The first few weeks of being pregnant can be a strange and wonderful time. You are bursting with so many new emotions, you are often tired and hormonal and nauseous, but you probably don't look that different to normal and you may not have told many people outside of your family. This a time for you to treasure your precious little secret, before your bump grows larger and becomes something for all to comment on. This is a time to rest and plan and dream about the future.
And then comes the first big milestone, the dating scan, and finally, after seeing that precious heartbeat, you can start to tell the world your amazing news. This announcement is such a gift to those close to you, particularly parents who may be about to become grandparents and so why not make it really special and plan an unusual way to make the announcement? Send a personalised balloon, bake a cake with the icing spelling out the good news or cook a slap-up meal and make an occasion of it, a unique memory and a wonderful way to start a new family tradition.
Once you start to tell the world then things start to feel real and the milestones just keep coming. The first time you can't do up your normal trousers over your little baby bump, the first time you tell a stranger or your work colleagues, the end of morning sickness and your first odd craving or that magical first kick that feels more like a tiny butterfly fluttering in your tummy. Everybody's pregnancy journey is different, many mums will share their experiences of pregnancy and birth with you, but your pregnancy will be unique to you. It may not feel like it at the time, but you will look back at this time when you were growing a little person inside you with enormous fondness and every milestone is worth remembering and celebrating. It is a lovely idea to keep a pregnancy diary and record each one of these milestones along with your thoughts, emotions and feelings to share with baby when they are older.
It is really important for you and those you love to look after you during these first few weeks so we have put together our top five tips to help those around you take care of you at this special time. Stick it on the fridge as a gentle reminder to those around you that you need some looking after:
1) Celebrate the bump! Getting rounder during pregnancy is something to be celebrated but mum may feel uncomfortable getting bigger and bigger. Lots and lots of compliments are the order of the day here, tell her every day how wonderful she looks and she will start to believe it.
2) It is hard work growing a little person and so mum will need to be encourage to rest and relax as much as possible. Treat her to some pampering goodies and make sure she has the time to use them.
3) Start planning together - every pregnancy begins as a bundle of wonderful possibilities and it is great fun to take some time out together to daydream and plan for the future. Whether it's the colour of the nursery or baby's first outing, planning will help it all feel more real.
4) Take time to talk - having a baby is probably the biggest shake up to anyone's life and the idea can be daunting. Every pregnant woman harbours the odd secret doubt about how she will cope when baby arrives, or worries about baby being healthy. Talking about the future will give her time to express any concerns she may have and will bring you closer together.
5) Go with the flow - OK, so it is a fact that being pregnant generates a large amount of hormones and however we try sometimes these will spill out as emotional outbursts. Try not to take it personally and just be there with a box of tissues and a hug when the storm subsides!
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of hormones and emotions but it is also an incredibly special time in a woman's life. You feel like you will be pregnant forever and you are counting down the days until baby is due, but then it is over in the blink of an eye. So take time to savour the moment, celebrate those milestones and put your feet up while you can!
Take a look at gifts for new mums at Babylooms