Third Trimester

For me personally the third trimester was the hardest of the three. I think this is mostly because I finally felt like I needed to slow down a bit and I am definitely not a “slow down and take it easy” kinda gal!

To be honest I really put up a good fight against slowing down, but at 30 weeks the tiredness you experience during the first trimester can really kick back in and force you to take a minute.

I used all my willpower to continue my work outs 2-3 times per week until I was 39 weeks pregnant, reducing the intensity down to doing long walks mixed with yoga classes and low impact hit training for the final two weeks. But this would often be all I could manage in a day and I would end up sitting in the sun with an iced coffee and a good book for the rest of the day. On the days I didn’t train I would tackle a little house work to get myself moving instead.

BRING ON THE Third trimester SYMPTOMS!

If you have escaped any major symptoms so far then you are one lucky lady… but brace yourself! Even though I had such an enjoyable pregnancy from start to finish and rarely complained, I did turn into a bit of a “Moaning Mertle” from 35 weeks pregnant onwards. There is no way you can grow a tiny human to full term and not really start to ‘feel it’ in the final month or two. But I genuinely really enjoyed seeing my bump get bigger, and feeling my baby’s kicks getting stronger.

Here are a few symptoms that affected me personally during my third trimester…

  • Heart Burn – Now I did mention this symptom during my second trimester blog post but it can ramp up further during the final trimester and that is what happened to me. I really had to pay attention to what I was eating to avoid it flaring up.  
  • Rib pain – This was the only symptom that really got me down. Baby River’s feet were tucked up like a little buddha underneath my ribs, so therefore my ribs had to move out of the way and widen quite significantly as he grew. This caused a constantly strong dull ache in my ribs followed by sharp pain that could go on for quite some time when he would wake up for a wriggle. If you suffer from this my advice would be to see a pregnancy specialist chiropractor to help ease the pain. Try using a cold compress on the area to encourage baby to wriggle down away from the cold spot giving you some temporary relief. When it get’s too sore try to get yourself moving, when you move it encourages baby to move too and sometimes that little adjustment makes all the difference. I’m not going to lie, rib pain is super jarring to deal with but as soon as River was born the pain was instantly gone and it was all worth while 
  • Piles – For some reason I got really worried about this happening to me during pregnancy. I think because I had heard that the only way to get rid of piles is to have an operation, therefore the recovery would be out of my control. Full transparency; I have one fookin bastard pile that I noticed at around 37 weeks pregnant! No, I’m not happy about it Lol, but I can live with it, it doesn’t bother me at all and me and Tony laugh about it as I was so determined not to get them.
  • Back Ache – It is no surprise that with carrying around an extra stone or two your back will begin to twinge or ache on a daily basis. Mine hurt the most when I was in the car driving or sitting in the same spot for too long. Tony treated me to an awesome electric massage machine that really helped relieve some of the tension.  Perhaps you could treat yourself to a pregnancy massage to help with the problem and also to give yourself some “me time” in the run up to your little one’s arrival.
  • Thrush – So this was a new one for me, pre pregnancy I had never once suffered with thrush however during my third trimester I had it twice. This is caused by hormonal changes and is easily treatable with over the counter creams. But be wary you can pass it onto your partner so no sexy time until it has gone. To be on the safe side both of you should use the treatment.
  • Constipation –  I mean isn’t this list just dreamy Lol … Yep so this one wasn’t ideal, when everyone tells you that pushing a baby out is like pushing out a huge poo and you start to struggle to do that you genuinely start to panic. I mean how am I going to push a baby out when I can’t even push out a damn poo Lol. For me a big bowl of fruit would do the trick, failing that prune juice is tried and tested!

These were my personal list of third trimester pains in the ass (literally). But the third trimester can come with many other symptoms such as swelling, head aches, stretch marks, urine infections, oily & spotty skin, dizzyness, trouble sleeping.

I think with this phase of pregnancy yes the symptoms start to ramp up, but the thing that made it all okay was that I was on the home stretch. I wasn’t that far from meeting my little bean. I kept reminding myself to try to enjoy the slower pace whilst I could, even if slowing down isn’t my normal vibe.  

 

pelvic floor training

Pelvic floor training was something I took very seriously during pregnancy. At 8 weeks pregnant I went to see a women’s  physiotherapist  to get an assessment on the strength of my pelvic floor and a measurement for my abdominal muscles. This allowed me to know exactly where my pelvic floor strength was at as a starting point.  I really upped the regularity of my exercises during my third trimester. Both my mum & my aunt suffered with post birth bladder problems and it played on my mind heavily during my pregnancy so I did my best to avoid the same fate. I started off with gently focusing on my pelvic floor more during my yoga classes. Then I started doing a daily squeeze workout, but to be honest I would often forget to do it! However, just before lockdown I went to ‘The Baby Show’ in London where I discovered a new brand called Elvie; they make breast pumps and also pelvic floor trainers. The pelvic floor trainer is genius and it worked really well for me. It a small soft egg that you insert into your vagina, it connects to an app on your phone that takes you through a 5 minute work out that gets harder over time as you built strength and control. It logs your progress on the app so that you can track how you are doing. It was great for me as I would take the time to go somewhere private and quiet to do my work outs without distraction, where as before when I was just doing my squeezes randomly throughout the day it would often end up with me being distracted or not completing my pelvic floor training goal. Instead I would end up answering that whatssap message or forgetting I was even doing it. 

