You will probably have your first antenatal consultation between 12 and 14 weeks during which you will be asked about your family’s medical history. Make sure you know the relevant information. Make arrangements for further appointments if necessary.
Start planning your shopping list and expeditions. If you have a partner, include him in the decision-making. Organise buying the larger items mid-pregnancy to take the pressure off you in the latter stages. Make sure you are buying or borrowing items for your baby that are SIDS approved.
Prepare a blend of body oil to nourish your skin and help prevent stretch marks as follows:
- 80ml base oil (grapeseed or sweet almond oil)
- Add 10 mls wheatgerm oil
- 10 mls avocado oil
- 5 mls vitamin E oil
- 5 drops neroli essential oil
- 5 drops mandarin essential oil
Massage gently into abdominal, hips, buttocks and breast area after bathing.
Start thinking about how and where you would like to give birth. If you intend having a home birth, start looking for a midwife. If you choose a hospital, you may wish to visit to see what is on offer. If you are considering a birthing centre, it pays to book early as these are popular and can be short on beds. Find out about antenatal classes for you and your partner.
Invest in an adjustable maternity bra.
If you are considering renovating, arrange to have any jobs that may be harmful to your developing baby such as stripping paint, sanding or sealing, completed while you are staying elsewhere.
The second trimester is considered the safest time for air travel provided your pregnancy is not considered high risk. Persuade your partner or a friend to take a break with you to an international location. This may be your last chance for a while.
Include raspberry leaf tea in your day. Two cups will help prepare your body for the latter stages of pregnancy.
Invest in some comfortable clothing. Tight and restrictive garments will hinder circulation.
You may feel sensations in your abdomen as your baby moves about! This is called quickening and may be felt as early as 16 weeks but is more common around 20 weeks. Most women describe this first sensation as a magical moment. Involve your partner in some womb communication.
Find out about the importance of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Many women suffer from stress incontinence also known as involuntary urination. It has been proven that pelvic floor exercises help prevent this distressing problem.
It is important to allocate yourself some time for relaxation. Yoga, meditation or tai chi are perfect ways to relax and raise your energy at the same time.
Start practising deep, steady, rhythmic breathing. This will become a valuable skill during labour.