9 articles Tag pregnant

Getting Pregnant After 40: Risks, Statistics, and Solutions

Infertility after 40 is becoming a common concern as more women choose to start their families later in life. Simply put, the older a woman gets, the harder it is for her to conceive with her own eggs. This is a scientific fact based on the significant decline of viable eggs produced by a woman as time passes. For women approaching their 40th birthday – or are already in their 40s – knowing their pregnancy risks, statistics, and possible solutions to conceiving after 40 can help them make the best choice for their family.

Valuable Statistics to Know

What are the odds of women conceiving after 40? According to the CDC, 30% of women in their 40s will experience infertility. Keep in mind that age may be one of many contributing factors to infertility. A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed women in their early 40s had a 25% chance of conceiving using their own eggs, but by age 44 that chance dropped to only 1.6%.

However, there is still hope for these women; they can increase their odds of getting pregnant by seeking fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), traditional IVF, or donor egg IVF. Some such fertility treatments are available at Fertility Plus

Risks of Getting Pregnant in 40s

While a successful natural pregnancy is possible over 40, there are still significant risks to consider. After age 35, women have a higher risk of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Premature labor and birth
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weight
  • Placental problems
  • Birth complications

It’s impossible to know how your body will react, but thanks to scientific advances in fertility treatment, many of these risks can be decreased using assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Treatment Options

Women experiencing infertility after 40 have a few options to consider. They can try stimulating their own ovulation with fertility drugs or seek intrauterine insemination, a process in which a woman is inseminated with healthy sperm just as she is scheduled to release an egg. While both treatments can help increase the odds of conception, the best option with the highest chance of pregnancy for women over 40 – a whopping 39% – is in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor eggs.

IVF and Donor Eggs

In vitro fertilization uses ART techniques to implant a fertilized egg into the mother’s uterus. As discussed, using one’s own egg becomes difficult after 40. Given this difficulty, families often opt to use donor eggs from a younger, healthier woman. By using donor egg IVF, the mother still experiences the miracle of childbirth with significantly less risk of miscarriage. Frozen donor egg banks provide a nationwide database of egg donors to choose from, or mothers-to-be can choose fresh egg donation from a family member, close friend, or select from a small regional pool of available donors. Frozen eggs are the better option for many families because the donor has already been screened, knows her legal rights, and may have had previous successful conceptions (either through her own children or children resulting from prior donations). Furthermore, the IVF process with frozen eggs is quicker than fresh eggs, as syncing the menstrual cycles of the donor and mother is necessary when using fresh eggs.

Steps Leading to Donor Egg IVF

Before committing to donor egg IVF, couples should seek counseling to prepare themselves for the emotions involved. While this treatment is a source of hope, it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. Aside from therapeutic counseling, couples should also seek legal counsel to establish rights between all parties when using fresh eggs.

The Bottom Line

Pregnancy already comes with a degree of risk and possibility of failure, whether aged 25 or 43. If a woman is struggling to conceive, she should ask her doctor about possible treatment options.

If you’re thinking about being pregnant after 40, there are some precautions that you have to take under consideration. For example, you need to see if you are still fertile, if not there are many avenues you can go down like IVF from Fertility Plus.

 

10 Things You Wish You Would Have Done While You Were Pregnant

Sure, pregnancy symptoms can be uncomfortable, but there are plenty of reasons to celebrate during those 40 emotion-filled weeks that lead up to the moment when you finally get to meet your little one face to face! With this in mind, here are 10 things women wish they would’ve done during pregnancy. Try a few on for size: You’ll be glad you did!

Keep a Journal

Journaling takes just a few minutes per day, and it’s a great way to remember your thoughts and feelings later on, or just to air your worries in the present moment. Use an actual paper journal and pen, or type on your computer.

Take More Time out For Yourself

Babies require lots of time and effort, and new moms often have trouble finding time to pamper themselves. Relax now, while you have plenty of uninterrupted time.

Photograph Your Pregnant Belly

It’s a lot of fun to watch yourself grow – and weekly photos of your pregnancy can be important keepsakes later on. Set up your camera and take selfies in the same position each week, or have a friend or partner lend a helping hand.

