Oh, it’s so exciting isn’t it: expecting your first baby? It’s like you’ve single-handedly invented reproduction (well, maybe not single or ‘handedly’ but you get the picture).
When the time’s right you’ll be able to let people know the good news. You might want to do that as soon as you see those little blue lines, or you might want to wait until that nerve-wracking first trimester passes. Either way, it’s going to be a really special announcement.
Family and friends will be giddy with excitement – although there’s always some sourpuss who won’t fully partake in worshipping you as the goddess of fertility and maternity that everyone else knows you are. But forget them; this is all about YOU.
Your head will be chocker with questions – will it be a boy or a girl? What if it’s twins!? When do I tell my boss? Which names should we choose? What am I gonna wear to my amazing baby shower?
And then it begins… The Advice. Nine long months of advice for first time mums from even the most unexpected quarters like the caretaker at work or the woman behind the post office counter who you never normally get more than a withering glare from as you pop your ASOS returns on the scales.
People you didn’t know existed at work will sidle up to you and tell you their birth stories whether you want to know or not; some of which will prevent you from ever looking at a Knorr Stock Pot in the same light ever again.
Because in case you didn’t know, pregnant women are public property. Anyone and everyone has advice for first time mums and feel like they can now force their pearls of wisdom on you and in return you have to smile sweetly and act as though they are the all-knowing oracle and you’ve never heard of Sudocrem or teething rings before they dropped this magical knowledge on you.
But you know what? You don’t have to take advice off anyone. It’s perfectly possible to work this parenting thing out for yourself without information overload from everyone else.
They say it ‘takes a village to raise a child’ and whilst it’s really fab to have people around you to support you, there is such a thing as too much advice for first time mums. Every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, and every baby is different because they’re their own little person.
It’s so easy to get caught up with that you think you should be doing as a first time mum. Instagram and Pinterest and bloody baby magazines can make you feel like a failure before you’ve even begun. Post-natal depression is some real shit ladies, and it’ll do you no good at all making your life harder than it needs to be. So take it all with a pinch of salt.
The same goes for baby groups, both online and “IRL”. Just because someone else is on their third, fourth or fifth pregnancy doesn’t make them any better than you. They may have had three babies, but none of them are YOUR babies.
There is of course some advice for first time mums that we should all take seriously though; basic stuff like how to keep your baby clean, fed, and warm. To be able to feel confident to whizz your little one to the doctors or hospital if you have an inkling that something isn’t right. And pregnancy health isn’t only advice for first time mums but second third time and beyond mums: during pregnancy the www.countthekicks.org.uk campaign really is a life saver, along with other serious health advice. You’ve just got to strike a balance between being informed and being overwhelmed.
So stay healthy, stay relaxed. But when it comes to gut instinct, mum knows best. That’s you. And you can do this.