We are very proud to announce that on Friday 13th January 2017 at 06.50 our little 6lb 3oz beautiful little boy was born!
As you can imagine, everything is a little bit up in the air at the moment with Day and Night fusing into one and life is all about the colour of poo and boobs at the moment. I am currently typing this one handed with a baby attached to my breast at 3.40 in the morning as this is the only time I’ve managed to find since giving birth but rest assured I will be letting you all into the gory details of our labour and birth story very soon but for now I’m off to get what sleep I can before this little one decides he’s hungry again!
Most women when they find out they are pregnant become hyper-aware about what they should and shouldn’t be putting into their bodies knowing full well whatever they consume will somehow affect their growing child but actually what you put on your skin can be just as important. Not just what you eat but everything you apply or come into contact with may affect not only you but your unborn child. I actually stumbled across this information when watching one of Caroline Hirons’ videos on YouTube (she is the skincare guru) and went on to do a lot of research about what beauty products were safe for my baby throughout pregnancy.
Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division (quickening your skin’s renewal) and prevent skin collagen from breaking down. They are usually found in anti-ageing products but it is recommended that expectant mothers stay away from them during pregnancy. Some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child especially oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin (Accutane, an acne treatment), which are known to cause birth defects. Best to leave the anti-ageing potions til after giving birth ladies!
Salicylic acid can be found in a number of skincare products including cleansers and toners and is used to treat certain skin disorders including acne. Again the emphasis is more on Oral consumption of this as it is known to cause birth defects and complications during pregnancy but there isn’t enough evidence to say whether topical use carries the same risks therefore it’s best avoided.
If you’re a fan of aromatherapy or looking for more natural methods to ease the symptoms of pregnancy it’s probably best to know that there are certain oils that should be avoided.
When looking into whether dying your hair during pregnancy there’s limited research but from what there is it’s safe to dye your hair. I would avoid it during the first trimester as some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm. However, these doses are massive compared with the very low amount of chemicals a woman is exposed to when colouring her hair. Personally I’ve avoided dying my hair as I have read articles claiming the chemicals can be absorbed through the scalp and be absorbed into the bloodstream and anything that’s absorbed into the bloodstream can affect the fetus so unless it’s absolutely necessary, I’ve stayed away from anything that could potentially affect my baby.
When it came to buying things for the baby we started quite late. This was my choice more than anything because I’m a natural born pessimist and I anticipated the worst to happen from the very beginning. At 5 weeks I had some bleeding and as I was also working that day I remember doing the long slow walk from my department to A&E and checking in thinking I’d lost my beautiful baby. It was too early to scan so we had to go back a week and a half later to be told the baby was growing as it should be and there were no signs of miscarriage. Since the day I saw those two little lines to, the day I sit and write this I’ve worried more about this baby than I think is physically possible but we’re almost across the finish line (currently 38 weeks and full term!! eek!) and although I’ve left myself with little to no time to fully enjoy the pregnancy I’m now letting myself breath a sigh of relief and I’m enjoying the nesting stage.
At around 7 months we finally bought our own home and had a joint house warming/baby shower and were lucky enough to be given a lot of the things on the list above from friends and family. It was only after that we started going out and buying the rest but even so I think I’ve been quite restrained up until very recently. I may have had a baby clothes binge/splurge in the Next sale and picked up quite a few little sleep-suits in various sizes and I’m not even sorry!
The list above I think is quite restrained, I’ve tried to keep it to the essentials and spent a lot of time reading about what other mothers had bought for their first babies and how much of that was actually useful, and I’ve broken it down into the following categories.
Car seat – if you want to take your baby home from the hospital you need one of these.
Pushchair/buggy – if you want to take your baby out of the house, you need one of these.
Rain cover for pushchair – if you live in England, this will come in pretty handy.
Travel blanket – again, read above reasons for these.
Moses Basket/bedding – We’re planning on keeping baby with us for the first few months at least and the cot will be in baby’s room so the basket will stay with us.
Cot/Crib and all the bedding that goes with it.
Sleeping bags – these will be used mainly for daytime, around the house use and will come most useful in winter.
Changing station/Mat – we are lucky enough to have a built in changing station in baby’s room but the mat is useful for bringing downstairs during the day.
Changing bag – currently being used as my baby’s hospital bag but essential for on the go.
Nappies/wipes/barrier ointment – do I really need to explain these?!
Breast pump – If you’re planning to solely breast feed you obviously don’t need one of these but I’m planning on expressing and bottle feeding so that hubby can also do some of the feeds. I think there’s a lot of emphasis on mums to feed and bond with their babies and rightly so but why should fathers miss out on some of that bonding?
Bath Support – I’ve heard newborns can be wriggly
Water thermometer – safety first
Top and Tail bowl – One side for washing baby’s face and the other for washing baby’s bum!
Baby Clothes – my favourite category by far!
Vests – I’ve bought half sleeved and full sleeved as we’re having a winter baby
Sleepsuits/Babygrows – I could shop for these for hours!
Snowsuit/Pramsuit – for when we bring baby home
Hats – I have big ones, small ones, ones with little ears and even a double pom-pom number!
Scratch mittens/socks and little booties – I could stare at these all day!
Electrical and extras
Playmat – more for when baby is a little bit older and being tortured with tummy time.
Cot mobile/night light – just because we’ve been gifted these but also a nice extra to have.
I’m 37 weeks! I’ve made it to the end and am now officially full term so could pop at any time! That being said I’m panicking at all the posts I haven’t written before this pregnancy ends that I’m actually spending some nights frantically making notes on my phone on all the things I want to say before it all ends and a whole new chapter begins in our lives.