Exercise

Yes, you’re tired and your body is sore! What you might not realize is that exercise can help ease some of those discomforts and prep your body for labor so everything goes a bit more smoothly. Exercise can also help you deal with the physical demands of caring for a newborn. So get your doctor’s approval, and then choose a fun activity or two. Some health clubs even have classes just for pregnant women, so be sure to explore your options.

Check Out Childbirth Classes

Your schedule may be busy, but once baby arrives, you’ll be glad you took some time out for childbirth classes. There really is no substitute for in-person education, especially if you’re able to get your partner involved.

Make a Belly Cast

Memorialize your pregnancy in a fun way by making a belly cast when you’re at your biggest.

Look Fabulous

Maternity clothes are improving all the time, making it easy to stay stylish throughout your entire pregnancy. It can be a lot of fun to really embrace this time by rocking a stylish haircut and focusing on looking your best.

Take a Babymoon with Your Partner

Babymoons are a lot like honeymoons – plenty of time alone with your partner, focusing on one another and just enjoying the fun of being together. You can take an actual vacation to a destination that won’t work well for a young family if you like, or you can enjoy fun activities close to home. Life after baby arrives will require extra planning, so consider enjoying some spontaneity while you still can.

Party with Your Friends

You can’t enjoy cocktails like you used to, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a few more girls’ nights out, or from having a fun slumber party with your friends. Your most important friendships will remain strong after baby arrives, but there will be more demands on your time and energy, making it tough to connect on the same level. Have some fun and make some memories!

Sleep In

If you have time and feel up to it, enjoy sleeping in. Babies are notorious for waking their parents at all hours, so bask in the luxury of your bed every time you have the chance.

Sources:

https://www.idiva.com/photogallery-health/fun-activities-to-do-when-pregnant/1592

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/recreation/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/anitabadejo/women-are-amazing?utm_term=.wcNjOxJnX#.ge5z5reMv

http://pregnancyandbaby.com/the-hatch-blog/articles/929411/six-activities-for-1st-time-pregnant-women-to-try

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/

The Realities of Being Fat and Pregnant

A couple of weeks ago, I read a viral Facebook post about a pregnant woman who’d been fat shamed after posting a series of photos online that she’d had taken of her and her bump. The story was then picked up by the Huffington Post after the woman was asked to take part in “The Honest Body Project”, a photo series which gives an honest look at women’s bodies.

The whole story was something which really resonated with me. Brittany Dykstra, the woman in the photos said “I’m 35 weeks pregnant and just last week I had maternity pictures taken to celebrate this horrible, but beautiful pregnancy. For the first time in about 35 weeks I felt beautiful, and was so excited to share this moment with my friends and family.”

She goes on to say “Later that day we got the sneak peak pictures back and I posted them on Facebook thinking my friends and family would think I was beautiful and would love them, however that wasn’t the case. All I received were negative comments about how huge I am, about how unhealthy I am, and about how they think my baby is going to be a 10 to 12 pound baby by the looks of how much I weigh. I literally went in the bathroom and cried for hours. It’s so hard being plus size, pregnant, sick, and getting negative comments about the way I look. If I’m happy and accepting of my body, why can’t everyone else just be happy for me?!”

Before I fell pregnant with Sausage, I wasn’t huge, probably around 12st, so a little overweight for my 5’4″ height, but not horrendously so as I have a large frame and huge boobs which tends to mean even at a ‘healthy’ body shape, I’m a little over what BMI charts say I should be. I gained a lot of weight during that pregnancy; for the first 4 months, I could barely eat anything at all and actually lost weight because of hyperemesis gravidarum. Then I developed gestational diabetes and despite trying to eat a low GI diet, the weight piled on. Once I’d given birth, I was in a cycle of depression and PTSD which meant that I never lost the baby weight and by the time I fell pregnant with Burrito Baby 5 years later, I was pushing 14 and a half stone.

I’d had every intention of losing the weight BEFORE getting pregnant again, especially as I was already diabetic, but I fell pregnant a lot quicker than I thought I would after having my implant removed, which meant dealing with pregnancy with a much higher starting weight than I would have liked. Like Brittany, once I reached a certain point in my pregnancy, I also felt a little more body-confident; my shape was suddenly defined by the life growing inside of me, not the amount of biscuits I ate, and while I wasn’t about to post photos of myself in lingerie on Facebook, I totally understand whet she meant about feeling beautiful for the first time in a long time.

