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    Baby, BLW

    BLW // The Second Week in. 




    So we are now in the second week of our BLW journey. It's probably been the most anxious time of our whole six months together but everyday I am gaining more and more confidence.

    This week he has tried, noodles, pork, cheese on toast, pasta, apple, peach, banana, porridge, yoghurt, boiled egg, broccoli, cauliflower cheese muffins and pancakes.

    I am slowly starting to introduce breakfast so he's pretty much on three meals a day. I talked last week about how I was finding it difficult to fit in food and bottles but I am finding an easier routine which looks like this:

     

    BLW journey

    8am                                         Wake up and bottle

    9am                                         Breakfast

    10am                                       Nap

    11am                                       Bottle

    12pm                                       Lunch

    1pm                                         Nap

    3pm                                         Bottle

    4/5pm                                     Tea

    6pm                                         Bottle and bed

    The gagging has significantly reduced, especially in those foods he is used to eating like pancakes, satsumas and apples. I have found it much easier (for us both) if I microwave fruits like apples and pears in a little hot water for a few minutes to make them much softer. For satsumas I started last week by cutting each segment in half long ways, but now I cut them into three pieces making them the same size as a blueberry. His pincer grip means he can get most of them in his mouth and it's great for his motor skills to keep working on it. 

    I try and offer a carb (such as bread, pasta, noodles) a protein (chicken, cheese, pork) and a fruit or veg. This is what my portions look like: 

    Carbs*:

    Crumpet (half)

    Toast (one slice, crusts cut off)

    Sandwich (two slices, crusts cut off, cut into four triangles: offer two triangles)

    Muffins (half if made with plain flour, full if made with coconut flour)

    Noodles (half a nest)

    Pasta (five or six spirals) 

    Pancakes (three tablespoon sized) 

    Baby rice cakes (two)

    Protein:

    Chicken/pork/beef (three finger sized strips)

    Sausage (half cut lengthways)

    Cheese 15g

    Fruit and Veg:

    Apple / Pear - half

    Banana - full

    Mango / Melon - three cubes

    Strawberries - 2 quarterted

    Satsuma - half

    Blueberries - six or seven

    Broccoli florets - three

     

    *I believe that the general rule of thumb is a carbs portion should be the same size as baby's fist. I probably offer double that, as I am aware quite a bit ends up on the floor.

    I haven't noticed a reduction in the amount of milk Dexter is taking. He is having four 7oz bottles during the day and a 9oz bottle at midnight totalling around 37oz a day. I will be looking to reduce this midnight feed in the coming weeks. I have tried in the past to eliminate it completely, however he ended up waking up in the night hungry so I am reluctant to drop it completely just yet.

    This week also saw Dexter eat his lunch in front of someone who wasn't me or his dad. It was even more nerve wracking than usual because the last thing you want is a choking or bad gagging incident and that other person to freak out. Luckily Dexter's grandad is very supportive of BLW and understands the benefits.

    It has been amazing to see Dexter become more adept at picking up smaller pieces and working out how to get them in his mouth.

    I'm so excited to see what the following few weeks bring to our BLW journey.




    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Spinach Balls Recipe




    My husband and I wanted to eat Chilli Chicken Gnocchi for our tea from the Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 book but I was not happy giving Dex gnocchi as I feel it’s a choking risk. Instead I improvised, and gave him some pasta, a couple of cherry tomatoes quartered, some strips of chicken and these spinach balls. This spinach balls recipe is quick and easy to make with a few store cupboard ingredients. I absolutely adore spinach, its so versatile and a healthy vegetable and I want to make sure that Dexter eats it as much as he can, especially for the iron content. I was sort of making this up as I went along so there are no measurements for ingredients, sorry!

