Our mums to be
Laura is 30 years old and is 35 weeks pregnant. She lives in Essex with husband Nick and they are looking forward to the birth of their first baby, a daughter, in October.
When Laura discovered she was pregnant, she stopped eating junk food, cut down on caffeine and ate five portions of fruit and veg a day.
Laura suffered from hyperemesis – severe sickness – during her first trimester and though she made a good recovery, it has recently returned. Feeling exhausted, Laura has had to make some lifestyle changes, like socialising with friends at lunchtimes and weekends, instead of evenings when she is tired from work as a counsellor.
With Nick’s support Laura has been getting lots of rest and relaxation, as well as going for gentle walks and swimming.
The couple have had a hospital tour to help prepare for the birth and Nick has been decorating the nursery.
My husband and I have started antenatal classes and it’s been really nice for us to learn together and meet other parents-to-be. We’ve been buying all the essentials and to save money, we keep a look out for deals like buy one get one free on nappies. We’ve also bought lots at ‘nearly new’ NCT sales.
Prepared for parenthood
Maria is 37 years old and is 40 weeks pregnant with her first child, due any day now! She lives with her partner Russell in Hertfordshire and works in marketing.
Maria began taking folic acid as soon as she discovered she was expecting and gave up alcohol. Tiredness, sickness and nausea made it difficult to exercise in the first four months but after that she was able to enjoy swimming and walking to keep fit, right up to the last stages of pregnancy.
As Maria and Russell prepare for their baby’s imminent arrival, they have been gathering all the essentials – pram, cot, car seat, toys – either by shopping around for a good deal or receiving them from supportive family and friends.
My last trimester has been the best by far, I’ve really enjoyed it – though towards the end it became uncomfortable to be at a desk all day. Since going on maternity leave it’s been little and often in terms of eating and walking. I’m now overdue and can’t wait to actually meet my little boy or girl! I’m drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating pineapples as I’ve heard a rumour it can bring on labour. I know it’s a myth but I’m giving anything a go!
Our new mums
A proud parent
Abyie, 19, gave birth to her daughter, Kelsey-Jade, in January 2014. She lives in Dunstable, with her partner, Richard. When Abyie fell pregnant, she did everything she could to be as healthy as possible. She stopped smoking and drinking alcohol and gave up all risky foods including soft, mould-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert.
And ever since Kelsey-Jade was born, Abyie has continued her healthy lifestyle. She walks as much as she can, exercises regularly and has cut back on junk food, takeaways, chocolate and crisps. Although she put on a little bit of weight through snacking a lot after Kelsey-Jade was born, she has now got into a routine and is back to her normal weight.
Now nine months old, Kelsey-Jade is a happy baby, who loves to try new foods. She has pureed fruit and vegetables and is even trying chicken and other meats. She is also extremely adventurous and independent and loves feeding herself with her own spoon.
Having Kelsey-Jade has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love watching her growing and learning how to do new things, like roll over and crawl. Everything she tries makes me so proud.
Polly is 35 and has a 16-month-old daughter, Djenna. She lives in London with her husband, Barana. Djenna was two weeks late and she’s been a peaceful and happy baby ever since.
Breastfeeding was something that was really important to Polly and despite returning to her job as a public health adviser when Djenna was just three months old, Polly breastfed her exclusively for six months, by expressing milk and getting up during the night. Now aged 16 months, Djenna is feeding herself fresh, steamed vegetables, fish and baby rice, as well as having milk in the evening.
Polly and Barana work opposite shifts so they can share childcare and Djenna also goes to nursery three days a week. Although she was apprehensive at first, now she toddles off without a backward glance to her mum – but she’s incredibly excited to see her at home time. The family have also made the most of the summer by going to the park when Polly finishes work and on weekends.
Because I work, my time with Djenna is incredibly precious so I make the most of every minute. She loves running around in the fresh air after her ball and playing catch with me.
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