I would say my pelvic floor was very strong towards the end of my pregnancy, tracking my progress allowed me to be confident I had prepared enough for delivering my baby. But, due my long pushing phase during birth, unfortunately it still caused some damage to my pelvic floor and bladder. I cant imagine what state I would be in had I not done any work at all on my pelvic floor during pregnancy. 

PREGNANCY PHOTOSHOOT

The third trimester is definitely the time to embrace the bump! The female body is absolutely incredible… I loved the experience of watching my belly grow week by week and I was in awe of seeing my baby poke his little limbs out through my skin for a stretch every day. I was very keen to have a pregnancy photoshoot at around 37 weeks when my bump was a good size and I still felt a little sexy and hadn’t quite hit the “feeling like a whale” stage yet. I booked my first shoot with Anna Fowler as she is a photographer who’s work I have always admired seeing on Instagram. Then I was blessed enough to have two photographers ask to shoot me as well. The first was Lazara Storm from Zips & Jpegs who captured some amazing images in our home of both me and Tony. Secondly Amanda Akokhia who captured some stunning images for me in her studio. Each shoot had a different look and feel, so I ended up with three separate shoots that I can always look back on remember how special it was to be carrying my son for 9 months and how happy Tony and I were during my pregnancy.

I would definitely recommend booking a professional photoshoot if you can! But if you cant afford it then don’t fret as you can take some beautiful images on your phone these days. Take your time to do your hair and make up properly, find a room at home with great natural light or get out into your garden or a beautiful lavender field and snap away.  You can play with floaty fabric with a fan on you, get some underwear pics with you caressing your bump. I promise you, you wont regret documenting this moment in your pregnancy and having pretty images for you to look back on.

The other thing we did to document my bump was a belly cast. Tony and I did it together and we both got really into it, giggled a lot and made a mess, so it was a lovely intimate thing for us to do together. You can order the kits online, they only take about an hour to do and the end result is pretty cool!

Colostrum Harvesting

Whether you intend to breast feed or not it is said that Colostrum harvesting is a must if you want your baby to get that liquid gold goodness and the best start in life. I started harvesting when I was 37 weeks pregnant, it isn’t recommended to do it any sooner as it can induce labour.

I have to say I found this task to be a two man job… and one that Tony and I giggled about the first few times whilst we tried to master the collection technique!

In my personal opinion colostrum harvesting is a must! It contains vital properties that develop your babies immune system and helps to colonise the baby’s gut with healthy bacteria that protect against allergy and disease.

It contains the ideal balance of proteins, fats and micronutrients needed for babies as well as acting as a laxative to help the passing of the first tarry meconium poops!

How to hand express:

  • To start wash your hands before expressing or you can have a hot shower, a warm bath or apply a warm flannel compress to your breast to help the flow of colostrum.
  • Get comfy… I would always like to sit on the sofa with a cushion behind my back.
  • Start with a gentle breast massage, stroking from the back of your breast towards the nipple to encourage the let-down reflex.
  • Next you will put your thumb above the nipple and your first few fingers below the nipple. You will be cupping the breast in a ‘C’ shape.
  • With your thumb and fingers, feel a few centimetres back from the nipple.
  • Press back towards your chest, then compress (press your fingers together), and release.I would also get successful production from giving a gentle squeeze either side of my nipple.
  • Repeat this process, building up a rhythm. Press, compress, release.
  • Get your partner to collect the colostrum using a sterile syringe (Amazon).
  • Next store them in the freezer ready for taking them to the hospital with you when you go into labour. 
  • You tube has plenty of useful videos demonstrating this technique in more detail so have a look online.

I’m not going to lie it feels super time consuming for not much reward! On some days it would take me 40 minutes just to produce 0.3 mls. However, once River was born on days one to three, I continued to hand express colostrum in between feeds and at this point I was filling the syringe to the top which was a lot more rewarding. We took five syringes from the freezer to the hospital with us when I went into labour. Tony gave them to River whilst I was getting some post birth medical attention, so they really came in handy. Overall my advice is persevere with the colostrum harvesting and anything you can collect is amazing for your baby so it is totally worth it.

GET POSITIVE!

The third trimester is when shit gets real and you start to think to yourself “Holy shit i’ve actually got to get this baby out of my body”. This happened to me when we had around 8 weeks to go. This can be quite an overwhelming thought and fear can take a hold of you real quick! Try not to spiral out of control, in fact I actively did the opposite. I took control of my fear and I was pro-actively and  deliberately positive.