According to the story, Dykstra started receiving abuse from family and friends regarding her weight, although no examples are given and I can’t help but wonder how much of this “abuse” was unwanted but well-meaning concern for her obvious weight problem. Because, while I am against the idea of ‘fat-shaming’ (lets face it, us fatties do tend to KNOW we’re fat, we don’t need to be constantly reminded), I do think it’s deluded to think that being overweight doesn’t cause health problems, especially during pregnancy. Being “happy” with your body is one thing, but being aware of health ramifications is also hugely important.

On a medical level, obesity during pregnancy can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infection, problems during labour, increased birth weight, birth defects, babies with a high birth weight and even miscarriage. This isn’t about ‘fat shaming’ or ‘thin privilege’ – these are REAL risks, caused by being overweight.

On a personal level, I definitely found that being overweight during pregnancy adversely affected me. Hauling around a giant bump AND a giant body was genuinely exhausting and I honestly think my SPD and mobility would have been slightly better had I not been putting so much pressure on my pelvis with my excess weight (although and friend of mine, who is very slim, also had SPD, probably worse than my own, so I’m not saying obesity is a cause or necessarily means I suffered more, just that I don’t think it helped at all).

I’m not saying that Brittany Dykstra deserved to be abused for being overweight, nor am I saying that she deserved to feel any less beautiful than other pregnant women who enjoy the glow of carrying a child, but tip-toeing around the issue of obesity isn’t right either. Lots of women get pregnant at a less than ideal time of their lives and I’m sure that, given the choice, women would always choose to be in peak health when conceiving but it doesn’t always happen that way.

The thing is, weight is such a hot-button issue for most people. I know I’ve taken offense, even from medical professionals who’ve tried to talk to me about being overweight. It’s one of those things that people are hugely sensitive about because it’s so closely tied to their self-esteem, so choosing a moment where a mother-to-be is feeling good about herself to give her a lecture isn’t the best timing, not to mention the fact that she probably already KNOWS the issues AND has a team of health professionals telling her the same thing, but that doesn’t alter the fact that being fat and pregnant can be a problem, so it’s not simply a case of whether a person is happy with their weight.

What do you think? Are people overstepping the mark by expressing concern for her? Have you experienced pregnancy as an overweight person? I’d love to hear your opinions and experiences because this whole story has obviously struck a chord with me.

Jayne, 29, Pregnant, Fed Up…

Grumpy Cat

I’m now getting to that delightful stage of pregnancy where everything is uncomfortable. Any clothes which sit under my bump fall down, while over-the-bump stuff makes me itch and all of my long tops are *just* that little bit too short to cover everything adequately, so I feel like I’m fighting a constant battle with the lower 1/5 of my stomach. Bump bands (you know, the stretchy strips of fabric which go under clothes to cover your tummy) are brilliant, in theory, but I bought mine from eBay and have managed to buy ones which some GENIUS made in a shiny, slippery material, which means they actually make my trousers slide down and tops slide up worse than ever before.

Putting shoes on is puffing me out. Genuinely. All of my boots are ones that need to be pulled on, not just stepped into and doing laces it like some form of medieval torture because I have to get my leg up high enough (no small feat when you’ve got SPD) and lean forward far enough to reach, which pretty much means that the baby has to live inside your rib cage, (which, incidentally, is where the rest of your organs are already trying to take refuge because there’s a PERSON growing where they used to be) so your lungs feel like they’re being forced up and out of your mouth.

It’s okay though, because bedtime gives welcome relief, doesn’t it? Well, no, it bloody doesn’t. If I sleep on my back, I snore so loud that I even wake myself up, let alone the rest of the house, and if I sleep on my sides, I wake up every 20 minutes with horrible hip pain. This means I have to turn over in bed, which elicits a loud CRACK from my pelvis, which went into full relaxation mode about 7 months too early. I used to sleep on my stomach, but not only is that not not safe for the baby, it would be like trying to sleep draped over a watermelon.

“I know..” you think, “I’ll go for a walk and get some nice fresh air to make me feel better”.

HA.

Dream on, porky. Walking, for some reason, brings on Braxton Hicks, so even on a short trundle around the supermarket, by the time I get to the frozen aisles, I’m bending over and clutching my ever-tightening bump like a mad woman, causing mild alarm in anyone who walks past.