    Method

    spinach balls recipe

    I boiled two large handfuls of spinach for a couple of minutes then rinsed it in a colander with cold water. Next, I squeezed out all of the moisture until I was left with a small amount of dry spinach which I chopped. I added breadcrumbs, some grated cheese and an egg and combined it all with a spoon. Then I rolled the mixture into three, meatball sized balls with my hands and popped them in the oven at 180C for fifteen minutes. It’s a good idea to grease the baking tray first or line it with foil or baking paper. I neglected to do this and had to force the balls off the baking tray when they were ready. Not a great start!

    spinach balls recipe

    Result

    After they had cooled sufficiently, I offered them alongside the pasta, tomato and chicken. Dex was able to take a few considerable bites and I offered plenty of water in between to wash it all down. They were moist enough for him to be able to chew but also turgid enough for him to be able to pick them up easily.

    spinach balls recipe

    Another BLW success. Let me know if you try it.






    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Cheese Muffins Recipe




    This has to be my biggest success story yet! A yummy cheesy muffin that’s easy to pick up, nice and moist and absolutely delicious! This is a super quick and easy recipe that uses stuff that you should have available in your fridge/store cupboard.

    I combined 125g of plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder and 250g cheddar cheese in a bowl. (The muffins that I created were SUPER cheesy, you may find they taste just as good with less cheese, especially if you are using a strong cheddar.) In another bowl I mixed an egg and 100ml of milk. (Remember it should be formula, breastmilk or whole cows milk)

    I then combined the two together to create a lumpy mixture. I scooped the mixture into muffin cases and baked for 15 minutes at 200C in a preheated fan oven.

    cheese muffins recipe

    I could eat these myself all day long. Dexter loves how he could pick them up easily and loved stuffing it in his mouth. I quickly realised he was stuffing more in before swallowing so the second time I offered them, I cut the muffin into three strips and offered him one strip at a time. He needed lots of water to wash them down but I’ve never seen him consume so much in one go.

    cheese muffins recipe

    I made 6 muffins in total which can be kept in an air tight container for four days or alternatively can be frozen. Just make sure you fully defrost them before serving. The less fresh they are, the less moist they become, so just remember that if you are offering them to a younger baby.

    cheese muffins recipe

    I am excited to start making these regularly but changing up the recipe. I am currently trying them with coconut flour and cauliflower cheese. Hopefully another recipe for me to share with you again soon.

    Let me know if you try them!




    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Frozen Yoghurt Bites




    Dex isn’t quite ready for a pre loaded spoon yet and I don’t really want to spoon feed him yoghurt (kind of goes against BLW principles) so I made these yummy frozen  yoghurt bites instead. These are an easy way of getting baby to eat yoghurt as well as sneaking in a bit of fruit.

    Method

    I greased a freezer safe pot and lined it with baking paper. To grease it, I sprayed the pot with Fry-light, this, for me, is the easiest way to grease pots and pans.

    frozen yoghurt bites recipe

    Next, I poured in a tub of natural yoghurt (small size), spread it out evenly in the pot using the back of my spoon and then threw in some red currents and blueberries. (I had a pack of frozen summer fruits stored in my freezer which cost £2 from Tesco.)

    frozen yoghurt bites recipe

    I then left it overnight in the freezer. When I came back to it, I let it sit on the worktop for a few minutes, to defrost slightly, before peeling it out of the paper. I placed it on a chopping board and hit it with a knife until it broke into small, finger sized pieces. (Be very careful!)

    frozen yoghurt bites recipe

    Result

    Voilà. Yummy frozen yoghurt bites. Dex found these very easy to pick up but they didn’t stay in his hands for long, probably because they are so cold. As he put the pieces in his mouth, the yoghurt just melted which I loved: finger food without the worry of choking.

    frozen yoghurt bites recipe

    The natural yoghurt was very tart so I’d be inclined to try Greek yoghurt next time or maybe a flavoured yoghurt. (I am wary of added sugar so if you have a recommendation for a healthy fruity yoghurt, let me know!) I bet these would be great for babies who are suffering with teething pain and I plan to try these with Dex next time he’s grouchy.

    Let me know if you try them out.




    Baby, BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Eggy Bread Recipe




    My lovely friend Leanne suggested eggy bread as a great finger food for baby. I was so excited to try this because I absolutely adore French toast!