The third trimester has probably been the best in terms of watching our little bean grow into the beautiful little human we’ve only yet seen on a 32 inch monitor. With all the extra scans and monitoring it’s been such a journey watching the child we’ve created slowly grow and develop but that being said the third trimester has also been the hardest. I’ve really felt the hormone changes hit me hard and spent days feeling euphoric and others feeling lower than I ever thought was possible.
Most of the products mentioned in my First trimester and Second trimester have still been lifesavers throughout the third trimester such as the pregnancy pillow (as bump has gotten bigger this has actually become more of something i just couldn’t live without!). I’m still guzzling the Gaviscon as the acid reflux and indigestion has been the worst ever these last few weeks and I’m still slathering on that plain yoghurt!
Things that have really benefited me during this last trimester though are:
Birthing Ball – I didn’t know how useful one of these would be but picked one up as a spare of the moment thing and I love it! Our baby has been head down and in a good position probably since week 28 or so and I think it’s because I’ve spent many an evening bouncing on my birthing ball. Sitting on the birthing ball puts you in a good position for baby to drop down into your pelvis so for any ladies with breach babies this is a good one to try.
Raspberry leaf tea – Contrary to what some believe this is not going to help induce labour but should only really be consumed at the very end of the third trimester. Apparently it helps to tone the muscles of the uterus and help your pregnancy move on steadily and to be honest I just drink it as part of my daily routine now. It doesn’t taste too bad and anything that tones my uterus is a plus for me!
Birthing videos – I stumbled across this Active birthing video on YouTube which I think is actually a midwife doing a tour of a facility in Ireland but throughout she gives tips and demonstrations of exercises to do to help baby engage and relieve back and pelvic pain and I actually found it very useful.
Compression stockings – I’m lucky enough to work in a hospital so I asked a colleague to grab some of these for me as I’ve only just noticed in the past week or so that my ankles are beginning to swell. My legs however are always cold and I know the extra weight of the baby is causing poor circulation to my lower limbs. Compression stockings just help with the circulation and fluid retention while I’m around the house as I find it really uncomfortable sitting with my legs up.
Maternity bras – Yes, those ugly, granny bras with no underwire and definitely no padding! When your boobs have doubled in size and are sore and leaky, looking sexy will go out the window and, trust me, you will opt for comfort all way.
As I mentioned previously in my ‘What’s in my hospital bag’ post, packing baby’s bag was a very exciting time for me. I loved going through all the fresh new little baby clothes that we’d either bought ourselves or that we’d been given by friends and family and picking out all the newborn things.
This may seem a bit naive but I didn’t realise you had to wash all the baby’s bits before using them for the first time but after doing a bit of reading on some mummy blogs and watching other mummy bloggers I realised, maybe it would be a good idea to wash all the little ones clothes, muslin’s and blankets before putting them on sensitive newborn skin. So that is exactly what I did, I picked out all the newborn bits (which actually wasn’t too much, two packs of vest tops and 4 sleep-suits!) and unpacked all the muslin cloths and swaddle blankets and put on my first baby laundry cycle. This was momentous in itself! I didn’t think I could get so excited about tiny human clothes being washed but I was. And hanging them out to dry was even more exciting. Looking at all my little mini me’s clothes all spread out in a row made me a happy hormonal mess.
So what have I actually packed for my little one’s special little bag? This again has taken a lot of careful planning and research but I think I’ve got it down to as perfect as it can be. In reality I’ve probably got it all wrong and I’ll be sending out the husband last minute with a list but my excuse is I’ve never done this before, cut me some slack!
5 baby vests – I have 10 washed and ready in total and I already know we’ll be kept in for at least 24 hours so I’m hoping 5 will be sufficient but my plan is to also have a spare little bag in the boot of the car for extras which is easily accessible should we run out of clean clothes.
4 sleepsuits – Again this is to cover all bases just in case we are kept in for longer but one of these will be our going home outfit so, as with the vests, I will probably keep some spares in the car for emergencies.
A snowsuit – This is because we are having a winter baby and the hospital recommends having a big all in one coat/snowsuit for when taking baby home. You probably wont need this in the summer.
Scratch mittens, socks and little hats – I think these are pretty self explanatory…
Muslin cloths – Again this is self explanatory, newborn babies apparently throw up and poo for England and it can get pretty messy!
Pack of 24 Nappies – The pack of nappies I have happens to have 24 in it but apparently newborns can poo up to 10 times a day and depending on when I go into labour we could be in for the long haul therefore there will also be spare nappies in the boot of the car.
Baby wipes and cotton squares – I’ve heard wipes can come in handy for both mum and baby which is why I have some in my bag too but I’ve also got plain cotton wool squares just in case we run out of wipes or my baby’s skin doesn’t like them.
Baby grooming kit – This is just a little extra that I’m packing for after baby’s first bath as I’m pretty sure there’s going to be hair on that little head and I can’t wait to run a teeny tiny little comb through it!
Baby toiletries – Now i wasn’t sure if I was going to need these as I know the general rule is to only use water and cotton for first couple of weeks but I’ve also heard mothers say they’ve used baby bath from day one. I have really sensitive skin and hubby suffers with hayfever and dust allergies so there is the possibility our little one will be more prone to sensitivities and allergies but I’ve tried to pick a natural, organic brand that is aimed at sensitive skin and it says on the packaging that it’s suitable for newborn skin so only time will tell if these will come in handy but I’m packing them just to be prepared.
As I did with the last post I’m just going to link below some of the videos I found useful when deciding what to pack for baby.