Curse you Blake Lively!!!!!….. It would really have done the world of good to the female populations’ self confidence if the stunning Blake Lively ballooned out like a swollen whale and was plagued with hormonal acne while pregnant…. but alas, apparently having Ryan Reynolds draped over her arm as the ultimate man candy wasn’t enough of a blessing, she blossomed into that glowing, magical pregnancy unicorn that I hate to know exists. Now I honestly don’t wish any curses upon her, and really do HATE mum-shaming culture but damn it bites sometimes! Being pregnant with number two I’m living in a little bit of fear of the massive weight gain I put on the first time around (25 kilos!!!!….. yes 25 kilograms on a nice average 62 kilo frame…. it was a waddling, swollen nightmare). I’ve been trying so much harder this time to look after my body (and in turn this growing baby), but to also appreciate and allow the necessary changes to happen. Because last time it was only really in hindsight that I realised how awesome being pregnant was, and how proud of my body I was. It totally completely sucks sometimes, I hate having the skin of a teenager for months, and proper elephant ankles (second only to Kim Kardashian’s whoppers when pregnant with North….. those pictures were my comfort)….. but my body honestly rocked it sometimes! Even with my breaking of the bathroom scales, I came out with only two minor stretch marks that soon faded into insignificance! My average B cup boobs totally owned the breast feeding thing, even though they loved to leak like tears in The Notebook. And at the end of the day my insanely clever insides managed to create and grow an entire perfectly proportioned human…. something that no male can ever do, no matter how fabulous or how many California’s they Govern. So if you are interested in any way at all, feel free to peruse your way through my pearls of incredibly substantiated wisdom in caring for that bump….
- Do something active. This has been my salvation second time around… I am about as active and physically committed to exercise as Jabba the Hut on a good day! But horrible pain in my hips from them constantly expanding and the fear of having absolutely no endurance in labour has given me pretty damn good motivation. I now enjoy frequenting a local Aqua Aerobics class with the company of 40 women at least 30 years my senior, and honestly those old birds can aqua lunge and squat circles around me any day. This combined with a good old Pregnancy Yoga DVD from eBay has kept me feeling so sooooo much better. As always be careful what you’re undertaking physically while pregnant (especially if it’s new) and get the go ahead from your Doctor.
- Smother that belly. I think each medical professional will give you conflicting advice if this helps or not but over moisturising those new bumps and curves will never do you any harm. In the very least you get a free massage out of the partner every now and then (threatening them with googled images of horrific stretch mark damage is usually enough). I started the habit nice and early, as soon as those two lines appeared I made sure there were oils and moisturisers always at the ready. Have even convinced Evie (my 18 month old) that rubbing cream on mummy’s belly is really fun…. still working on her neck massaging skills.
- Magnesium and TEDS for fat feet and muscle cramps. If crazy hormones and snoring isn’t enough already to turn off your man then just wait until he sees you in a super hot pair of hospital support stockings! I get the worst fluid retention if I’m on my feet for anything more than one hour and wearing anything more attractive than CROCS or Nanna’s Paediatric Clogs. It’s not a pretty sight for anyone and is only surpassed by the vision of my uncoordinated struggle to pull on the super tight TED socks (that my wonderful father smuggles home for me from work at the Hospital). But these socks coupled with a few sprays of 100% Pure Magnesium Oil onto the soles of my feet seriously works wonders for my fluid build up, those demonic calf muscle cramps and even help me sleep better. Seriously, buy some magnesium oil (wouldn’t recommend spraying it anywhere near your growing bump without a Drs thumbs up or any broken skin), it lasts forever! And go visit anyone you may be slightly acquainted with in hospital in the aim to steal their hospital bed socks …… or buy some from the chemist if you’re rolling in extra change
- Beware Pregnancy Arms…. These things will put any bingo hall to shame and have a tendency to haunt you in Facebook tags for years to come. A little motivation goes a long way and I have a particular photo of myself around 8 months pregnant with Evie that is stuck on that social media wall of shame which shows my previously shapely arms as headless lumpy figures standing awkwardly close to my side. It is my absolute least favourite image of myself and although keeping my arms slim (or as slim as possible for someone who retains fluid like a camel) is an entirely selfish aesthetic goal, it is one I’m happy to be striving for. And there is thankfully an absolute master of arm sculpting called Tracy Anderson who’s ‘Sexy Arms’ workouts (easily YouTube searched) are deceptively horrendous and effective. Start off with the 4 min one and when you feel like punishing yourself a little further dive into the 12 minute version. And the major perk of strengthening your arms is that you’ll soon be carrying around a 3.5 kilo baby constantly and you’ll be wishing you did absolutely anything to help make that easier.
Above everything be kind and forgiving of your body and its changes…. I like to maintain that with a team of stylists I too would look like Blake Lively…. hmmm, maybe more like an average Lena Dunham…. but that’s ok coz I make insanely adorable babies and people would pay good money for that! Stay tuned for some more pregnancy-change related articles….. might be a while away because my next subject is Pregnancy Brain so naturally I have absolutely no idea what to write…. xxx Elise