I watched positive birth videos on Instagram, read my birth plan with Tony, I practiced my hypnobirthing breathing techniques, did some yoga and meditation. But one of my biggest tips is… print off some of your favourite birth affirmations and stick them onto your fridge door so that you see them every single day. Just reading those reassuring and positive little quotes every time I popped to the fridge  (which was often Lol) helped me to feel more prepared on a subconscious level. I also put a print out in my hospital bag and during labour whenever I said something a little negative such as “I cant do this” Tony would reply with the appropriate affirmation to steer me back on track. It turned out he had also been learning them from seeing them on the fridge and he was equipped to help me stay focused and positive on the day.

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Hospital Bag Check List

Hospital Bag Check List

I wasn’t actually planning on writing another blog post until after my little boys arrival but today is his due date and several of you have reached out via Instagram asking for this post so I figured no harm in keeping myself busy seeing as he clearly doesn’t feel like showing up on time Lol!

Let’s talk packing the old hospital bag….

Regardless of whether you are planning to give birth at home or at the hospital I would recommend that you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go from 34 weeks ( I say this as I know two ladies who recently gave birth this early!) If you plan on having a home birth you still may end up changing your mind and going into hospital or needing to go last minute at the advice of your midwife so either way its better to be organised. 

In terms of things like maternity PJ’s and nighties I found brands like H&M, Next and Missguided had some good options. In terms of comfy cotton post birth pants I went to Next, but also brought some disposable ones from Amazon for those first few days. When it comes to maternity pads bigger is better according to my friends who have recently had babies. Some even recommended you just go for Tena lady adult nappies and be done with it… I guess there is no point in trying to be dignified at this point. Basically both you and baby are going to be leaving hospital in a nappy! Lol


Mum’s Hospital Bag…

 ESSENTIALS:

  • Birth plan – 2 x Copies in case of a shift change.
  • Maternity notes
  • Something to read / watch (if being induced as it can take many hours)
  • Antibacterial wipes (To wipe down room)
  • Flip flops for shower or walking around the room.
  • Hairbands / Hair clip
  • Swimwear (for birthing pool if needed)
  • Nightdress / Oversized T shirt for labour
  • Lip Balm
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Glucose tablets for energy

TO SET THE ATMOSPHERE:

  • Massage oils / Essential oils.
  • Birthing ball
  • Small portable diffuser
  • Battery operated tea lights or fairy lights.
  • Noise Cancelling headphones
  • Music
  • Printed Positive Affirmations

TO HELP WITH LABOUR PAIN:

  • Flannel – Cold compress
  • Hot water bottle – (for back pain)
  • TENS pain relief machine – Take extra batteries and electrode pads.
  • Handheld fan 

POST BIRTH ESSENTIALS:

  • Your favourite pillow (Soooo Important hospital pillows are crap!)
  • Neck / Travel pillow (To sit on in the car on the way home.)
  • Empty Sports / refillable bottle to rinse your vagina when peeing post birth.
  • Toiletries
  • Nursing bras x 2
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Arnica tablets
  • Maternity pads
  • Nightdress / PJs (open front for Breast feeding) x 2
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers / Fluffy Socks
  • Dirty clothes bag
  • Hairbrush
  • Disposable pants / big pants
  • Ear plugs & eye mask
  • Dark coloured old towel
  • Fresh towel for shower
  • Going home outfit (Something loose)
  • Phone Charger

Baby’s Hospital Bag…

  • Car seat
  • Socks / Booties x1

  • Hat x1

  • Muslins x3

  • Sleep suits x 5
  • Vests x5
  • Going home outfit 
  • Baby blanket x1
  • Scratch mitts x2
  • Nappies x 1 pack (They use 10 nappies per day)
  • Nappy sacks
  • Nappy cream / balm
  • Water wipes
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Small tub of pure olive oil.
  • Formula (if not breastfeeding)
  • Bottles x 2 (if not breast feeding)

 

Birth Partners Bag…

  • Water spray to cool down / refresh
  • Change of clothes
  • Deodorant / Toothbrush
  • Contraction timer / app
  • Phone & Charger
  • Camera
  • Snacks / drinks
  • PJs (in case end up staying) – ( Sadly not relevant during in Covid 19)
  • Change for parking / vending machines

There you have it, a simple easy to follow guide as to what I would recommend you put into your hospital bag. However, there is bound to be a few things that need to be added to the bag last minute. So what I decided was to do a “Things to be added” list which I printed off and stuck to the fridge so that Tony can literally follow the list and throw it all in when the time comes without asking me what I need mid labour and getting yelled at!

As always do let me know if this post has been helpful, and let me know what other posts you would like to see. Just drop me a DM on Instagram @Shanie_Ryan as I would love to hear from you! 

 

Love from 

Shanie & Bump 

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The Second Trimester

The Second Trimester

Let’s get into the second trimester…. 

Hopefully you have now made it through the ickyness of the first trimester and you are starting to see a tiny little bump as a reward for all of the exhaustion of growing your placenta and your little bean. 

The second trimester was by far my favourite few months of pregnancy. Once the fog of exhaustion lifted I felt quite like myself again, I had bags of energy, an urge to get organised, my appetite returned and I was back to enjoying my work outs. This time also really represented celebration in sharing our news with friends and family as well as getting organised for our little ones arrival.

Sharing the good news!

I am sure you have heard the general rule of thumb is that it is best not to share your good news until after your 12 week scan has gone ahead and you are reassured that all is good with baby. BUT… I personally think it is a personal choice and you should do what ever is best for you. Tony and I found out we were expecting at just 5 weeks pregnant, but after a brief conversation we had agreed to tell our immediate family at just 8 weeks pregnant. Two reasons prompted this decision; firstly we were approaching Christmas and our families would definitely notice that I wasn’t drinking and secondly if the worst was to happen and something did go wrong with the pregnancy, it would be something that we would want family support with anyway. So for us there was no real point in keeping it a secret. However, we didn’t tell any friends or extended family until after 12 weeks, and I didn’t share the news on social media until after my 20 week scan, so just pick who you tell and when according to what is best for you.

Check out us telling our parents below…  (They thought we were taking a family photo Lol)

BOOKING YOUR CLASSES

Now, prior to my entire pregnancy being highjacked by a global pandemic I had the usual first time mum idealistic ideas of hypno-birthing courses, pregnancy yoga classes and Antenatal classes galore! Sadly they all got cancelled when lock down began BUT, prior to that I did get myself organised by signing up to several courses.

When it comes to Antenatal classes you would be surprised how quickly they get booked up, so I would definitely recommend that you book early! Check out what your local hospital has to offer as they often offer either complimentary classes or more affordable options. A friend of mine recommended the ‘Bump & Baby’ antenatal classes (available across London £250.00 per course), the course included infant first aid classes and an afternoon tea with the other parents at the end which I thought would be fun and a nice way to connect with other new parents so we booked onto this instead of the hospital one. 

However, my hospital was offering a 4 week hypno-birthing course for just £100, which was cheaper than most out there so we booked ourselves onto this to compliment the Antenatal course. I knew being the closet hippy and yogi that I am, that my birth plan had to include hypno-birthing as a big part of my experience, so for me this was a no brainer. 

If you are in your second trimester right now, then the likely hood is that like me, your pregnancy journey has probably been affected by Covid 19 and the above options are not likely to be available to you in person. If so, don’t panic just go digital! Now, I’m not going to pretend its the same because its not, it sucks and you will feel like you have missed out on a part of your pregnancy experience, I know I certainly did, but sometimes you have to make the best out of a bad situation and keep positive especially when you are pregnant. 

Tony and I signed up to ‘The positive birth company’ hypno-birthing course. At just £39.00 for the digital pack it covers quite a lot in the easy to watch videos. It also provides you with downloadable content containing helpful tools such as a birth preferences template, audio support materials and printable positive affirmations to name just a few of the helpful downloads. 

As for antenatal courses ‘Bump & Baby’ did offer us a digital version of the course but without the afternoon tea, and without the hands on baby first aid course it felt too pricey for just an online option. So we got our money back and instead I simply read what turned out to be one of my favourite books during pregnancy; ‘The Positive birth book’ by Milli Hill. This book covered everything and more that any antenatal course would cover, so save your pennies and get reading instead (Check out my last blog post ‘The new mummy book club’ for more recommended reads)

An essential course for us to partake in was a baby first aid course we signed up to the E Learn Baby first aid course ( https://my.elearnhere.co.uk/courses/mini-first-aid-parents-course/ ) It only took around 2 hours to complete and cost us just £10.00 ! I know… what a bargin and it covered all the basics including choking, burns and CPR. 

 

take care of your second trimester symptoms

As you will know already the first trimester is all exhaustion and feeling less than your best. As much as the second trimester is a welcome relief it does come with its own niggles. For me the biggest one was a common problem called pelvic girdle pain also known as (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It is basically uncomfortable AF and symptoms are caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis. The solution for me personally was a visit to a pregnancy specialist chiropractor (https://www.chiropracticbyhand.com/). Polly really helped me out, by ensuring I had great alignment, and relieving my symptoms quite quickly, I also had follow up appointments with her whenever I felt like the niggly pain or aches were returning and by the third trimester I had no pain whatsoever. Another thing that lots of women say works a treat is getting a support belt, I personally didn’t but lots of ladies swear by it. A pregnancy pillow also works for some, however I hated mine and gave it away quite quickly, instead opting for a regular pillow between my knees whilst adjusting to sleeping on my side (Im a front / back sleeper usually). I also kept up with my Zoom yoga classes once a week to help with my stability, strength and alignment being careful not to over extend my body as the relaxin hormones kicked in meaning I was more flexible than usual. 

Another thing that I started to experience in the second trimester was heartburn. At times it definitely felt like I was carrying a baby fire breathing dragon over a human child Lol. With heartburn it was all about paying attention, if I ate too late, if I ate anything too spicy or certain foods like peppers would aggravate the heartburn big time. So the key for me was to try to notice what triggered my heartburn and avoid it. I very nearly gave in to Gaviscone once or twice, but I held out and opted for some cold coconut milk instead which always helped soothe the symptoms. 

PREGNANCY BRAIN (YES ITS A REAL DAMN THING!)

I gotta admit I genuinely thought that “pregnancy brain” or ‘Baby brain” was a crock of shit, until I got struck down with it BIG TIME! I mean genuinely, overnight I became actually stupid. They say that “Baby brain” refers to memory problems, poor concentration and absent-mindedness… To me personally It felt like half the information my brain was capable of processing got deleted one day and i’m still trying to find it Lol. It was the extreme forgetfulness that surprised me the most. Tony could ask me to do something and within 30 seconds I would be staring into space wondering what it was I was supposed to be doing. Simple words and names would just vanish from my brain, or I would have driven to the shop to buy bread and bananas, then I got there I simply couldn’t remember why I was there so I would come home with milk instead having guessed what it was I was there for Lol. If it wasn’t so ridiculous I would cry but I gotta say it did become quite comical after a while, my fella and my best mate banter me about it all the time, at least it amuses them! 

The fact is this is a real thing and from what I have read it is caused by hormones. A recent review of 20 studies assessing more than 700 pregnant and 500 non- pregnant women concluded that general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant women. So if you’ve noticed you’ve become a total moron lately then honestly don’t sweat it, its not your fault and i’m just as much of a hot mess as you are!

The solution… write lists! I started keeping a pen and pad by my bed as I tend to remember things before bed. I also made notes in my phone (Granted I then forgot to read the bloody notes, so the pen and paper definitely worked better!) 

Exercise

Prior to pregnancy, I was pretty fit and into a good exercise routine that I enjoyed. My average week consisted of boxing, hot yoga & bootcamp and I loved it! 

We knew we wanted to try for a baby in 2020 so in the year leading up to it I really tried to get into the best physical shape possible. I wanted to ensure I was fit and healthy going into the journey, also we felt with both of us being healthy it would make it easier for us to fall pregnant in the first place.

I made a decision from the day I found out I was pregnant that I was determined to stay in shape and to stay consistent in my exercise routine, it would be mind over matter all the way. Even in my first trimester when I had zero energy and I felt pretty rough I still showed up to every class… granted some days I really did just go through the motions, on other days when I felt better I would try to push myself a little… but, I always made sure I showed up which I believe was key! But the second trimester is where you can really get back into your training and actually enjoy it. Your energy is up and your bump is small enough not to to interrupt too much with your usual activities. The general rule is you can continue whatever activities you did before you became pregnant, but don’t try something new. You can maintain your existing fitness levels, but don’t try to improve, and you can do almost everything during your second trimester except Ab work such as crunches and sit ups. I would definitely recommend doing a little research on You Tube or booking a session with a pre natal qualified PT for guidance on what is safe and what movements you should avoid. 

Now let me keep it real, lockdown could have absolutely obliterated my fitness plans and thrown me off my game plan. But thanks to so many PT’s and fitness programmes going digital and offering free online classes I managed to train 3/4 times per week during my second trimester which not only kept me in good shape, but I genuinely feel like it kept me mentally strong during a challenging time. I actually think its a bit of a blessing, as lets face it with a new born baby its going to be super tough getting to classes so getting into the habit of working out at home with digital support is probably going to be the way forward for me now anyway.

Some of my online recommendations are;

  • @ResultswithBump & @RWL –  Owned by new mummy Lucy Meck & PT Cecilia The website / App provide plenty of workouts as well as nutritional advice for both mummies to be and fitness enthusiasts. This is a paid subscription so keep an eye out for the free trials to decide if its for you or not. [Ad]
  • @HassanYoga – Hassan is my hot yoga teacher who started his weekly zoom classes during lockdown. It is donation based classes and he has continued them on Friday & Saturday mornings despite lock down being lifted. I love his way of teaching and his energy and flow and did my last class at 39 weeks pregnant. 
  • @CarlyNewson – I love mix and matching Carly’s work outs. You can do them whenever you like and stitch 3-4 of them to together to create a bespoke work out. It is all available for free on her Instagram page or you can join her subscription service for live daily work outs.  She offers some pregnancy friendly options if you scroll back to when she was pregnant herself, she has low impact options for those with injuries as well as hardcore workouts too. You can do whatever suits you throughout pregnancy and then up the difficultly when you are ready post partum.