    Method

    eggy bread recipe

    I used Warbutons white toastie loaf for the bread. Any type of bread works, but for Dex I wanted it to be a nice soft bread. I cut off the crusts of the bread and then in a bowl I mixed an egg, a small amount of milk and vanilla extract. Don’t forget when cooking for baby you can use their regular formula or cows milk, but it must be blue topped (whole) milk. I’m quite picky about the vanilla I use. Dr Oetker’s Madagascan vanilla extract is amazing and gives it a really lovely taste.

    eggy bread recipe

    Once the egg mixture was sufficiently combined I placed the bread in the bowl and let it soak in the eggy juices. Meanwhile, I heated a frying pan and threw in a tablespoon of butter. Once it had melted, I placed in my slice of egg bread to cook, turning after two minutes. To grease the pan, you can use coconut oil as an alternative to butter.

    eggy bread recipe

    After the eggy bread had cooled, I cut it into slices and served to Dex alongside some banana. I topped mine with slices of banana and a dash of maple syrup.

    eggy bread recipe

    Result

    This has to be the meal he has consumed the most of so far. He found the slices easy to pick up and they were soft enough to be chewed by his gums but not so soft that they fell apart in his hands. I offered water to wash it all down as I could see quite a bit had broken up in his mouth and yet he kept trying to stuff more in.

    eggy bread recipe

    I think this eggy bread recipe is going to become a firm favourite in our household. Let me know if you give it a try.




    Baby, BLW

    BLW // Five Things I Learnt in our First Week




    It’s been a week since we started baby led weaning and it’s been a mixture of highs and lows. I’ve offered a whole range of food- fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, chicken, pasta, bread, peanut butter and hummus. There’s been successes and there have been complete failures (word to the wise: piri-piri hummus is a no-go). Here’s what I’ve learnt in our first week baby led weaning.

    first week baby led weaning

    1. It gets very messy

    I thought purees were messy. All that disgusting green slobber sliding out of Dex’s mouth and down his bib. It was about to get a lot worse. The majority of what I give Dex ends up on the floor via his chest, lap and hands. I am still trying to figure out a way to do this thing without having to change his outfit three times a day. I’ve tried a cover all bib and him wearing one of my old t-shirts but food still manages to find its way to be smushed on his legs. I decided to buy a plastic table cloth for the floor which at least means I can sweep up the bits of food without it getting trodden into the carpet. You need plenty of baby wipes to hand to clean messy hands and face after the meal. I’m dreading introducing something that is actually messy like spaghetti bolognese.

    first week baby led weaning

    2. It is extremely panic inducing

    Giving your baby a big bit of food and watching them shove the whole thing in their mouth? Scary. Then there’s the gagging. This, apparently is completely natural: babies have their gag reflex further forward in their mouths to protect them from choking. I have had to sit on my hands to stop me from forcing bits of satsuma out of Dex’s mouth. Research helps as well as being aware of exactly what needs to be done if a choking incident was to occur. I’m avoiding whole grapes, nuts and cherry tomatoes as these are big choking hazards and sticking to soft fruits like banana, avocado and steamed apple.

    first week baby led weaning

    3. I need to improve my diet

    I kept asking people what is good to offer my baby and kept getting the same reply: a little bit of what you’re having. Oh crap. I’ve stopped eating breakfast and although we eat pretty healthy teas, we are not getting anywhere near the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetable per day. Luckily, I already do meal plans for our evening meal so I have sat down and planned how we can incorporate a bit of extra veg into our meals. It’s quite easy to throw in a bit extra in most pasta dishes, curries and stir fries. I also offer an additional piece of fruit with every meal as well. It means I am eating satsumas for the first time in years- and I’m loving it!

    first week baby led weaning

    4. It’s hard to fit in three meals a day

    As I mentioned above, I’ve already started skipping breakfast again after becoming a porridge fiend during my pregnancy and there’s no way I’m having my tea at 4pm so Dex  and I only share our lunch time meal together. I’m sure it’d be easier if it was summer, but right now, as soon as it goes dark at 4.30pm Dex wants his bedtime routine. I haven’t given him breakfast yet, I usually try some lunch around an hour after his second bottle of the day (11am) and then tea at 4pm which comes an hour after this third bottle. Dex likes a big nap after his morning bottle (7am) and I don’t want him to take less milk at his second bottle so I’ve avoided breakfast so far.

    first week baby led weaning

    5. It’s so much fun

    I love creating new recipes and cooking, and watching Dex try all the new textures and flavours is amazing. I suppose I’m probably a bit off putting sat in front of him watching his every move with my camera but I don’t want to miss a thing. Despite all the worry and the mess, it’s so much fun to watch and I am so excited to see him develop over the next few weeks. I’m hoping he is going to start consuming a bit more and improve his pincer grip.

