Improve your sleep during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of change: physical change, emotional change, life change and, sleep routine change. It might not seem like a big deal, but sleep is just as important as eating, drinking and getting enough exercise. It’s pivotal that we get enough rest to promote healthy cognitive function, maintain protection from illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure and to improve our mental health and stabilise moods.

But it’s a whole different ball game when you’re pregnant. The first trimester you’ll want to sleep A LOT, which is good, so indulge – you’ll need it and you’ll definitely appreciate it later on. So…the “later on” part. Towards the end of your second trimester and throughout your third, you’ll probably find it a lot harder to sleep. Why? Well, unfortunately the downsides of growing another human being inside you include: heartburn, constipation, a frequent urge to pee, cramps, backaches, increased heart rate, stress, etc.

sleep pregnancy

Finding this to be the case? Then here are six tips to improve your sleep during pregnancy:

1. Create a healthy body clock and stick to it as much as possible

Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. That way your body will adjust to a routine and you’ll start feeling tired around that time every night, and it’ll make you feel fresh in the morning. Try and minimise napping for too long during the day as this will make it harder to sleep during the night.

2. Indulge in hot milk before bed

The calcium will be great for both you and your baby, plus it tastes great! A hot drink always helps. According to WebMD and BBC Good Food, warm milk is a great sleep inducer as the calcium in it will help increase the amount of melatonin in your system – the hormone that makes you drowsy and puts you in sleep mode.

warm-milk

3. Rub your belly

If you’re experiencing some kicking or discomfort, whilst lying on your side (doctor’s recommend sleeping on your left side to make life easier for your heart), rub your belly for a while and you’ll find you’ll start to feel calmer. People often find repetitive motion very cathartic, so give it a try and focus on relaxing and breathing slowing.

4. Don’t overeat

Chances are you’re already feeling bloated, so don’t overeat because a) it’ll make you feel even more bloated, making it harder for you to fall asleep and b) you don’t need to (whilst pregnant, you only need to eat around 300 extra calories a day).

eating while pregnant

5. Blackout blind it

Our blackout blinds help promote sleep by providing you with a peaceful environment, free of light, whilst keeping in the warmth and minimising noise levels. They’ll come in handy if you haven’t slept much during the day and fancy a nap, as they’ll make the room completely dark, helping you to fall asleep quicker and making sure you’re not disturbed by outside light. What’s even better, they’ll be great for helping your baby fall asleep when they arrive!

Sky 4

Got any pregnancy sleep tips of your own? Share them with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter @easyblinds.

Posted in Pregnancy

Pregnancy myths we still believe

pregnancy

 

Becoming a mum is one of the hardest yet rewarding experiences of your life, but it can also be quite confusing. Before science, old wives’ tales were the guides to a successful pregnancy – and even today we still hear them!

Check out these top 8 pregnancy myths (i.e. don’t listen to them!)

1. “You’re eating for two now!”

It’s natural to want to indulge a little more when you’re pregnant, but it’s important to be cautious. You’re not eating for two because your baby doesn’t need the same amount a fully grown human being will need. In fact, you’ll only need to consume 300 calories more every day. That’s about half of your average dinner more every day.

2. Don’t dye your hair

Don’t worry, you don’t need to compromise your appearance whilst pregnant. Most research is inconclusive in showing that dying your hair has a negative impact on your baby. The NHS says that some studies have found that high doses of chemicals may cause harm, but these doses are massive in comparison to the low amount of chemicals you’re exposed to when dying your hair.

3. Eat a curry to induce labour

This was thought to be true as spicy food would activate the bowels, therefore encouraging action in the uterus, but there’s actually no conclusive evidence to prove this. In fact, spicy foods (amongst others such as citrus fruits) are warned against as they can induce heartburn. There are so many tricks and old wives’ tales from around the world on how to induce labour, but when they do work it’s often just mere coincidence.

curry

4. Avoid exercise while pregnant

If you’re a fitness buff, you don’t need to worry that the next 9 months should be spent being inactive. Although, you’ll have to accept that you won’t be able to do the really challenging workouts as you approach your final trimester. Exercise is great whilst being pregnant because you’ll feel fit and you’ll also feel happier as working out releases endorphins, giving you that positive and uplifting feeling. Yoga is a fantastic exercise during pregnancy as it’s great for breathing and relaxing. Check out the NHS site for tips on exercising during your pregnancy.

5. A high bump means it’s a girl, low bump means it’s a boy!

Not true. There are a lot of variations to this old wives’ tale, such as how “pointy” the bump is and weight gain in other places indicating the sex of the baby, but it’s completely irrelevant. The shape of your bump depends on the construction of your body in terms of your weight and muscle tone. As every body is different, bumps are going to differ as well. Apart from scans and waiting until the baby is born, there’s no way of telling what the gender is, but at least you’ve got a 50% chance of getting it right!

6. Don’t pet your cat during pregnancy

The only thing you need to worry about with cats is dealing with litter due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, which can harm your baby. So as long as you avoid that don’t worry about getting close to your cat, cuddle away!

pregnant-woman-with-cat

7. If your mother had an easy pregnancy, so will you

So much is genetic, but, unfortunately, how easy your mother and grandmother had it during their pregnancy isn’t. Some mothers experience terrible morning sickness, whereas other mothers never get it. Your mum may have craved pickles during her pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you will! You’ll never know how it is for you until you actually experience it.

8. Avoid coffee

Too much coffee is bad for you in general, but if you’re one of those people who has to have a cuppa in the morning to feel alive, it won’t do you any harm. The NHS advises to decrease your caffeine intake whilst pregnant, but 200mg a day (the equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee) is fine and will do no harm to your baby.

What pregnancy myths have you heard? Tell us on our Facebook page or @easyblinds.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Pregnancy, Preparing for baby

10 tips to get your pre-pregnancy body back!

Just had a baby? Want to get back into your old clothes and struggling to get started on your weight loss plan? Then look no further – we have 10 essential tips to get you started. Follow these, and you’re well on your way to getting your pre-pregnancy body back!

1. Be realistic and don’t crash diet

Empty-Plate-1

It’s better to lose weight slowly and keep it off than do it quickly, when you’re most likely to pile the weight back on easily. The best way to do this is to make some lifestyle changes (see tip number 10) instead of cutting yourself off of food you usually eat and enjoy. The reason crash dieting also isn’t a good idea is because you could be starving your body of important vitamins it needs to function. As a new mother, you’ll need plenty of energy, and if you’re breastfeeding, it’s definitely not a good idea. Set yourself realistic goals – two pounds a week is the best way to go.

2. Quash your cravings by quenching your thirst

During your pregnancy, you’re bound to have given into a number of cravings which you wouldn’t have done usually. And let’s face it, being hungry and pregnant at the same time isn’t great. Ward off your cravings with a tall glass of chilled water – it’ll fill you up, make you feel refreshed and you’ll feel satisfied knowing it’s completely free of calories.

3. Reward yourself

cheesecake

Don’t say no to absolutely everything. If you’re a chocolate fan, treat yourself to one once in a while. If you say no to treats completely, you’re more likely to binge and gain the weight back on, so do everything in moderation. And don’t feel guilty for it – you’re a new mum, that’s tough work!

4. Sleep

Whilst sleeping is a big challenge when you’ve got a new baby in the house, it’s important weight-wise to get enough sleep. You’ll reproduce and repair cells in your sleep, and getting enough shut-eye will also mean you’re less likely to crave as much the next day. When you’re tired you immediately crave fatty and sugary foods to keep you going. Our blackout blinds help you sleep even during the day, as it blocks out outside light completely. So day-time naps for both you and your baby is a lot easier.

5. Eat well

Healthy-Eating1

 

Remember, what you fill your fridge with, you will eat, so try and plan your meals so during your shop you know exactly what you need, and are less likely to stuff the fridge with sugary treats. Double up on fruit and veg portions, and eat smaller meals more frequent throughout the day. Be creative with healthy meals, too – if you’re eating a meal you’re not particularly enjoying, cravings will emerge with a vengeance!

6. Build yourself up in terms of exercise intensity.

Make it fun and don’t work yourself out too hard at the beginning. You most likely would not have done much exercise since before you were pregnant so build up the intensity, or else you will have pounding muscle aches, which won’t be fun when you need to lift your baby! Try and give yoga a go – you can even do this with your baby! P.S. Zumba is also a great way to have fun whilst losing weight – Shakira swears by it!

7. Don’t compare yourself to others

fat comparison

Sometimes comparing yourselves to others can give you the motivation you need to get going, but you have to remember who you’re doing this for – you. Not anyone else. Forget celebs who say they’ve lost the weight in less than a month; they’ve got nannies and personal trainers on the go 24/7. Give yourself the credit you deserve for losing weight when you’ve just had your baby. It’s tough to do one of those things, let alone both, so don’t put yourself down.

8. Avoid buying clothes to fit your immediate post-baby body

If you buy a new wardrobe after having your baby that fits your current size, you’re less motivated to get started on losing weight. If you really want to lose the weight then don’t allow yourself to get comfortable. Buy a couple outfits to fit your pre-pregnancy body and you’ll feel driven to achieve your goal.

9. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding_infant

This can burn up to 500 calories a day, so that’s definitely a plus of being a new mum! But don’t rely on that and then do no exercise, because when you stop breastfeeding, you’ll see your weight fluctuate.

10. Make lifestyle changes

As mentioned before, making lifestyle changes are the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Diets don’t work, mainly because you’re on them only for a set amount of time. If you have a little bit of everything in your diet then your body will reward you. Stick to wholegrain foods, and before you know it, you won’t even notice the difference between white and brown bread. Limit the amount of butter you use and cut out sugar in your tea and coffee. It’s the little things that do the trick.