 

GET ORGANISED

My favourite thing to do in the world is to organise, tidy and declutter! Tony is someone who loves a good DIY project, so the second trimester was that time for us to create the ultimate to do list and get organised. We tackled a massive wardrobe clear out, emptying and decorating the spare room so we could turn it into our babies nursery and we refreshed the decor in the rest of our flat.  As I am writing this, I am just two days from my due date. Trust me when I say use your second trimester to tackle these bigger jobs as when you hit the third trimester you really don’t have the same levels of energy or motivation and the belly really just makes everything more difficult. 

Another thing to do that takes time, is to get your gift registry started. I thought I would fly through this task but genuinely it takes bloody hours! When selecting things you will need for your newborn there is a lot of research that goes into it and that takes time! For example; which bottles to get, what steriliser you want, what dummies are best. These decisions aren’t easy to make as you are learning about these things for the first time and there are soooo many brands to choose from. So give yourself plenty of time to get this done prior to your baby shower or little ones arrival as people will 100% ask you if you have a list of things you need / want and its always best to be prepared instead of ending up with everyone buying you a bunch of dodgy outfits you don’t even like! 

I used https://www.myregistry.com/ it was super easy to use and everyone who brought us gifts said the same. 

Check out my ‘Ultimate New Parent Shopping List’ blog post from a couple of weeks back if you need some guidance.

The Ultimate New Parent Shopping List…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post ! Don’t forget to get in touch via Instagram @Shanie_Ryan to let me know what you think, hit me with any questions you might have or to let me know if there are any subjects you would love me to write about in the future! I love receiving all of your lovely feedback so much.

Baby Sincs is due in just 2 days, so it may be a few weeks until my next instalment but I promise to be back picking up where I left off soon enough… 

Love Shanie & Bump xX

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New Mummy Book Club

New Mummy Book Club

Hey Lovely Mama’s, 

Welcome to the new Mummy book club!  Now, I know i’ve had a fair bit of time on my side what with being in quarantine for the past few months. Therefore, I have managed to get through a fair amount of books and audio books in the run up to welcoming my baby boy into the world. 

Here is my personal recommendations of what to read during pregnancy!

The Positive Birth Book – By Milli Hill

This book is by far my number one recommendation for any expectant Mum. I read this book during my first trimester, and it was a real education in pregnancy and birth. It takes you on a journey from the start of your pregnancy through to the fourth trimester, and it covers everything you need to know from changes in your body, the growth of your baby, your emotional wellbeing, what exactly is happening during labour and what to expect from your care providers. Most importantly it lays out everyone of your birth options clearly and teaches you about your legal rights during child birth. I loved how at every turn this book is littered with positive birth stories covering almost every situation that may occur.

But what I found really helpful was how empowered, knowledgable and in control it made me feel, you know what they say “knowledge is power”.

So you’re going to have a baby – By Adam Ringham & Chris Kirkcof.

Okay, this is definitely a controversial one, so brace yourself. I wont lie, this book is pretty heavy, but I am not one to bury my head in the sand. I would rather have all of the information available from both sides of the argument to enable me to make an educated decision.  In this book you’ll learn about Heavy Metals, Pitocin, MTHFR, Fluoride, Ultrasounds, Vaccines, Vitamin K shot, Strep B, Eye Ointment, Delayed Cord Clamping, Folic Acid, NSAID’s and Glutathione, mitochondrial disorders, aborted fetal tissue, and more. I did warn you, its intense! This isn’t a book to tell you what decision to make, or to sway you towards being pro or anti vaccine, but it does help you curate an educated list of questions for you to ask your doctor and give you food for thought so to speak. 

This book has really helped me and my partner finalise the medical decisions that are best for our child.

Babyopathy – By Angela J Spencer

I picked up this book during my third trimester which was a shame really as it is another book that guides you from the first trimester through to the fourth. This is the perfect book for someone who like me appreciates the power of crystals and essential oils and is into a more holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. This book is written with a focus on relaxation and highlights the importance of combating stress during pregnancy. It also guides you through babies first year of life with a natural and holistic approach. Overall, I wouldn’t say this book is an extensive information based book like ‘The positive birth book’ or ‘So you’re going to have a baby’, but it is a lovely addition to those books and brings some balance between a medical and holistic approach to the journey to motherhood.

Ina Mays Guide To Breastfeeding – By Ina May Gaskin

Now, I don’t know about you, but breastfeeding genuinely scares the hell out of me. It’s much like birth, you can have a “Birth Plan” but how it actually turns out when the time comes is not within your control. I guess the same goes for a “Breastfeeding Plan” the reality is, it could go either way. You could struggle with nipple pain or baby can struggle with his/her latch. So I wanted to get as much information as possible both to motivate me through the hard times and remind myself why I am persevering with breastfeeding, but also to help trouble shoot when the going gets tough. The book covers everything from soothing remedies for cracked nipples to all the tricks in helping baby get a good latch. It also teaches you the history of breastfeeding, the benefits of breastfeeding and covers every solution to every breast feeding problem. I will point out the audiobook version has a pretty annoying narrator so swerve that and get the paperback version on this one.  