And being out in public means answering the same set of questions over and over and over again…

“Yes, stranger who I’ve never met before, I am pregnant. I have about 5 weeks left…yes, I know, I’M HUGE aren’t I? Yes *insert sardonic laugh* I’m absolutely certain it’s not twins! You’re so funny and your jokes are SO darn original!”

I know people are just being kind and it’s nice that they want to engage with me, but I wish they’d engage their brains first. It never occurs to people that I’ve had to answer the same questions to just about every person that I’ve encountered for the last few months. For them, it’s a fleeting 30 seconds, but this has been MONTHS in the making for me. Tedious, people. Tedious.

I shouldn’t moan.

I shouldn’t, but I bloody well want to and it makes me feel better for a few minutes to have a little rant, so it’s what I’m going to do. Well, that and sit here being really uncomfortable.

At least I only have a few weeks left.

Pregnant? Here’s What You’ll Need…

Post provided by Koochi

You there. Yes, you. You’re pregnant, are you not? Yes, yes you are. So, one day sometime soon, the stork will visit and you’ll have your little bundle of joy, wailing away in the crook of your arms. Lovely jubbly.

But wait! You forgot something! Actually, you forgot everything! There’s loads to do – you can’t get pregnant and just wait around for nine months! Stuff has to get done!

What do you have to get hold of? We’re assuming you’ve got the nursery nicely decorated, but if you haven’t, you know where to start. After that, it’s time to get enough supplies to get you through those stressful first few weeks.

Friend, you are going to be busy. Very busy. Take a load off and we’ll give you a hand.

General Supplies and All That Jazz

Right. There’s a lot of stuff to get in this category, so we’ll try to keep it short. Basically, anything we put here you’ll probably need. And in large amounts. Best break into that rainy day fund and get it out of the way.

Nappies are obviously a must; buy about three tonnes of these. You won’t be able to predict how many of these you’ll go through in an average week, and you don’t want to run out at a crucial moment…

Baby wipes, kid-friendly bath stuff, and talcum powder. You’ll also want a cupboard full of baby bottles (and the requisite cleaning stuff), and a breast pump may come in handy. If you don’t like having a stiff neck (c’mon, who does?), get a nursing pillow. Lanolin ointment too, for… related reasons.

Infant formula’s good too, when he or she is a bit older.

Feeding time – get a highchair, with straps. Definitely with straps. Baby bowls and plates are good, and you’ll definitely want some bibs and sippy cups. Keep ‘em happy with toys and dummies, and make sure you have enough babygrows to clothe a small nation.

Around the Town

Get a pushchair. They’re more convenient than prams; you can use the bus. You’ll need one that can recline right back though, so take a look at the range from Koochi pushchairs. For the ultimate in versatility, think of investing in a travel system – these have a car seat built in. Brilliant.

Sleepy Time

You want to be a good parent. You don’t want to arouse the interests of child protection services. You want to buy a bed.

For a cot, look for the British Standard Mark 1753. This is a safety thing; it means your cot’s a good one. Get a mattress too (firm, not soft), and some light blankets. Don’t buy pillows or duvets. For information why, check the NHS site.

Get a baby monitor too.

Safe N Sound

You need to childproof the house, otherwise the whole place is one big death trap. Do it. Do it now. Safety gates on the stairs, covers in the plug sockets, latches in the cupboards.

Grab a digital thermometer too, to put your mind at rest when the bairn’s under the weather.

‘Course, this isn’t quite everything – you’ll want cotton buds and nail clippers and so on – but it’s most of it. Best o’ luck pal, you’ll need it…

A Coat for Winter

New Look Parka

Commissioned Post

Last time I was pregnant, it was the height of summer. Sausage was born in August and we had a pretty decent amount of sun that year, but if you’ve never been pregnant when it’s 28 degrees outside, I cannot begin to describe the discomfort factor to you. Aside from being the size of an 8-berth caravan, sweat, swollen hands and ankles and overheating were all an issue for me (I’m conjuring up a SUPER attractive image for you, right?!), and that was before you even considered the thought of what to wear. I didn’t want to spend a load of money on maternity clothes, so I made-do with some floaty dresses and tops for the last few weeks, until I could fit back into my old clothes.

