Why did I decide to film and write about such a private matter as a woman's pregnancy? Because the online world and main media is plagued with more negative than positive stories about pregnancy and I couldn't relate whatsoever. I'm having such a positive, healthy, trouble free pregnancy that I thought I would share with you my tips on how to achieve this so you can truly enjoy what will be the most precious moment of your life. This is your moment, blink and you will miss it, so don't allow for anyone or anything to spoil it, let alone negative people or awful online stories from dubious sources.
Stop reading negative stories, listen to your body, to your gut.
Even people around me, all they could tell me sounded negative, as if pregnancy was an illness instead of a natural process that makes you vitally alive. Remember that we women are made to do this and our bodies are made to handle it. Otherwise it would be men the ones creating life. Instead, all I've heard were stories about awful pregnancies, difficulties conceiving, or how a child is a impediment in a woman's life particularly if she is a dreamer, a doer and a worker who commutes to work daily like I do. This really put me off and one day I stopped listening altogether. The only person I listened to was my mum. A down to earth woman with a positive drama free pregnancy story who kept telling me: "Listen to your body. Pregnancy is the most natural thing a woman can do. It's not an illness. I worked while I was pregnant both with you and your brother up untill the day I had to go to hospital to give birth and I was fine and my body back to normal months later without no gym or personal trainer. I was simply active looking after you, your brother and working. Yes, it is painful but no pain no gain." Like her, many women, particularly old school "get on" with it women do have nothing but positive stories to share. The more you get trapped in a negative frame of mind, the more paranoia you will create around your pregnancy. Your thoughts can make you a prisoner of your own body.I'm surprised that we, modern women living in big cities feel sometimes as if we can't cope, but perhaps it is the society that encourages this fear in order for us to spend more, to buy more and feel as if what we have is not enough, but it is. The main thing a mother needs is just her own pure love for her baby, this you can't buy. It's within you.
Not all women have awful morning sickness, some have none at all.
For the first three months of my pregnancy I kept waiting for morning sickness to arrive, for the moment when the smell of food would trigger nausea, for crazy mood swings, for being bed ridden almost Frida Kahlo like. But all those really bad symtoms I had heard make you really ill during your first trimester, were not making an appearance in my own pregnancy and I was feeling fine and had no nausea whatsoever. Fifty percent of women do have smooth pregnancies and even though some do have awful symptoms and nausea for the first three months or way into their last trimester, every woman is different and so, many of us are just fine and hardly have any symptoms. Again, due to all the negativity, I was worried at eight weeks because I wasn't feeling ill at all. The nurse at hospital who saw me when doing an "Early pregnancy scan" told me: "Not every woman suffers from morning sickness, in fact honey, just feel lucky you don't suffer from it and enjoy your pregnancy." How right she was. In the first weeks of my pregnancy the only thing I felt were minor stomach cramps and extremely tired every day. The first three months will probably be the months where you will feel the most tired and sleepy. Other than that, you could be just as happy as your non-pregnant self and instead of feeling blue you can choose to feel high knowing that a baby is coming into your life. These three months can feel long as you don't get to see or hear the baby's heart until your 12 week scan, and as your belly is still small or pretty unnoticeable, you do wonder what is going on inside and whether the baby is fine.
Eat everything in moderation and no need to go crazy on the Yoga mat.
Even though I was never a big drinker, I stopped drinking any kind of alcoholic drink altogether as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I started to look after diet a bit more. Instead of eating things that only filled me, I started eating things that nourish me. More fruits, vegetables and a piece of read meat every weak as it is a big source of iron. I'm a coffee drinker, one of those people who wakes up and makes coffee because her mind tells her she can't function otherwise. Well, during my first trimester, I went off coffee. I woke up, made an orange juice and my body instead of craving coffee was craving fruits, yogurt, porridge, cereal, milk but definitely not coffee. This was a very shocking thing to me as I really thought i couldn't handle a day without coffee. Yes, I can!. Again I didn't need a class on how to avoid drinking coffee. Mother nature is clever and it was my own body the one rejecting coffee. I wasn't doing any exercise before I got pregnant and Yoga bores me so again thinking in my mum who had no gym membership but still a slim healthy looking body months after giving birth, I took it easy. I believe that for a large majority of women,just being active is enough. I wake up early every morning because I have to go to work. That means I need to prepare my meals, it means I walk to the tube or to the bus, I walk upstairs and downstairs and sometimes I'm on a rush to get to work on time. I do enough every day just getting back and forth from work and yes, Im pregnant so let's take it easy and trust the body to go back to normal naturally without pushing it too hard postpartum.
Take your vitamins and folic acid daily.
One thing I surely did during these three months was taking my daily vitamin which included 40o mg of folic acid as recommended for any woman in her first trimester of pregnancy and even when she is trying to conceive.It is important to get enough folic acid, or folate, before you become pregnant. Add 400 micrograms a day prior to conception to reduce risks of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. These vitamins are also great for your hair and skin which will be glowing from now onwards.
You don't need to eat for two.
You need to eat and you need to eat healthy but you don't need to eat for two, if anything you may need extra calories but no more than 200 calories extra per day. That is a banana and a piece of bread with honey. And why feed your body with cravings that tend not to be too healthy such as a fast food meal, a pizza, processed cakes? This foods won't feed you,they will just make you feel full. Instead, make your own meals and make sure they are full of all the good stuff that will make you feel better. Plus if you eat your three main meals a day and they are delicious and healthy, then, you won't feel the need to snack or go mad on the fast food cravings. In pregnancy it is normal to gain weight but it is also pretty common that you only gain weight in your belly and not necessarily in your arms, legs or face. Just a cute baby bump making space for your bundle of joy.
The "You are old" myth
Doctors scare you, the media scare you, other women scare you, and again you end up believing the whole thing when in reality your own body is like nobody else's body. I thought that being in my 30s I would probably have to undergo some sort of fertility process in order to get pregnant, perhaps IVF. Life however had other plans. I believed that by the time I decided to start trying it would take a year or two, perhaps a fertility treatment was needed. I just never listened to my own healthy body who never gave me any trouble. I had never thought; I never had smoked in my entire life, I ate healthily since childhood and I don't need to go crazy on the gym for my body to be slim. I just totally believed all the negative hype around about women having so much difficulty conceiving that when I got a positive at the first attempt, I bought another pregnancy test as thought it was a mistake. How could it happen the first time? How when I'm supposed to be already an older mum according to medical terms? It took me eight weeks and an early pregnancy scan to believe it. Mother nature has its ways and for some women it is just as difficult at 25 as it could be for others at 35 or 45. You are you and your body is your body and your experience will be unique. Just remember that for most women it is fine and they can get pregnant within 6 moths to one year without no need for medical intervention.
Some friends will disappear as you no longer feel like going out or hang out as before.
That's fine, you have a beautiful baby on board so you don't need to be out in town hanging about in some cocktail bar listening to some random dating story. It is your time to nest as much as you like. You are a woman now and you have a responsibility towards your unborn baby and yourself. I was surprised to see some female friendships disappear once I got pregnant and i was no longer able to go out but guess what? I couldn't care less and it has shown me who my real friends are. The main thing is for you to be mentally strong and just happy with this wonderful thing happening to you.
No baby bump but there is a baby.
For the first 12 weeks you may notice a larger waistline but you won't see a baby bump yet. This doesn't mean your baby is not growing, it is just pretty common for a woman not to show during the first three months particularly if it is her first pregnancy.
I wish you all new mums to be the best pregnancy and remember to listen to your body, to your gut and above all, enjoy these rare nine moths in your life. They really are special.
Second trimester video and article out in September so look out for it.