Your Baby week by week – By Simon Cave & Dr Caroline Fertleman

Now, I cant say I have actually finished this book as it is best read weekly. As my baby is due next week I have only read week one and two of babies life. But this book came highly recommended by several Mummies and already I can see why. This one is purely practical and that is exactly what you need when overwhelmed and under prepared. This book covers feeding, how many wet nappies you should expect, what to expect from babies sleep pattern, what is normal and when you should seek help from your midwife or health visitor, perfect for every first time mum especially if you don’t have a huge support network with lots of on hand advice at the ready. 

The book you wish your parents had read (and your children will be glad that you did) – By Philippa Perry.

Full disclaimer this is another one to swerve on audiobook, the narrator has a habit of putting on silly voices when telling stories that are both distracting and annoying, so my advice is to stick to the paperback version on this one!

However that aside, this book is really quite good. It is super thought provoking. Firstly it makes you really take a look at your own childhood and how your parents raised you, which is a good thing to process when you are about to become a parent yourself. 

Then it uses personal stories, and psychology to really talk through how best to communicate with children and help understand their behaviour as they grow through different phases of life. It definitely made me analyse how I want to parent and which habits I may have as a person that may be detrimental to communicating with a small human. I would definitely recommend this book for both mum and dad to read. 

 

I hope this helps you navigate your way through the sea of parenting books on the market!

Do let me know via Instagram what you think of this reading guide and if there is any awesome books I have missed off of my list that you would recommend that I read. 

Keep an eye out for my next blog instalment, hopefully I will post it next Sunday… presuming I don’t go into labour first!

Love from Shanie & Bump x

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The Ultimate New Parent Shopping List…

The Ultimate New Parent Shopping List…

TRAVEL

Pram – We opted for the ‘iCandy designer peach Cerium’ which came with the basinet and rucksack style changing bag as well as foot muff and rain cover. 

Bassinet – It is a great option for your baby between 0 -6 months, a basinet aids babies breathing and lung development. It is also recommended for spinal development and muscle tone.

Changing Bag – Our changing bag came with our pram bundle. But it couldn’t be more perfect, its quite large so fits everything we will need for baby and it doubles up as a hospital bag for baby. On top of that style wise it is unisex so works for both Tony and I. 

Foot Muff – Our foot muff came with our pram bundle, but if it didn’t we would have purchased one for the winter months. Perfect for keeping baby snug on those winter walks.

Pram Bundle £1,300

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Sling / Baby Carrier

We opted for 3 different types of carrier after a few friends mentioned to Tony and I that we would likely have different preferences.  Also most parents like different slings when out to what they might use when they are in the house. So personally have a variety at the ready to try, but if you don’t want to dive into your purchase, you can always try a baby sling library where you can hire different types on a weekly basis before choosing which one to invest your money in. 

These are the ones we chose;

  1. Baby Bjorn Air One £163.99
  2. Close Parent Close Caboo £55.00
  3. FreeRider Wrap £49.99
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Travel Accessories

Here are a few accessories we felt could be helpful for travelling.

  • Car Mirror – £10.59 (Amazon). Great to be able see baby when the car seat is rear facing.
  • Maxi Cosi Back seat protector – £16.00 (Maxi Cosi. Perfect to protect the back of your seats from little muddy feet when your little one gets bigger.
  • Rockit Baby Rocker – £39.99 (John Lewis). For all those parents who’s baby likes to be rocked in the pram, it basically does it all for you. 

Car Seat & Base

We opted for the Cybex Cloud Z i size car seat and 180 degree rotating base, check out my previous blog on pram and car seat choices for a full review. 

  • Cybex Cloud Z £224.95
  • Cybex 180 Degree Base £185.00

 

SLEEPING

Co Sleeper & Cot

There is many benefits to co sleeping particularly if you are breast feeding, baby will only be in the co sleeper for the first 6 months, before it is recommended that you settle them into there own room and cot. 

We checked out quite a few nursery furniture options at the baby show and decided on the following Scandinavian brand. 

  • Snuzpod 2 – £199.95

This co-sleeper is a good size, light weight, lift off bassinet with a reflux incline option and plenty of storage underneath. Its a breathable mesh fabric on the side, which zip down so baby is right next to you. 

  • Snuz Kot – £349.00 (Plus mattress £139.95/ Extension kit is £79.95)

This cot was a no brainer, it takes your baby from 6 months to 10 years old! It is made of natural beech wood and has a modern Scandi style which we loved. It was also easy to put together. 

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Sleeping Accessories

  • 3 x Fitted Sheets for Co- Sleeper
  • 3 x Fitted Sheets for Cot
  • 2 x Waterproof mattress protectors.
  • Cot Bumpers
  • 3 x Cellular Blankets
  • 3 x Grow Bags
  • Room Thermometer
  • Baby Monitor
  • Sleep Aid / White Noise
  • Humidifer
  • Night light
  • Blackout Blinds

Breast feeding & breast pumps

Let’s talk about breast feeding & pumping!