    Are you planning to BLW? I hope this helps you. Maybe you already BLW, what was your first week like?

    You can find my BLW recipes here

    If you liked this post check out my guide to the must have baby led weaning products. 

     




    BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Egg Muffins Recipe




    As I mentioned in my previous recipe, Sweet Potato Pancakes, I have a stock pile of purées to use so I’m trying to think up recipes for BLW that can incorporate them.

    Egg muffins are a huge favourite with Slimming Worlders because they are an easy way to get your vegetables in and they are pretty low calorie. Obviously, for Dexter I’m not interested in how many calories they contain, but I am interested in getting healthy veg down him.

    Method

    I started by prepping a muffin tin by spraying it with Fry-light. I pop my egg muffins straight into the tin, you can of course use muffin cases.

    egg muffins recipe

    Next, I beat three eggs in a bowl and added pepper. That is your basic egg muffin recipe sorted. Now you can add whatever your heart desires. I added a cube of spinach purée and a cube of asparagus as well as lashings of cheese. I stirred it all up until it was well mixed.

    To finish, I poured the mixture into the muffin tin, into six equal portions. I try to fill each muffin case half way full so the muffin has room to expand.

    I popped it into my pre heated oven at 180C fan for 15 minutes.

    egg muffins recipe

    You can pre make these egg muffins as they taste delicious both hot and cold. They can be stored in the fridge for 48 hours as well. I made mine this morning ready for lunch so I wouldn’t have to bother waiting for them to cool.

    Result

    Dexter found them easy enough to pick up and once they were heading for his mouth, they broke apart easily. More ended up on the floor than in his mouth but he had a good go at all four muffins. I found that he needed lots of sips of water to wash them down, so bear this in mind.

    egg muffins recipe

    Is this something you’d like to try with your baby? Let me know how you get on!




    Baby, Pregnancy

    26 Weeks in, 26 Weeks out. 




    My darling Dex turned 26 weeks old on Friday. I cannot honestly understand how I have a six month old baby. Life has changed so much over the past year, all for the better of course. I wanted to do a quick snapshot of 26 weeks in versus 26 weeks out.

    26 weeks in.

    img_1772

    In this picture, I was 26 weeks pregnant. It was taken February 14th and we were just about to head out for a meal to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I got this gorgeous orange dress from ASOS and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it. Unfortunately, it was a little tight, even though it was a size 10. I decided to wear an underwired bra as well (maternity bras do NOT go with nice dresses).

    At this point, I’d been off sick from work for just over a month due to my Pelvic Girdle Pain. It was a struggle to walk long distances and in a lot of pain day and night. I was also feeling pretty down. I felt horrendously guilty about being off from work and very lonely at home by myself all week. This was probably one of the first times I’d actually managed to get myself made up and do my hair in that month.

    We went to Fazenda which is a gorgeous rodizio restaurant not far from our flat. We ate so much amazing meat, potatoes, rice, salad. I felt huge by the end. In fact, I had to pop down to the ladies and remove that pesky underwired bra at one point!

    It was the first time I truly felt pregnant. The staff looked after me so well. They had to move the table so I could fit me and bump and they made sure my meat wasn’t too pink.

    26 weeks out.

    img_2088

    Now here we are nine months later and Dex is 26 weeks old. Thankfully, my Pelvic Girdle Pain is long gone and I have my beautiful boy here with me.

    He has recently started solids and is now able to sit on the floor without support. He has his own little personality and makes me and his Daddy very happy every single day.