When I found out I was pregnant this time, I was almost overjoyed at knowing that I’ll be at my biggest during the cold months, when I can wrap up in warm clothes and masses of layers, and not have to worry about the heat.

That was, until I thought about coats. What the heck sort of coat is going to fit around a bump!?

Maternity coats are great, but I’d love something that I can wear after the baby is born too. Husband helpfully suggested that I buy an over-sized parka with a drawstring waist. That way, it should cover me and the bump when the weather gets really cold, as well as being able to be drawn in when my waistline (hopefully!) shrinks, post-birth. I love the idea of a parka – the furry hood really appeal to me and they’re casual enough to wear on a day-to-day basis, with jeans and boots. I’m also a lover of pockets, and parkas tend to have them in abundance, making them perfect for my keys and phone.

Where you pregnant in the winter? What sort of coat did you wear? Any tips for a soon-to-be massive mum?! Let me know!

5 Things I’ll Do Differently With My Second Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, I was keen to do everything to the letter; she was my first child and when you’re doing it all for the first time, you rely on advice from books and other people, simply because you don’t have the experience for yourself yet. I’m confident that Husband and I did a good job of caring for Sausage as a baby, but after a while it becomes instinctive, rather than something you can read about.

This time around, things are already different. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I think every parent gains invaluable experience during their first effort at child rearing which equip them for further pregnancies in a way that no third party advice can. Obviously, there are plenty of things that I’m still getting hysterical about (‘Is this twinge normal?’ ‘Should I be feeling movement by now?’) and I’m really lucky to have an epic group of friends that I can turn to for advice, but there are things that I did with Sausage, through a mix of naivety and keeness to do things ‘right’ that I simply won’t do this time around.

1. Buying Ridiculous Items

Nappy Bin

After I gave birth to Sausage, I got given a Bounty pack with a voucher in it for a nappy bin and I fixated on getting that nappy bin like my life depended on it. My Dad took me to Argos to collect it and I set it up and placed it proudly in Sausage’s nursery…and then used it once, realised how useless it was and promptly consigned it to the loft. This is just one example of the crap that you get duped, or GUILTED (‘Your baby NEEEEDS one of these, otherwise it will grow up with a sense of emptiness which will eventually lead to an adulthood of drug usage and casual sex’) into buying and this time, I’m simply not allowing myself to get sucked in by clever marketing aimed at vulnerable people who want the best for their child.

2. No Excuses

Excuses

Last time, I made lots of excuses about certain choices I’d made, such as why I didn’t breastfeed or why we chose to have Sausage sleep in our room until she was 4 or why we did any number of other things that we chose to do. This time, I won’t make excuses for my choices, I’ll simply say “Because that’s how I want to do it”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 6 years, it’s that pregnancy and parenting are subjective and divisive and I’ll never please everyone, so I’m not even going to try.

3. Don’t Take Any Crap

keep-calm-and-don-t-take-any-crap

Last time I did this, I was under the impression that I didn’t have any choices outside of what my doctors ‘recommended’. I was pushed into a birth plan that I was by no means even vaguely comfortable with and I felt like I didn’t have a voice when it came to so many different aspects of mine and my daughter’s care. This time around, I have opinions but more importantly I have a voice and I intend to use it. When I asked if I had any plans for birth, I told them in no uncertain terms that I would be having a c-section or finding a hospital which would give me one if they refused. I plan to continue this assertiveness over the next 5 months and beyond.

4. Comparisons

Apple_and_Orange_-_they_do_not_compare

“Oh, little Fungus has been sleeping through the night since the day he was born, doesn’t yours do that?” “Oh yes, but Phlegm can count to 20. In Latin. She’ll be 8 months old on Friday!”

There’s a sort of inherent competitiveness when it comes to new parents, where the tiniest milestones and achievements are paraded around to make other parents feel inferior. I’m sure I was guilty of it too, but this time I’m not doing the comparison thing. Every child is different and does things in their own time, so if Crammond Baby number 2 doesn’t smile or gurgle at exactly the same moment that other babies of its age do, I’m not going to sweat it.

5. Washing

baby-grows-on-washing-line-3-1024x634

When I had Sausage, I used to wash all of her clothes together, in a separate wash to mine and Husband’s clothes. I used the same machine with the same detergent, but I washed them all separately.

