Saturday, 10 November 2018

36 week update: things that have helped me through pregnancy

This bump of mine turns 36 weeks today which means there could be as little as one or as many as five weeks left. Either way, that's no time at all!

I feel like I have been pregnant for a long time; I've enjoyed it, but those first few nervous weeks dragged on and on, waiting for one early scan then the next, and being pretty damn big and heavy now, I do feel like this baby has been cooking for ages now. They can stay where they are for another three weeks at least! I am of course looking forward to meeting them, so so much, but it still feels pretty surreal.

I've been busy getting prepared this week - to finish work, to get the house and baby's room ready - and need a bit more 'me' time to practice relaxing and drink in these last few weeks as a family of three. Because life will never be quite the same again...

There's a few things that have been helping me to take care of myself, my bump and my mind too.



First of all, Palmers sent me a really lovely care package. Out of the blue. Isn't that nice? It had their stretch mark lotions, cream and bump butter, so something to suit quick applications as well as a more indulgent pampering session, plus some things to help me relax, including a candle, eye mask and tea, as some extra gifts.

I really like Palmers and think it's synonymous as a brand with stretch marks. You think of a pregnant belly, you think of Palmers! The scent is pretty distinctive too - that rich, cocoa butter smell that makes you feel like you are a big ball of chocolate in the most luscious way - but it could be a little overpowering for some. So, it's probably good to know that the items I have been using do not have the scent at all. Not a whiff. Which I found really unusual. It does make the range a bit more accessible, and the feel of the lotions is still as lovely. I found the butter to be quite hard so it needs a little warming up in your hands before you can use it, but it makes for a more rich treat for your skin.

Second, I have been enjoying pregnancy yoga. I've missed a couple of weeks' of sessions, due to other commitments, but for a good three months, I have gone along to a free midwife yoga teacher led class put on by my local GP surgery, on Monday nights, which has been really lovely as a way to a) unwind and keep supple, b) meet other expectant mums in the area and c) have more Q&A time with a midwife who can answer questions and concerns, between standard appointments.

I've also been to a few Saturday classes at a local yoga studio, which has helped to develop my technique and I really hope it will help make a difference for birth, but during pregnancy, it has been hugely helpful.


And third, I have been using a fantastic app called Gentle Birth. I will be increasing my time on it now, with my attempts to get everything ready at work and at home, and it's so easy to use, with personalised suggestions posed to you every time you log on.

Gentle Birth is based on the ethos that what goes on in your head during labour is just as important as what happens with your body. The app has guided meditations and tutorials centred around mindfulness, hypnosis, breathing techniques and affirmations. I have been reading a lot about the importance of all these areas and how to apply them so I can have a more positive experience with this birth and feel as prepared as I can be.

Hypnobirthing sounds like something new but it has been around for years, perhaps even centuries, and midwives themselves advocate breathing techniques as critical for pain management, so having an app like this is a convenient way to practice when I am at home and have some time.


I have enjoyed trying guided meditations and find that I do need some instruction in order to fully relax and do my best to let go. I like the fact it is based in research and science - it reassures you that these techniques can actually work.

The Gentle Birth app allows you to select favourite clips and organise things so it'll work best for you, making it easy to dip in and dip out. You can even set a background image from a choice of peaceful images, helping to personalise the experience further still.

This app is really user friendly and has made a difference to my birth preparations, but will be more useful now I have some more time to put into it (hopefully!) to make it a daily tool because practice makes perfect at that's at the heart of the hypnobirthing approach. Worth checking out the YouTube channel too. The app is free with in-app purchases starting at £9.99.


So, there's three things that I have been enjoying recently, during my second and third trimesters. How about you? Have you tried hypnobirthing? What are / were your go-to pregnancy pamper products?




* I received the Palmers products as a gift and the app for purposes of review - all opinions are always my own.





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