    BLW, Recipe

    BLW // Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe




    As you may know, I have ditched the purée feeding in favour of Baby Led Weaning. This is all well and good, apart from I have a shed-load of purées stacked in my freezer.

    After the success of my Banana Pancakes, I thought, why not try the same concept but with sweet potato?

    Method

    I took out two cubes of puréed sweet potato from my stock pile and defrosted them in the microwave. (You can also steam sweet potato until soft and then mash into a thick purée or blend). I added one egg and whisked the concoction together with a fork until it became batter-like.

    sweet potato pancake recipe

    You can use any oil or butter to grease the pan, this time I used fry-light for ease. I then dolloped five tablespoons of the batter into the pan.

    I left them to fry for four minutes before tentatively turning them with a large spatula. This bit can get pretty messy, just make sure you take your time and don't panic if a bit of the batter comes loose.

    Once flipped, I pressed down on the pancakes with my spatula to flatten them slightly and ensure they cooked right through. I left them again for four minutes.

    Once cooked, I placed them on our Munchkin White Hot Plates to cool (these clever plates tell you when the food has sufficiently cooled enough to give to baby) and then served alongside some apple and clementine.

    sweet potato pancake recipe

    The Result

    These pancakes are super easy for baby to pick up and very soft so they smush easily in baby's mouth. It gets very messy though as they easily fall apart in baby's hand. Dexter had lots of fun trying to pick up the bits that fell apart though.

    The apple was peeled and sliced into finger sized pieces. He mainly sucked on these. Occasionally he was able to gum a small piece into his mouth.

    sweet potato pancake recipe

    The clementines were too small for him to pick up with his pincer grip. I was too scared to give him a whole wedge as it feels like it could be a choking hazard. Correct me if I'm wrong?

    Let me know if you give these a go!



    Check out more of my recipes below:

    Pregnancy

    Pregnancy Symptoms




    My husband and I were reminising last night about all the pregnancy symptoms I suffered with while Dex was in-utero. It’s funny now when we look back on it, but there were times during my pregnancy that I’d really had enough.  Pregnancy is certainly not all glowing skin, shiny hair and cute bump. Before I was pregnant, I didn’t even know half this stuff could even happen to you, all I was worried about was stretch marks! This goes into graphic detail bordering on TMI, so if that’s not your thing, navigate away now…..

    Swollen Lady Bits

    The first of all my pregnancy symptoms and the reason I suspected I was pregnant despite three negative tests. During pregnancy, blood flows to your lady bits and for me it was so very obvious and quite painful. It also felt a little itchy at times which was embarrassing. Luckily this only lasted for a week or so, right at the start. The swolleness came back though in the final weeks of pregnancy. The whole area was super engorged and I really did not understand how a baby’s head would be able to vacate the premises! I’m pleased to say things do (eventually) return to normal.

    Extremely Tender Breasts

    This was my second symptom which lasted the whole of my first trimester. The pain was so bad that I was unable to wear an underwired bra. I had to dash to John Lewis at 5 weeks pregnant to buy a couple of supportive non-wired bras and go up two cup sizes while I was at it. I couldn’t have any pressure on them which meant no lying on my front or side and no hugs. People who didn’t know I was pregnant would hug me and I’d wince in pain pretending everything was fine. Ouchie.

    Bloating

    You’re only eight weeks pregnant and yet you have a belly the size of a woman in her second trimester. Lots of bloating happens early on which can look like a cute baby bump but really peanut is only the size of, erm, a peanut. I felt huge! And paranoid, that everyone could tell I was pregnant. This doesn’t really go away, it is simply replaced by the actual baby bump, a few months down the line.

    pregnancy symptoms

    The week before I gave birth, the first time in weeks I’d done my hair and make up.

     

    Spotting

    This started happening when I was 8 weeks pregnant and turned into a bleed. I went to the hospital to get checked out and we saw Dex on the screen for the very first time. It is quite normal to spot when you are in early pregnancy but I highly recommend going to get checked out if you’re worried. I also experienced implantation bleeding around the time my period was due, which I put down to, guess what, my period. It was much lighter than usual and only lasted two days which should have rung alarm bells, but didn’t.

