They say every pregnancy is different, but what I didn’t appreciate is just how much things change over the course of those pregnancies.
It’s been almost 10 years since I first discovered I was expecting baby number one, and now that I’m expecting baby number four I’ve realised an awful lot has changed in that time.
I don’t just mean in terms of wrinkles and grey hair (although I’ve got a lot more of those now!) I mean in terms of guidance and things they tell you when you’re expecting a baby.
So, from bedside cribs and bonnets to colostrum harvesting and cord clamping, I thought it would be fun to compare 10 things that have changed between my first & fourth baby – some for the better, and some for the worse!
10 things that have changed between my first & fourth baby!
1. Bedside cribs
When I was expecting baby number one in 2011 bedside cribs were either eye-wateringly expensive wooden creations or something you could hire from the NCT – and there was a waiting list. Now they’re mainstream, portable and come in all sorts of colours and sizes – helping new mamas everywhere stay sane in those first few sleep deprived weeks and months!
2. Baby clothes sizing
At last. As well as the standard ‘newborn’ size (too small after two weeks) and ‘0-3 months’ size (too big for the first month) you can now get inbetween sizes to bridge the gap including ‘up to one month’. Yay! The only question is what on earth took them so long?
We’ve got the young royals to thank for making bonnets trendy again – and it’s a trend I can’t wait to embrace! Prepare for some serious bonnet spam people!
4. The whooping cough jab
Designed to protect unborn babies from catching whooping cough before their two month jabs, the whooping cough vaccination was rolled out to pregnant mamas in England from October 2012, meaning I’ve had it while pregnant with three of my babies but not my first. Thankfully missing out doesn’t appear to have done number one any harm!
When I was first expecting baby number one I vividly remember being told by my midwife that there was nothing wrong with a glass of wine in the evening every now and again. But fast forward nine years and official guidelines are now that no alcohol is safe. Again, thankfully the guidelines that were in place then don’t appear to have done number one any harm!
6. Colostrum harvesting
As I said in a recent blog post, it sounds like the sort of thing best left to scientists in labs than expectant mamas. Yet colostrum harvesting – expressing colostrum before your baby has actually been born – is now a thing and forms part of official NHS guidelines. See Should I harvest my colostrum before my baby is born? for more on that one!
7. Delayed cord clamping
A bit like colostrum harvesting, I’d never even heard of delayed cord clamping until I was expecting baby number three, and it’s still a thing. The theory is delayed cord clamping allows blood from the placenta to continue being transferred to the baby even after they are born, so they could receive up to 30% more blood than they would have without it. That blood is packed full of stem cells to help their growth and immune system as well as an iron boost, which can help them up until they’re six months old. You learn something new every day!
8. Running in pregnancy
People looked at me like I was mad when I carried on running well into the third trimester with baby number one. Now even formula milk brands are extolling the virtues of exercise in pregnancy with colourful ads featuring mums-to-be with visible bumps running around parks. And this time around nobody has batted an eyelid at me running with my baby on board.
View this post on Instagram
🌞 Hello Wednesday! 🌞 The sun is shining in our neck of the woods & seafront 3 miler done ✔ (Can you see what I mean about my belly button having popped out 😳) I’ve had to swap my running tops for Misery Guts’s now as they’re the only ones that fit but at 30 weeks I’m still going strong, although frustratingly slow 🐌 I ran until 36 weeks with number 1, 34 weeks with number 2 & 35 weeks with number 3 so I know the weeks are numbered now, but I’ll keep going while I can & while it feels good 👊 I’m also certain running has helped with labour & recovery afterwards – would love to hear from anyone else who has also run in pregnancy: how long did you run for & when did you stop? 🏃♀️ #mumswhorun #30weeks #pregnancyhealth #pregnancydiary
9. Maternity Allowance
Previously a straight forward application, somewhere between baby number three and baby number four claiming Maternity Allowance has been made as difficult as it possibly could be. If you’re planning on claiming it any time soon see how I fell victim to the Maternity Allowance tax glitch for all you need to know. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.
10. The fourth trimester
Hats off to whoever made the fourth trimester a thing. Like colostrum harvesting and delayed cord clamping, I’d never even heard of the concept of the fourth trimester until well after baby number three graced us with her presence in 2017. I’ll be embracing it this time around though and the drawbridge will be going up!
Did you notice any changes in guidelines and trends between your pregnancies too? I’d love to hear what they are!
If you liked this you may also enjoy reading: