Alternative pregnancy milestones
Pregnancy is a miraculous journey paved by milestones, and each one moves you a step closer to meeting your precious bundle. The standard ones like the 12-week scan and feeling baby kick for the first time are often talked about, but what about these alternative milestones? How many can you tick off?
You make your first baby-related purchase
It’s exciting! Now you’ve got a little person to buy for. Maybe you bought a teddy the day you found out you were pregnant. Or a onesie after your first scan. Whatever it was, it will likely hold a special place in your heart.
You notice darker patches of skin appearing
You may develop melasma - often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ – on your face. What about that line on your belly tracking from your navel down to your lady-garden? Hello linea nigra! Your areola (the skin around your nipples) may darken too. Don’t worry. Skin pigmentation normally fades after delivery.
You have food aversions and cravings
Maybe you loved steak. Now you can’t stomach it. That’s an aversion. Meanwhile you devour peanut butter and gherkin sandwiches. That’s a craving.
Cravings and aversions can impact on your overall nutrition so think about the big picture. For example, if you’ve gone off meat, what can you replace it with to ensure you get enough iron and protein?
You’ve got new aches and pains
The hormone relaxin loosens your ligaments and muscles to prepare your body for labour. Unfortunately, it also causes problems like symphysis pubis dysfunction and sciatica which are painful. A chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath may be able to help. Talk to your LMC for recommendations.
You’re experiencing short term memory loss
Forgotten your mother-in-law’s name? Hopped in the shower in your PJ’s? While studies into ‘baby brain’ have been inconclusive, many women have stories to tell.
You need to up-size your bra
Your boobs are bigger thanks to a cocktail of the hormones oestrogen, prolactin and progesterone. You may be excited or horrified by their growth. Either way, it’s wise to get a professional bra fitting. The girls deserve proper support.
You can’t see the stick to pee on when giving a urine sample at your midwife appointment
Don’t worry, you’re not the first pregnant women to accidentally pee on your hand and you wont be the last.
You’re having trouble sleeping
Finding it hard to get comfortable in bed, even with three pillows? Peeing four times a night? You’re not alone. Sleep becomes more challenging as your belly grows. Check out tips to get more shuteye here.
You can’t shave your bikini line
Shaving ‘down there’ is a safety risk when you can’t see past your bump. Let it go.
Your hospital bag is packed
Snacks, sanitary pads, nightie, birth plan...Worried you’ve forgotten something? Check out this list.
You’re ready when baby is! Now B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
You’re about to reach the biggest milestone of all…welcoming your little one into the big wide world!
Renee Murphy is a writer and mother of two boys. She had an aversion to English breakfast tea but craved marmite when pregnant. She’s back on the tea now.