    Tiredness

    During my first trimester, I’d wake up at 6am and leave the house for 7am. I’d be back home by 7pm and asleep by 8pm. This lasted for ten whole weeks. My boss suggested I work a six day week and try leaving work at 4pm. Um, no thanks. I need the whole of Saturday to sleep. It did ease as I went into my second trimester, but as I hit my third, most of my days were spent resting.

    Food Aversions / Cravings

    I suddenly didn’t want to eat hot wings anymore and this is completely unheard of. I love the Colonel and everything he stands for. By my third trimester I was cooking fresh meals everyday with actual vegetables and snacking on fruit. I had become the healthiest I had ever been and I hadn’t even needed to try. Good baby. My cravings were red grapes and chocolate muffins. But not any old muffins. They had to be a specific type of chocolate muffin from Sainsbury’s. One time, my husband brought me the muffins from Tesco. I tried to keep it together, I really did.

    pregnancy symptoms

    24 weeks pregnant, I was in a lot of pain with my pelvis.

    Mood Swings

    Which brings me on nicely to mood swings. One day Bolton Wanderers won a game and I remember I had never felt so elated in all my life. We were having a pretty tough season and were destined to be relegated but even so, this happiness was just ridiculous. I was practically bouncing around the flat. It cumulated in me, some hours later, throwing a frying pan across the room because my pancake went wrong. I cried and I cried and felt depression like never before. Hormones are just wow.

    Discharge

    There’s so much of it, it never ends. I’m glad for it, it kept baby protected from all those horrible germs but god, did there really need to be so much? Even my midwife kept asking me if I had thrush (I didn’t). Invest in many, many pantyliners.

    Braxton Hicks Contractions

    These started for me at around 19 weeks. They would normally come on if I was worrying about something or felt anxious. It would start as a weird tightening sensation in my stomach and then my belly would go solid as a rock. Slowly, it would ease until my belly was soft again. They started as one or two a day, building over the weeks to up to six or seven per day by the end. They felt nothing like real contractions and were not painful in the slightest.

    pregnancy symptoms

    30 weeks pregnant. I was convinced I had a fat face so was trying to make myself look thin. In bed as usual.

    Pelvic Girdle Pain

    This was definitely the worst of all my pregnancy symptoms. I started with it at 16 weeks pregnant and it got so bad by 21 weeks I was signed off sick from work. Imagine someone kicking you in your pubic bone. It felt like that constantly. Plus clicking and grinding every time I walked/stood/rolled. By 30 weeks pregnant I could barely turn in the night. My husband couldn’t sleep because I was groaning out in pain. I couldn’t drive. Walking hurt so bad. If I walked to Tesco five minutes away I’d need to rest in bed for the following two days. I couldn’t put my knickers or leggings on stood up. I couldn’t use the stairs or get in or out of the bath. The good news is that it disappeared as soon as Dexter was born. The bad news is that it ramped up a gear when I started pumping my breastmilk. I hope I avoid this one in my next pregnancy. You can learn more about PGP here.

    Protruding Bellybutton

    My belly button has always been a cute little innie but at 14 weeks pregnant that was all about to change. 14 weeks! Who knew that this pregnancy symptom would appear so early on? I thought most women’s belly buttons popped out when they were ready to pop at 38 weeks or something. From 14 weeks onwards it started growing and growing. Until eventually, it was no longer an innie. That was until I had Braxton Hicks contractions. Then it would revert to an innie for a few minutes before slowly popping back out again. Weird.

    Sweating

    Apparently it’s hormonal. I am quite sweaty at the best of times but this was just ridiculous. It would be pouring from my face, hands, armpits, urgh. This was one that continued after birth as well. I’d be flapping my arms under my armpits, opening windows when it was chilly and having to change the bedsheets more regularly than usual.

    pregnancy symptoms

    A few days before I gave birth. Literally ready to pop

    Crying

    I cried over pancakes (see above), One Born Every Minute, every song that was ever on the radio ever, my husband got me grapes, my husband forgot my grapes, I couldn’t bend over to do my shoes, the postman knocked on the door and woke me up, feeling guilty about being off work, not being allowed to drink Red Bull…..the list is endless (and ridiculous).

