it to your shopping bag if you are expecting.

The biggest help of all was a trip to Lucy’s Acupuncture. She did a mixture of cupping, acupuncture and massage on the area that was giving me the most pain and after one hour with her, I stopped the painkillers – she is a miracle worker! I ended up having three sessions with her in total and would recommend her 100%. She does a Tuesday afternoon clinic at Spirit in Didsbury village and appointments from home. You can find her on Instagram too @lucysacupuncture.

Five months on, the most important part of taking care of you is sleep and doing what you love. Having a newborn baby is the most tiring thing I’ve ever done. Night feeds are hard but the days where you are alone can be hard too. Take naps when you can and when dad gets home from work, try to take an hour for yourself – have a bath, cup of tea, go for a walk, have a nap, paint your nails – whatever. Just do something for you!

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