Yeah, I’m not doing that this time. It’s a pointless waste of energy and makes no sense at all, so I simply won’t do it.

What did you do, or do you plan to do, differently the second time around?

Expectations of a Biological Clock

biological clockAlmost as soon as Husband and I got married, people started asking whether we had any plans for children. I’m aware that, traditionally speaking, people used to get married so that they could start a family, but I was surprised that the expectations of starting a family were still so heavy in the 21st century. And even once we’d had Sausage, the questions didn’t stop; people almost immediately wanted to know when we planned to have more children, as though we’d opened the floodgates with one child and would breed with unbridled abandon until my sagging uterus could take no more.

Just recently, one of my close friends admitted that, at the age of 34, she’d come to the conclusion that she simply wasn’t feeling all that maternal at this stage in her life. She loved her nieces and nephews, as well as her friends’ children, but she was happy with the way her life is at the moment and a baby simply didn’t fit into that plan.

When she told me, I was a bit sad that she and her Husband might not have kids, and I’ve since come to the conclusion is a completely irrational reaction from me. Why should I be sad that they don’t want kids?! My reaction soon turned to one of admiration, with my brain saying “Wow, what a brave thing to admit!”, but having had more time to think about it, I feel a bit cross on their behalves.

Why should anyone have to explain whether they choose to have kids or not? Even the fact that I used the word ‘admitted’ when describing our conversation shows a certain expectation of people within an age group, and that somehow anyone who chooses to deviate from the ‘marriage+kids’ path needs to explain themselves.

What I’ve realised now, is that I wish more people had the guts to admit that they don’t see kids factoring into their lives. There are so many people in the world who seem to take absolutely no joy from being a parent and I often think “Why did that person procreate in the first place?”. Having kids should be something that you know you want, with both body and mind, not a societal obligation that we should fulfill just because our biological clocks or peer groups tell us that “NOW IS THE TIME”.

Perhaps if people weren’t so base, and thought a little bit more about what having kids really meant, there would be less kids in care, foster care, or waiting for adoption? I’m not going to go all Jeremy Kyle and start parading the High Street, screaming “PUT SOMETHING ON THE END OF IT!” at people, but at the same time, I do wish people would at least consider what it takes to have a child and the sacrifices that need to be made. That’s the admirable part, saying “You know what? I’m happy as I am and I’m not willing to change that”.

What I’ve learned from all of this is that I have a whole new level of respect for people who say “I love kids, but they aren’t for me”. Other people (generally those who have or want kids, I’d imagine) may find it hard to reconcile that someone would choose not to have children, but I actually think it’s one of the most selfless conclusions that a person can come to, rather than the potential of having kids and none of you being happy, just for the sake of not missing that window of fertility opportunity.

What do you think? Have you always known that you wanted kids? Have you decided that kids aren’t for you? Leave me a comment below.

Swimming During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, particularly towards the end, I was MASSIVE. I had polyhydramnious, meaning I carried an excess of amniotic fluid. Most babies stop moving so much in the last few weeks of pregnancy, simply because they cannot anymore, due to lack of space. Sausage, I think, swam lengths inside me, right up until the day she was born!

Add to this the fact that I had SPD, a painful condition in which my body releases too much of the hormone that we need to make our pelvis loosen up enough to fit a baby through it, as well as being in the largest stage of pregnancy in August, I was one seriously uncomfortable lady. My ankles and hands would swell daily and my movement was severely restricted due to the combination of my various ills.

At the time, it never even occurred to me that swimming probably would have done me the world of good, floating about in the cool water, taking the pressure off of my joints and allowing me to move around in a way that was low impact. I’ve looked into it and there’s even specific maternity swimwear that I could have invested in for my hippo-like form to splash around in! If we ever decide to have another child, I know for a fact that I’ll be using the pool to its full advantage!

Weirdly, (apart from this annoying pad of fat that I had under my bump which made me look like I had a massive beer gut *heave*) pregnancy was one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel body-conscious. Yes, I was enormous, but I was supposed to be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of lifes ‘glowers’, you know, women who look like Mother Earth when they’re with-child, but it made me feel slightly freer about my body, which was a fairly liberating feeling.

If you have any concerns about swimming whilst pregnant, there’s a great article over on Baby Center with some info about keeping yourself safe.