Whatever route you decide its a personal choice, after reading the Ina May’s guide to breastfeeding and after taking into consideration the fact that Tony and I don’t drink dairy ourselves we decided that “Breast was best” for us personally. However, Tony does want to be involved in the feeds, as will the grandparents and also being self employed I will need to dip in and out of work projects quite soon after birth so we also needed to explore the wonderful world of breast pumps and feeding expressed milk from a bottle as well! 

After reviewing TONNES of breast pumps, we settled on two…. 

  • The Elvie Double Breast Pump – £449.00

This is a revolutionary new to the market product that allows women to pump discreetly and quietly. Im talking you can pump at your desk or whilst filling your car with petrol and no one would know kind of discreet.  Its completely quiet, and fits snuggly into your bra. No wires, no tubes and no bottles hanging from your chest like you belong in a dairy farm. Its all connected to an app on your phone, is USB chargeable as well so thats a super useful feature. 

What is included:

  • 2 Hubs
  • 4 Bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free)
  • 2 Breast Shield (24mm)
  • 2 Breast Shield (28mm)
  • 4 Valves
  • 4 Spouts
  • 4 Seals
  • 4 Storage Lids
  • 4 Bra Adjusters
  • 2 USB Charging Cables
  • 2 Carry Bags
  • Instructions for Use
  • Medela Freestyle Flex 2 Phase Double Breast Pump – £349.99

This brand is one of the most highly awarded brands in the market. This electric breast pump is perfect for pumping at home or in a private space. It produces an outstanding 11% more milk than any other pump on the market due to its technology that very closely mimics the suckling of a real baby. Its not as quiet or discreet at the Elvie but in terms of being effective this is your best friend. 

What is included: 1 x Freestyle Flex™ double electric breast pump
2 x Medela PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield size 21 mm
2 x Medela PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield size 24 mm
2 x Medela PersonalFit Flex™ connector
1 x tubing
4 x 150 ml breast milk bottle
4 x lid
2 x bottle stand
1 x power adaptor with USB cable
1 x carry bag
1 x cooler with cooler element

The reason we opted for both is I wanted the Elvie for work purposes such as pumping in the dressing room at QVC I would rather the discreet option, however when at home the Medela was my top choice to ensure my pumping time is the most effective and I am getting the most milk possible for baby. 

OTHER FEEDING ESSENTIALS

  • Lactation Consultant on speed dial! (Search Locally)
  • Manual Suction Pump
  • Bottles
  • Steriliser
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Breast Feeding Pillow
  •  Nursing Bras
  • Breast Feeding Cover Up
  • Nipple shields
  • Nipple Cream
  • Breast Pads
  • Milk Storage Bags
  • Sharpie & masking tape to label the milk bags
  •  Low wattage feeding night light
  • Formula ( If you have chosen not to breast feed)
  • Muslin Cloths

After much research below are my top feeding essentials recommendations…

BABY TOILETRIES & BATHROOM ESSENTIALS

  • Organic, Chemical Free baby bath & shampoo 
  • Organic, Chemical Free Baby oil
  • Organic, Chemical Free Nappy Cream or Baby balm
  • Organic Chemical free baby powder
  • Eco Friendly, Biodegradable Nappies or reusable nappies
  • Eco Friendly, Biodegradable Nappy sacks
  • Biodegradable or Reusable Wipes
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Changing Caddy
  • Changing Mat
  • Baby Bath
  • Natural Bath Sponge
  • Hooded Towels
  • Dressing gown
  • Baby Nail clippers / file
  • Bath Thermometer
  • Nappy Bin
  • Dummies

Medical for Baby

  •  Baby first aid kit
  • Sudocream
  • Baby Olbas Oil
  • Infacol
  • Gripe Water
  • Snot Sucker
  • Baby Grooming kit
  • Saline Spray
  • Baby Ibruprofen
  • Baby Thermometer
  • Sterilising Wipes
  • Vitamin D Drops

Baby CLOTHES 0-3 MONTHS

So here’s a thought, the most important thing for Mumma and Baby is skin to skin…. and that requires zero clothing! So here is my bare essential guide to stocking up on the bare necessities for bringing home your newborn.

  • Short Sleeved Vests (7x Newborn & 7x 0-3 mths)
  • Long Sleeved Vests (7x Newborn & 7x 0-3 mths)
  • Sleep suits (7x Newborn & 7x 0-3 mths)
  • Cotton Cardigan  (x2 Newborn & 2x 0-3 mths)
  • Hats (x2)
  • Socks (x7)
  • Scratch Mitts (x2)
  • Booties (x2)
  • Bibs (x10)
  • Outfits (7x Newborn & 7x 0-3 mths)
  • Pramsuit (1x Newborn & 1x 0-3 Months)
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