24 Weeks in: Midwife says, Mama says…
I have thoroughly enjoyed working as a midwife for the last 13 years, and I’ve gained immense satisfaction working with, and supporting women through their pregnancy and births. The process is a truly remarkable one! Over the years, I have seen and experienced so many things with families that have allowed me to provide the very best advice I can professionally offer.
Now that I am pregnant with my first baby, I am on that very same journey, but on the other side of the fence, and my brain has officially split into Midwife half, and Mama-to-be half! At 24 weeks, here is the documentation of all my adventures so far:
Midwife says: Eat a balanced meal as often as you can. Foods high in fibre, green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamins, potassium and calcium. Fish and eggs are a great source for daily omega fats which help develop your baby’s brain. If you’re feeling any nausea, try to eat smaller snacks like dried fruits, nuts and fresh fruits that give you a burst of juicy flavour like green apples or pineapple. Ginger is also fantastic for when you feel a bit uneasy. It is not uncommon to still feel a bit ill, even after 20 weeks.
Mama-to-be says: My husband woke up three Friday mornings in a row to make me a “green juice” with green leafy vegetables. He, then (for three Friday mornings in a row) helped me clean the bathroom sink… Lets just say that loving ritual is now all but over. My nausea and vomiting is now down to twice a week. Regardless, my best and most cherished friend is still a toothbrush and minty toothpaste, which I keep in my handbag at all times (a mini one fits into my evening clutch, honest!) to help me fight away the feeling of forest moss rolling over my tongue. Ginger is absolutely fabulous (which is my excuse for eating 5 ginger biscuits from IKEA a day), and pineapple is my absolute go-to-food (fresh pineapple only – craving plus husband, plus tinned pineapple, always equals tears).
Rest and sleep
Midwife says: By the second trimester women should be sleeping a little better, hormone levels have calmed down and you should be feeling tired in the normal pattern of the night rather than tired all day like your first trimester. Sleeping directly flat on your back should be avoided if you can, a slight tilt to the right or left can be provided with pillow support or a special pregnancy pillow which can be used to support your back, belly and legs. The baby may be more noticeably active at night, which can be a lovely reassurance before sleep.
Mama-to-be says: We have nicknamed my pregnancy pillow, Lochy, AKA the Loch Ness Monster. My husband feels it may be trying to kill him in the night. Every night, at around 2am, it seems to find its way over to him and his face. Nothing to do with me, really! I don’t actually feel at all comfortable with my pregnancy pillow as I don’t think my belly is big enough to need support yet, so for now, it has been retired into the closet, much to the hubby’s delight. My baby, on the other hand, seems happy to party at night (like her mother used to a long time ago…), which is such a lovely feeling to fall asleep to. My baby and my bladder definitely tell me if I have accidentally rolled onto my stomach, so it helps me re-position.
Midwife says: Naturally, women’s body’s were all different before pregnancy, and so it’s expected that the changes during pregnancy will also be vastly different. Changes in the uterus, breasts and skin can be obvious. Weight gain is one of the things that women worry about the most and comparing “kilo’s gained” with other women is not the ideal way to maintain a positive body image. As women, we get used to looking at the scales for weight gain and weight loss in terms of fat. But gain in pregnancy is not just that, it is also increased fluid, blood, uterine space, baby, placenta, amniotic fluid and much more. Give your self positive vibes and put yourself and your health first. Soon you will find that a little someone takes up all of your time.
Mama-to-be says: I have always been a little shy of my belly and avoid directing any attention to it, so it has been a big (and pleasantly surprising) mental change, that I find myself proud of my new belly. Now touching and stroking my stomach feels nice and nurturing, my husband kissing my belly doesn’t make me squirm anymore and watching baby kick has become one of our favourite rituals. In a world where women’s bodies are so scrutinised and sexualised, it is nice to think of the body as what it is: an amazing, super machine that is working to its full capabilities. I see pregnant women every day, but it never ceases to amaze me how magical the body can be… And there is a kick just to prove my point!