Pregnancy blog, 28/07/2017
Today is World Friendship Day 2017.
Meeting other mums-to-be who are going through the same experience can be a huge support during and after your pregnancy.
You can share the woes of parenthood and laugh at the not-so-funny aspects of being a mum, or being pregnant.
For the socially awkward among us (hands up!), the thought of trying to make new friends in your 20s/30s/40s can be a daunting one.
But have no fear; we’ve put together a few ideas for meeting other mums in the most normal* way possible.
Find out about your local antenatal classes. You’re likely to meet other mums near you who are expecting babies at a similar time. Win-win!
The NCT also organises reunions for your antenatal class after you’ve had your babies. You may find that chatting about your birth experience with other new mums leads to many reassuring, ‘THAT happened to me too,’ moments.
'I did NCT antenatal classes and that was amazing. We all had the same anxieties and it was good to chat with people going through the same thing.'
Read more about antenatal classes.
Aquanatal, yoga, dancing, walking – we all know that keeping active during pregnancy is not only good for mum but good for baby too.
We recommend carrying on or finding an activity that you enjoy and keep going for as long as you feel comfortable during your pregnancy. It's also a fantastic way to meet like-minded mums. Nothing says 'ice-breaker' quite like a downward dog or a spin on the dance floor.
'Keep active. It's great for preparing your body for labour, a great de-stresser and gives you something for 'you'.'
Read more about exercise in pregnancy.
If you feel shy out and about, see what’s happening online – there are lots of forums like Mumsnet and Babycentre that can be a useful outlet for your fears and worries.
If you struggle to find one that suits you – create your own. Start your Facebook network by adding your mum friends to a group and encouraging them to add their own, too.
'I created a mummy Facebook group that got me through the wonderful yet scary parts and moments in pregnancy.’
Follow Tommy’s midwives on Facebook.
After your baby is born
Having the chance to meet new parents doesn’t stop once your baby is born.
Depending on where you live, your local authority or health trust might offer classes aimed at new parents.
These classes are usually for anyone who is taking on the parenting role, from mums and dads, to step-parents and carers.
There are a number of groups and classes that offer activities for you and baby such as Tumble Tots, Water Babies and baby massage. These are often a great way to connect with your baby, and with other parents.
If you feel like you need extra support, don’t hesitate to ask close friends and family to help with housework, shopping or childcare.
Allow yourself some ‘me’ time if you can.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone that doesn’t know you such as a counsellor. They can help you to make sense of any unusual emotions that you may be having.
As always, your GP, midwife or health visitor should be your first port of call if you’re struggling to cope. They can offer support and treatment, if needed, for your emotional wellbeing.
'The support I've received from my friends has been beyond incredible, from the random ‘How are you and baby doing?’ texts, to the casual banter, to the ‘I really need someone’ chats.
On one occasion a set of friends just dropped what they were doing to come to my house and get me out because they knew I was in a state. I couldn't feel more blessed to call these guys my friends.'
Read about mental wellbeing in pregnancy.
*Our internal monologue when trying to make friends: ‘be normal, just be normal, I’m so normal, am I normal?!’
As well as thinking of your baby, it's important to look after yourself in pregnancy too. Our midwife Sophie has put together some top tips to help you.
Stress in pregnancy is not unusual. Here are some ideas for how you can relax and look after your emotional wellbeing when you’re pregnant.
We take a look at this week's episode of Call the Midwife. It features Eunice, a mum who is terrified of giving birth after the trauma of having her first baby.
NHS England have released figures showing that the most romantic day of the year leads to a spike in conceptions.
The Call the Midwife star has been praised by fans this week for her gracious response to a tweet about her physical appearance during pregnancy.
Maternity fitnesswear specialists, FittaMamma have launched a ‘Pregnant Not Powerless’ campaign to raise awareness of just how important it is to exercise regularly throughout pregnancy.