Good luck! Let us know how you’re getting on and any tips you have for losing weight after pregnancy @easyblinds or on Facebook.

 

Posted in Pregnancy

New Baby? Here’s a Checklist to Get You Started!

Positive-Pregnancy-Test

So you’re pregnant! Here’s 6 tips to get you on your way!

1. Maternity wear There are millions of stores! Check out the Mothercare collection here. It’s better to get some new clothes as soon as you can; it’ll save you the stress of later on panicking if you don’t fit into your regular clothes later on, especially if you’re a busy person! Try and stick to clothes you wear normally, instead of just changing to boring, bulky tops and dresses – feeling sexy and yourself is very important in maintaining your mental health and stability during this change.

2. Get some reading done – Here’s a list of great reads about motherhood. In particular, have a look at What to Expect the First Year and Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood. Of course, you’ll really only learn when the baby actually comes, but it’s good to read about other experiences, tricks and opinions – especially to get a bit of a laugh! You may also find it useful to join and follow sites such as Mother & Baby and NetMums.

3. Start looking at deals for all of your baby essentials – Boots is a great place to go for deals: have a look here. They also have their own Parenting Club, giving Mums more points per pound, deals and offers, plus free packs and magazines. IF you have a day to yourself, do some window-shopping and look around the shops and websites to see what’s on offer before rushing at the end, where you could be missing out on a deal.

4. Start taking your vitamins and watch your diet – This article by NHS Choices is great for providing all of the information you need about vitamins and health during your pregnancy. Too much Vitamin A is to be avoided, as this can harm your baby, but it is important to maintain healthy levels of: Folic Acid (helps prevent birth defects), Vitamin D (regulates calcium and phosphates for good bones and teeth), Iron (to maintain energy and blood levels, preventing anaemia) and Calcium (for helping to develop strong bones and teeth in your baby). It’s also important to have as much fibre in your diet as possible, especially to prevent or ease constipation.

5. Try to alleviate morning sickness – Most of the time, this is something that you will not have any control over. There aren’t explicit ways for everyone to completely stop this, but you can find what works for you to alleviate it and make you feel less groggy. Try out different things, whether it be a slither of chocolate, some green (or normal) tea, or a slice of plain wholemeal bread. According to the NHS Choices site, ginger often helps. The only universal tips we can give you is don’t over or under-eat!

6. Get some #easysleep with easyblinds – You’re going to need this for both you and your baby! Your symptoms may be giving you less sleep at night, but don’t let that stop you from kipping in the day. Also, once baby comes along, you’ll need more sleep during the day as nights will be spent nursing your newborn! Our blackout blinds can help to get your child into a healthy routine. Take a look at what we offer on our homepage.

 

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, Buying baby equipment, Pregnancy, Preparing for baby

Pregnancy Niggles and How to Cope with Them: Morning Sickness

Pregnancy should be the most amazing experience for any woman but sometimes those pesky pregnancies niggles get in the way.

I blame those pregnancy hormones they do a great job getting the body really for baby but can leave mum feeling drained and washed out.

Here is our guide to morning sickness.

Morning Sickness

Not every woman will get morning sickness and it doesn’t just appear in the morning. Its most common in the first trimester often goes by about 14 weeks though for others it can last the whole pregnancy.  It is thought that the hormone changes cause the nausea and sickness.

Some women will only get feelings of nausea while others will be sick. Some women get a severe form called hyperemesis gravidarum this is very serious and you should visit your GP if you think you have this and you can become dehydrated.

There is no cure for morning sickness but there are things you can do to help ease the feeling:

Eat little and often, try not to let your stomach become empty as this makes it worse. Try nibbling on dry crackers, bread, toast and other carbs.

Stick to plain foods, spicy or greasy food may make it worse.

If you find you wake feeling sick, take it slowly getting up. Try keeping crackers or plain biscuits next to you and have a little nibble before you get up.

Drink plenty of fluids water is best. Don’t drink it too quickly.

Ginger is supposed to be good for morning sickness and you can get it many forms from tea to biscuits.

Make sure you get enough sleep, tiredness will make nausea worse.  Try and grab a nap during the day if you can. This might be a good time to invest in a blackout blind for you bedroom.

Some mums swear by acupressure this is where you wear a wrist band which puts pressure on certain points that reduce the feeling of nausea. Try Sea-Bands Mama.

 

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, Pregnancy, Preparing for baby

5 Useful Posts for if You Are Pregnant

Pregnancy is a wonderful time but it can be overwhelming. There is so much to do to get ready for baby whilst coping with the changes in your body.

We have pulled together 5 of pregnancy posts to help make life a little easier for you.

Good luck with your pregnancy we hope our posts have been helpful.

 

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, Buying baby equipment, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Pregnancy, Preparing for baby, Sleep Routines