In celebration of Mother’s Day we asked our new Buyagift Mummy Caitlin to share her top tips, including advice for new and expecting mums.
My most valuable lessons whilst pregnant
- Everyone’s experience of pregnancy is completely unique – makes sense as babies certainly aren’t all the same! – so don’t let people worry you by their tales or feel concerned if you’re different to someone else.
- Google can be the enemy! It’s excellent for making you worry about symptoms, baby’s development etc. Speak to your midwife or GP instead.
- Remember your partner. You’re both going through a major change and often the one not pregnant can feel useless and unhelpful so try to involve them in the experience as much as possible.
- Keep an open mind. Do not have firm ideals about how things will go in terms of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and so on. I never made a birth plan (good thing because my super low risk and healthy pregnancy changed to a very high risk birth!) but friends have said they wished they hadn’t because things very often don’t go to plan.
- Try to get things all sorted for the baby by about 37 weeks. Those last few weeks certainly aren’t the most comfortable and it’s nice to save that time for rest and quality time with your partner.
- Due dates mean nothing! Only 5% of babies are born on their due dates, 10% earlier and 85% are later so do not feel disheartened if your baby hasn’t arrived on time. In my case Freya was 6 days overdue.
- Try to make friends with people going through pregnancy too; it’s great to be able to share your experiences and meet up with your babies later.
My Top Tips for New Mums
- Expect to need a good 2-3 weeks recovery following your baby’s birth, just rest and let people look after you – you probably won’t leave the house for the first fortnight!
- Sleep when your baby sleeps (there will be no chance to catch up on sleep otherwise), don’t take the opportunity to cook, clean etc. You need rest to be able to produce enough milk and you’ll be far more tearful and hormonal the more tired you are.
- If something with you/your baby doesn’t seem right don’t wait and get too worried but ask a health professional as soon as you can. I remember thinking I was just overly tired, which explained why I wasn’t feeling well. Turned out I’d picked up an infection which required antibiotics.
- Although you’ll want to show your baby off, try to limit visitors to 1 or 2 a day. You’ll be surprised by how exhausted you are so don’t overdo it
- If people offer to cook, clean, go shopping for you, let them!
- I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any problems but it’s very common for problems to occur with breastfeeding. Do not beat yourself up if things don’t go to plan.
Our hospital bag essentials
• 3 sleep suits, 3 vests
• Hat, scratch mits and a cardi (pram suit as well if it is during winter)
• Small pack of newborn nappies and cream (I swear by zinc & castor oil)
• Cotton wool and baby wipes
• Baby blanket and muslin cloths
• Toiletries – just the basics, nothing too perfumed, it’s important your baby gets to know your smell
• Socks and slippers
• Comfy clothes (tops to easily breastfeed with), comfy pants, dressing gown & something to sleep in
• 2 nursing bras and nipple cream
• Maternity pads
• Lip balm
• Water or squash (I’d keep it quite simple in case you feel nauseated)
• Pillow or two (hospitals are often in very short supply!)
• Notebook and pen (useful for any important info you’re given)
• Phone and charger
• Speakers and iPod if you want to listen to music
• Your hospital notes
For Dad/Birth Partner
• Spare pair of boxers, socks and t-shirt – hospitals are HOT
• Toothbrush and deodorant
• Snacks and drinks
• Loose change for hospital shops and vending machines
If you end up staying in for longer than a night your partner can always pop home and pick up extra. I’m sure I packed other things, but I can’t remember them, so they couldn’t have been too useful! Also, it’s worth having two bags: one for baby, one for you and birth partner.
Want to treat a Mum-to-be?
See our Mum-to-be gifts ranging from relaxing pampering days to more practical gifts, such as our baby changing bags. We also have a fantastic selection of gifts perfect for a new arrival in our Mother & Baby section.