    Nesting

    This started at around 30 weeks. You know things have got pretty bad when you are on your hands and knees bleaching the skirting boards when you are suffering with PGP and don’t know exactly how you are going to get back up. I washed and ironed all of Dexter’s baby clothes and there was a lot. I rearranged the furniture in my flat multiple times (or directed my husband to). By 36 weeks I was done in. I don’t think I left my bed much after this point.

    Constipation

    Sometimes it would be five days without going for a number two. That’s just not normal. It wasn’t even as if I were going to the toilet and straining, I just never really felt the urge to go. I found eating a daily bowl of porridge sprinkled with a range of seeds and fresh fruit helped me to be more regular. But, it was too late I was already suffering with…

    Hemorrhoids

    I think these are pretty much unavoidable during pregnancy. If it’s not because you are constipated, they come simply due to the amount of pressure your lady bits are under from the weight of the baby (and probably all that other weight you put on as well). I tried drinking plenty of water and eating fibrous foods but they stuck around until well after I had given birth. Ew.

    Heartburn

    By 35 weeks I was drinking Gaviscon out of the bottle. I kid you not. The heartburn was horrnedous. I couldn’t even have a sip of water without feeling like my oesophagus was about to burn itself to death. They say heartburn is a sign of having a hairy baby, not particularly true in my case. I can no longer look at a bottle of Gaviscon without shuddering.

    Drooling

    I would wake up in a pool of my own drool after every night’s sleep. It was disgusting. I later read online that it’s a side effect of the heartburn. Your saliva glands are producing more saliva to neutralise the acid bubbling up from your stomach into your oesophagus.

    pregnancy symptoms

    32 weeks pregnant. Mum bun firmly in place.

    Swollen Nose and Hands

    My hands began to swell at around 35 weeks and I had to give in and take off my engagement and wedding rings by 36 weeks. I feared I would never have slender hands again. My nose and face also swelled. I didn’t actually realise this until after I gave birth and looked back on photos. My nose was so chunky it is actually funny. At about six weeks after birth I caught sight of myself in a mirror and was like ‘Hey who’s that thin lady?’ I’d got used to my new pudgy nose.

    Stress Incontinence

    I remember it like it was yesterday, I was sat in bed (what’s new) and I sneezed. I couldn’t help but shout out to my husband, “Oh my god I just weed myself!” It wasn’t like I emptied my bladder or anything, it was literally the tiniest amount, but I thought to myself, this is the beginning of the end. It didn’t get much worse, but it did happen frequently, every cough, sneeze, jump (not that I was jumping much). I started taking my pelvic floor exercises a bit more seriously but in all honesty, it’s just something that’s comes with the territory. The weight of your baby puts so much pressure on your bladder. It does go away eventually, lots of kegels are key!

    Stretch Marks

    I thought I’d largely avoided these but they turned up at around 35 weeks. I was much luckier than others, they were only apparent on muffin top, which had been created by all those lovely Sainsbury’s muffins. My tummy, thighs, boobs had been lucky enough to escape them. Stretch marks are every woman’s worst fear and I used to roll my eyes when people would say ‘I’m proud of my tiger stripes’. However, I have to say, they don’t bother me in the slightest. They have now minimised from angry red lightening bolts to wiry white lines and I hardly ever see them, mainly because I’m not one for parading half naked in front of the mirror.

    Weight Gain

    Silly me thought that I would just put on weight equal to the weight of the baby and anything above this would be because I overate. Ha ha ha. In my first trimester, I actually lost 12lbs but then I put on over THREE STONE during my second and third trimesters. There’s the baby, then all the extra blood in your body, the placenta, extra weight in your humongous boobs, fat stores that accumulate in your thighs in preparation for breast feeding and water retention. Luckily, it’s now, six months later, all but disappeared. Between the day I went into hospital for birth (19th) and the day I came out (22nd) I lost over two stone. Baby only weighed 8lbs. Crazy. Oh by the way, you can read my birth story here.

     

    What pregnancy symptoms did you suffer with? Any that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear from you.